Fierlan is a brand that breaks a few conventions. The Bristol based company was founded by Lucy Gardner – soon after she graduated from Falmouth University, where she did a BA in Performance Sportswear Design.
The brand is dedicated to making women’s cycling clothing only, and they’re all about comfortable, flattering, performance gear.
Now a few years into production, they’re steadily growing. All garments are designed in Bristol, and made in Italy.
I was treated to a full set of Fierlan kit – the summer shorts, summer jersey, and packable jacket (just in case). The entire set featured an attractive, royal blue colouring, with coral details, which gave a hint of high end luxury.
The jersey is constructed from four panels, but uses a curved, princess line seam designed to complement and flatter.
There are three back pockets, and one zipped pocket for valuables, and the dipped back hem is lined with a silicon gripper to ensure everything stays in place.
The full zip features a contrast lining, which matches the collar, and the jersey sat fairly long, ensuring a comfortable fit and full coverage.
The polyester material is designed to keep sweaty riders comfortable, and I was perfectly cool wearing this jersey on a hot summer’s day, for a 70 mile excursion around Kent and Surrey.
My only criticism would be that the hem on the sleeve lacked elasticity, and the shoulders were quite loose – which meant when in the drops, the sleeves hugged a little closely and I had excess material flapping a little bit around my shoulders. This of course comes down to personal fit, and perhaps my swimmers arms were partly responsible for the sub optimal arrangement.
I’m really more of a bib advocate than a waist shots fan. However, I’ll make exceptions for shorts with a proper high waist that fits correctly, and holds the shorts in place.
Initially, I tired these in a small. The fit was not correct, and I ended up pretty uncomfortable for 70 miles – with the shorts constantly slipping, resulting in a badly fitting chamois that kind of rubbed me up the wrong way. Thankfully, when I called Lucy to discuss the ‘issue’, she suggested sending an extra small pair to see how they compared. Hallelujah- she was right, and the correct size eliminated all my initial issues. The waist was high, and fitted snugly, and the endurance focused chamois did it's job to perfection. I took the second pair out for about 55 mile spin and was more than happy.
Fierlan understand the never ending battle with silicone sausage thighs, too, and say: "We do not use the frustrating silicon grippers that so often dig into your thighs, but instead include fold-over leg opening keeps the short legs down and your comfort level up." I completely agree with their approach.
Another interesting inclusion is the small zipper on the thigh. This is not something I've ever had before, or anything I've ever wished for. However, when provided, I found it very useful for storing the items I really, really didn't want to lose - namely keys, and credit card. I was initially concerned I might experience some chafing with items on my outer thigh moving around, but was pleasantly surprised. This completely removed any fear of losing my credit card whilst taking out my phone (it's happened, twice).
I've saved the best til last, because I love this packable. It's small enough to be rolled into a jersey pocket, and is a perfect wind breaker on a wet day.
I've had plenty of light, packable jackets in my time - but they usually resemble a white, grey, or black plastic bag. This one is stunning, right down to the snug fitting coral sleeves. I was so taken with the design, I even wore it out and about on summer evenings off the bike!
The fit is well designed to fit a woman, and the fabric is breathable enough that you won't get boil-in-a-bag effect on a breezy day.
In terms of waterproofing - I wore this in a torrential downpour, when my husband and I got caught in a French thunderstorm. No packable is designed to protect you from that sort of rain, and of course I was thoroughly drenched when we reached our hotel. However, I wasn't too hot (despite the very long, steep climb...) and I was kept dry in the early moments of the downpour.
Overall, I was really impressed with this kit. The designs are stunning, and fabric performance focused. My only criticism would be on a personal level, with the fit on the jersey sleeves and the slight mismatch between waist and thigh fit. However, not every brand is designed to fit every body, so I would never consider this more than an individual preference.
Jersey: £60, X-Small to X-Large - size tested, Small
Shorts: £70, X-Small to X-Large - size tested, Extra-Small
Jacket: £100, X-Small to X-Large - size tested, Small