With those nice and warmer days on the increase, we cannot help but gear up and get out there for a MTB ride. If you plan to do the same but lack the gear, here’s an overview of women’s MTB clothing and a few tips on how to pick the right piece!
If you go down the path of a gravity discipline (DH, Enduro, BMX…), be sure to go for loose clothing. It’s usually made of more durable material and thus protects you better in case of falling. Also, loose clothes give you a free range of movement and you can fit all kinds of protectors underneath (which you should not forget!)
On the other side, if you rather count every mile, you should grab bibs and an elastic jersey for aerodynamics. In that case, you should focus on finding the perfect fit for chamois. Because you will be sweating a lot, make sure the chamois has an antibacterial top layer and the jersey is made of breathable materials.
Women’s cycling shorts
Cycling shorts can be divided into two main categories: loose and elastic.
At first glance, loose shorts resemble ordinary shorts. They are also suitable for recreational trips when you care about comfort. In that case, a softer and higher pad is a good choice. The advantage of these pants is that the pad is inserted separately so you can change it. These shorts also contain several pockets, whether for a phone, a biscuit or tools.
For bibs, the pad is built-in so the shorts must fit you in every aspect. With this type of shorts, you can pick from various lengths where the silicone strip on the inside of the pants prevents the “sliding” of the pants up your thighs. There are two types of elastic shorts – ones with suspenders and ones without. Shorts with suspenders provide bigger comfort as there is no upper hem thus nothing is pushing on your stomach. Moreover, your back is always nicely covered.
POC Essential MTB Women’s Shorts
For me, POC MTB women’s shorts are the number one loose shorts if you are looking for quality and a great look. They are made of light, yet durable material that dries very quickly! The pants fit everyone thanks to the Velcro strip adjustment of the waist. This is very useful when the stretchy material loosens up while riding, which guarantees you absolute freedom of movement as you can adjust it in a second. Other advantages are the raised back and the ideal length of the trouser legs, which partly cover the knee pads and prevent the creation of the awkward gap between them and the shorts. I recommend ordering a larger size as the sizing runs small. The shorts have two pockets on the hips and one smaller pocket on the back. The only downside is that a larger phone in your pocket slightly interferes while pedalling.
Liv Race Day Bib Shorts
Affordable, elastic, high-quality bibs suitable even for professionals that fit like a second skin. The breathable mesh Y-strap with front fastening provides a wide range of adjustability to suit all body types. The bibs are equipped with ProComfort woman’s specific chamois of the highest quality featuring chafe-free rides. Moreover, the bibs are provided with reflective details for added safety on the road. I would recommend these shorts for the Y-strap with fastening, which makes visiting the bathroom easier, and for the comfortable pad.
Pro tip: Underwear is not used with padded cycling shorts. This will prevent abrasions from the seams.
With a functional T-shirt, it is important that it is pleasant to the touch and fulfils the sweat-wicking and thermal insulation functions. For the function to be 100%, it is necessary to have the right size. Although it may seem illogical, it is good to wear a functional T-shirt on warm days, however, for a “cooling” effect. A functional T-shirt is essential for “staying dry and warm, which can significantly impact the overall riding pleasure. In winter, I suggest wearing shirts made of merino wool, which heats up even when wet.
CRAFT PRO Dry Nanoweight SS
One of the most comfortable shirts I have ever tried. Plus, it’s made from recycled materials. Thanks to its lightness (80g/m2) and breathability, you will almost forget you are wearing it at all. It does not roll up, which prevents you from getting all irritated. Because of the cooling effect, it’s perfect for intensive training on hot summer days.
The cycling jersey is another functional layer. The elastic jersey has several pockets on the back. In addition to the elastic jersey, the recommendation is to purchase a cycling vest made of a very light material, which will keep you warm when riding downhill and you can easily pack it in the mentioned pockets on the jersey. If you are not afraid of cycling on cold days, it is better to put on more thin layers for optimal breathability. Windstopper products are suitable friends for cold and windy weather.
POC Women’s Essential Enduro Jersey
This jersey forms the perfect combo with loose POC shorts. The breathable material is made of recycled polyester, weighing 220 g/m2 with exceptional wicking properties and dries quickly. It is resistant to damage by Velcro so you don’t have to worry that the adjustable waist on the POC shorts or the protectors will destroy it. The jersey provides space for elbow pads and a back protector. A small pocket on the back is ideal for credit or lift cards.
Liv Race Day Jersey
This women’s cycling jersey forms a set with the Race Day Bibs. The TransTextura technology along with the mesh side strips guarantee rapid evaporation and quick drying great for high-intensity training even in the warmest weather. The full-length zipper is equipped with an auto-lock so you can be sure it will stay exactly where you open it. Also, it makes dressing up easier. The elongated elastic short sleeves stay in place no matter what, guaranteeing aerodynamics and a professional look whereas the lower neckline provides higher comfort and free movement of the head.
Kalas Pure Sleeves
Sleeves, or arm warmers, are a great option for unpredictable weather days. They are minimalistic, meaning you can easily fold them and fit them in your jersey pockets while riding uphill and, in colder moments or on a coffee break, you can easily put them on in no time.
I like the Czech brand Kalas, which dresses several national teams so you can expect high quality for a good price. The Pure Sleeves are slightly insulated and very comfortable. The silicon strip secures the sleeves and prevents them from sliding down. Moreover, it includes reflective details for greater safety.
Pro tip: Always carry the sleeves with you. The cold will not surprise you then.
100% Brisker Woman´s Gloves
Gloves should not be forgotten even in warmer weather, they will prevent your hands from slipping off the grips as can happen with sweaty hands and, at the same time, they will protect you from abrasions if you take a fall. For bigger comfort, pick ones with pads and a soft strip on the thumbs to wipe your face.
When it comes to gloves, I would go for the brand 100%. They have nearly endless design options and the quality is very good. You can choose any model and I am pretty sure you will be satisfied. For me, it would be the Brisker Woman´s Gloves.
Pro tip: The choice of long-fingered gloves will give you more “protection” and your fingers will not slip when shifting gears. Also, they lower the risk of broken nails.