After getting its start in Hawaii in 1979 and eventually relocating to Oregon, Dakine has become a recognizable brand in the outdoor world. Their mountain bike products range from hydration packs to gloves to apparel. For this recent review, I got to test out their gravity short and one of their all-mountain jerseys.
Xena Bike Short
The Xena Bike Short from Dakine is go-to short for enduro-style riders who are seeking a durable and well-performing lower layer. With a blend of polyester and spandex, these shorts offer a four-way stretch that doesn’t inhibit movement on and off the bike. They are thicker in comparison to other shorts on the market, but perforation panels on the inseam and under the rear waistband offer airflow, keeping the rider cool on long adventure rides. There are also three, mesh-lined pockets that zip, including one on the thigh that can be used to store a phone or trail snacks.
Personally, I prefer a thicker short for gravity rides since they hold up to the wear and tear that often comes from technical riding. The sturdiness of the Xena short is one of the first things I noticed when I put them on and went for a spin. The 13-inch inseam falls right above the knee so there is no excess fabric getting in the way when pedaling, and the slightly-baggy fit leaves no gaps when wearing knee pads.
The shorts do have a higher-rise that stays up, which is nice. Since the shorts are meant to sit on the waist, it is best to use a waist measurement to determine size. If you are between sizes like me, you may want to size up. The shorts have internal adjusters that securely clamp down on the fabric, and the excess fabric doesn’t loosen up during rides.
The Xena shorts are only offered in black or a bright blue, which works for me since I am constantly looking for that perfect black baggy. At $80, the Xena bike short is on par with other shorts on the market, and its performance is well worth the price. Available at Competitive Cyclist and Backcountry.
Dakine Cadence 3/4 Jersey
The Cadence 3/4 jersey is a loose-fitting mesh jersey designed for the all-mountain/gravity rider. Just like the Xena Short, the Cadence Jersey is made from a blend of polyester and spandex providing that necessary stretch when moving around on the bike. The mesh material is lightweight and sweat-wicking. Even after long rides, I don’t find the jersey clinging to my body, and it barely holds any smell thanks to the polygene odor-control treatment
Inside on the left, bottom inseam is an easily accessible microfiber wipe that can be used to wipe eyewear clean. Since I ride in a wet area, this feature is important for me if I need to quickly clean my eyewear mid-ride without reaching into my fanny pack. The three-quarter length sleeves fall right past the elbow and are cut loose so you can comfortably wear elbow pads. The jersey is slightly longer in the back, but I found it to run a bit short in overall length. This was my only issue fit wise. Other than that, I found the jersey to run true to size.
The jersey is available in two patterns: a neutral-colored Desert Block or a funky Electric Dune. While the jersey is no longer available on the Dakine website, it can be purchased online at Evo for $55.
Thanks to Dakine for providing these items for testing.
The Feel Good, Ride Good series is an effort to help women find mountain bike gear and clothing that just feels right. We recognize women have different body shapes, styles, and needs so we hope to help them discover women’s products that fit those unique requirements so we can just focus on the ride. While we are all different, we all want gear that fits, that works, and matches the energy and personality we bring to the bike. We’ll be back on #FeelGoodFriday with more women’s MTB products.