It wasn't too long ago that our small minority of female mountain bikers were crying out for a wider variety of kit. No more did we want to wear men's or children's clothing, we wanted function, style, shape and sizes. A short time on, and we're flooded with amazing kit to shred in. With kits like the new DHaRCO, how could we not be happy?
It's such a great time to get involved with mountain biking. Brands are producing awesome kit, trail centres are popping up all over the country and more efforts are being made to promote and encourage women's participation.
As we're considered to be a fledgling community, we're still finding our feet in the grand scheme of mountain biking. The women's market is quickly growing, and as of yet, is still trying to establish it's own identity - which is pretty exciting to be apart of.
One major area to flourish is in the clothing industry. Women's MTB kit is getting prettier, more shapely and more practical. With this is mind, we were stoked to test out the new Gravity shorts and jersey from DHaRCO.
DHaRCO Short Sleeve Jersey
The Australian surf brand has come on shore to rip up the trails with their mountain bike apparel. They aim to produce kit which works well to ride in, but maintains a casual appearance so you don't look out of place grabbing a cuppa after the ride - well, the mud might give it away.
Their short sleeve jersey is classic and simple in design. Constructed from a lightweight moisture wicking fabric, it feels super soft to the touch. The mesh side panels improves air flow to keep you cool whilst riding.
There's a hidden stash pocket in the side which is ideal for keys and coins, and the elasticated neck keeps makes for ease of access.
I've ridden in this jersey a fair few times now, and it's consistently kept me cool. It's so light and soft to the skin that I didn't even need to consider it when riding, which is a good thing. I particularly like the relaxed trail cut as well. It's long on the body with enough shape and taper to flatter the female form.
The short sleeve jersey has been washed a lot as well, always on a warm wash and never tumble dried. I'm pleased to say that the top hasn't suffered from any colour fade, or warping either. Hurray!
Colours: Red/Grey (as above) - Cyan/Black/White
Sizes: X.Small - X.Large
DHaRCO Gravity Shorts
The bane of so many riders are shorts. Some of us like them above the knee, below the knee, baggy, tight, high waist or low waist. They come with poppers, velcro, ratchets, zippers and drawstring. It's a mine field down there, but some brands are working hard to find the winning combo for us all.
The Gravity shorts from DHaRCO are made from a durable 4-way stretch fabric. They are lightweight, soft to touch and they move really well with the body. These shorts are long, some of the longest I've tried, which is a preference for me as I hate getting the dreaded thigh gap between shorts and knee pad.
The waist has adjustable tabs, velcro/popper/zipper fastening combination. So when you dial these in, they aren't going anywhere. There's a zipped hip pocket on one side, and small zipped stash pocket at the rear as well.
Despite these shorts being long, they were a little snug on the waist and sat quite high as well. I'm a UK 8/10, and these shorts were a medium size, and yet they felt cosy on the hips and bum, but baggy on the leg and in length. Because of this, I couldn't really stash my phone, or very much at all inside the pockets.
Colours: Red or Blue
Sizes: X.Small - X.Large
DHaRCO's MTB kit is bold, simple and stylish. The jersey is cooling and easy to ride in, and its shapely cut makes it suitable for post-ride apparel too.
While I love the flat colour of the shorts (ideal for mix n' matching), and the leg length being spot on, the sizing around the waist lets them down for me. They are comfortable to ride in, but the ultra snug fit renders the pockets a useless feature.
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