Reviewed: Mien’s Contrast Polo and Cycle Stretch Pants

Hannah's been out cycling around town in the latest urban cycle wear from Mien

Words by Hannah Reynolds on Twitter and Instagram

Mien is a small independent company based in the Netherlands, their ethos is to create clothes that are stylish and comfortable, bridging the gap between technical performance and clothes you would be happy to walk into the office in.

Founder of the company Miranda Hickling has served her time as a Lycra clad aspiring racer and is now enjoying a more relaxed pace of riding, Mien aims to create clothes that fit that outlook.  Mien says “I think it is the time we all dressed a little nicer when we ride.”

The Netherlands are famed for their high percentage of ‘everyday’ cyclists, people who ride not just for sport and commuting but as a way of life. The garments that Mien produce are designed to work well on the bike but not look out of place while you are doing your shopping or browsing a book shop. Clothes than enable you to feel comfortable in every environment.

I tested the Contrast Polo in Sand  €79.00 and the Inspire high stretch cycling pants €119.00.

When first picking up the jersey the fabric feels heavy, it looks and feels like 100% cotton but it is a cotton blend with plenty of stretch and give. Putting it on I expected it to be too tight and clingy but the thickness of the material actually smoothed over the lumps and bumps in a way that was surprisingly flattering.

Lazer cut sleeves, more familiar from your aero road kit, are smooth edged giving a neat profile and it feels pretty good on. Whilst the material is supposed to be breathable it only works up to a certain point, get too sweaty and it will overwhelm the high cotton percentage in the fabric, but to be fair it is not designed for high-effort cycling. Just don’t wear it on days when you are running late to work and having to pedal hard!

Three-quarter length trousers are a winner in the summer and these feel great on. Tailored around the waist and bum they are not tight or clingy but the high level of stretch in the fabric means they fit closely in some areas and skim over others. Again, more flattering on than I initially expected. The spotted lining fabric is a nice addition as are the zip rear pockets with just enough wiggle room for your door keys and a credit card.

More or less straight leg cut means they are not tight around your calves and the laser cut raw edge looks smart and doesn’t chafe as you pedal. Two very tiny reflective tabs on the lower leg are the only nod to cycling visibility.

I am not the kind of rider who worries about strolling into super markets head to toe in Lycra, and having worked in the cycling industry for many years I am unlikely to turn heads even walking around the office in just my bibs and a sports bra but I can see a place for these types of garments. If you want to feel like a cyclist on the bike, but look like you are wearing ‘civvies’ off it this could be the brand for you.

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