We've been revelling in women's mountain bike kit this year. Brands are hitting the markets in full force with a brightly coloured display of tapered cuts, eye-catching colours and technical fabrics. It's never been so good, and it's just getting started...
Mountain biking is varied in itself. When you think of off-road riding, you'll often think of baggy clothing, skater style shoes with a very loose style. That's just one side of it. Those riders often ride all mountain and downhill where looser fit clothing is ideal.
However, there's still quite a lot of Lycra and slim fitting garments that are more suitable for cross-country, or general off-road bimbling. While this fledging industry of female rippers is still finding it's identity, brands are developing their own concepts and ideas for us dirt divas.
I've been pretty impressed with Endura in the past. They use innovative ideas and high performance fabrics to develop kit that enhances performance and comfort. Endura's trail kit for women is slim fitting, flattering of the female form, and can withstand a tough day on the trails. I've spent the past few weeks wearing, riding and washing this mountain ensemble, so how did it fair up?
Endura Wms SingleTrack Jersey II
The SingleTrack jersey from Endura is constructed from rapid wicking fabric which is lightweight and soft against the skin. It's got a lovely shape which fits well to the body, with a dropped hem at the back to prevent skin exposure whilst riding.
There's a secret stash pocket at the rear which is perfect for keys and small essentials, and the pull down zip is easy to find and use with gloves on.
I'm not usually a fan of skin fitting jerseys, as I usually opt for the more baggier option. However, I've been impressed with the SingleTrack jersey because it is really comfortable to ride in. It's super breathable, the sleeves don't ride up or bunch, and despite it's slim fit, you can still get a base-layer underneath.
Colours: Red and Purple
Sizes: X.Small - Large
Endura Wms MT500 Spray Baggy Short
Finding a good pair of women's MTB shorts can be difficult. There are so many different options for length, waist, fabric options and features that it can take some trial and error to work out what it is like you, and what you want from your shorts.
Endura's MT500 shorts are constructed from a hard-wearing fabric, which doesn't restrict movement. The 4-way stretch material allows you to pedal away without any bother, and it's waterproof properties make them ideal for when it's a little drizzly out there.
The waistband has a combination of features: elastic stretch, integral belt with clasp, button and zip closure. If you're looking for shorts that you can adjust, these are them. You can even adjust the leg cuffs with Velcro tabs too.
Zipped thigh vents are discrete, but provide ample airflow on those warmer riders, and the reflective detail helps improve rider visibility in low lever conditions.
While I liked the tapered leg and overall shape to the MT500 shorts, I feel that there's just too much going on with them. When it comes to shorts, trousers and jeans, I like to pull them up, do them up and go. With these shorts, there's a little too much faff for my liking, and the belt feature seemed largely redundant.
Sizes: X.Small - Large
Endura Wms SingleTrack Jacket
My favourite piece from the Endura collection has to be the SingleTrack jacket. It's comfortable to wear on and off the bike, and it's simple design gives it the versatility to be worn anytime.
It's fully seam-sealed for waterproof protection, and it's totally breathable too. There's underarm zips to allow ventilation which really came in handy on more humid and wet days. The chest pocket is waterproof and has a media port, while the front pockets are ideal for keeping your hands warm when they aren't on the bars.
There are adjustable tabs on the hem and the cuffs to keep yourself just that little bit more protected from the elements.
For me, this is the ideal all round trail jacket. It's lightweight, waterproof, breathable and great to ride in. It's bold in design and subtle enough as a jacket to wear when out and about too, which is great.
Colours: Navy / Purple / Red
Sizes: XX.Small - X.Large
Endura Wms SingleTrack Lite Gloves
The Endura SingleTrack gloves are super stretchy slip-on gloves, with no fastening system or adjustable cuff. They are ideal for more fair weather riding as they aren't particularly thick or padded.
There's a large wipe back on the thumb, silicone grips for the palms and fingertips and laser cut ventilation segments.
I was surprised at how well they fitted me. I have medium sized hands, but long fingers and usually I have issue finding a good fit. However, the Endura SingleTrack gloves have a lovely fit, and super soft suede fabric against the skin. These are ideal for the shorter rides, or less aggressive adventures.
Colours: White / Black
Sizes: X.Small - Large
On the whole, Endura's trail kit for women is really good if you're looking for a slim fit and less "boyish" style of MTB wear. It's clear that a lot of attention to detail has been taken, but perhaps they've been a little over zealous with the features on the shorts.
The SingleTrack jacket has be a favourite of mine for style, comfort and functionality. For £100, it's reasonably priced against other brands on the market, and the bold bright colour options accompany any great MTB outfit on the trails.
Women's mountain biking is growing quicker than brands can keep up with. For this reason there's still a lot of trial and error occurring when it comes to finding that winning combo for kit features and designs.
With brands like Endura putting in the thought, attention and research into women's specific kit, it can only lead to bigger and better things for the female shredder.
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