First it was pink, then black, and now turquoise. Women’s mountain bikes, shorts, and helmets were starting to look the same. I’ve never been one to conform and resisted a lot of women’s specific products for years. Some gals just want to stand out on the trail, including myself. Of course, soaring into a tuck no-hander will make you stand out, but for those of us that aren’t quite there yet, here are a 10 products and brands that can help showcase your style while still getting the job done.
Pactimo Women’s Apex Jersey – Artist Designed
Pactimo partnered with a number of artists to bring colorful artwork to life on their popular Apex jersey. This one, Multi Diamonds by Sarah Bagshaw, has all the colors of the rainbow. Just wearing it brightens my mood and makes me feel a little more energetic on the bike. The jersey itself is a lightweight tech shirt style, ideal for warm weather rides. The cut is slim but not tight and fits like your favorite t-shirt. Overall, the Apex is a no-fuss jersey that you’ll want to have multiple styles and colors of. Pactimo has at least 19 different designs in their Artist Series for the Apex jersey with a variety of bold colors, tropical vibes, and abstract patterns. One of these unique jerseys costs $60, which is just $5 more than their classic style. You can also get many of the designs on the Pactimo men’s Apex jersey and road kits.
Buy it: $60, available at Pactimo.com
Supacaz Ignite Ti Saddle & Grizips
Supacaz, based out of Santa Cruz, California, makes head-turning, colorful cycling products. I was drawn to the neon, oil-slick, and rainbow color palette in their products which includes not only saddles but grips, bottle cages, gloves, stem caps, and valves. Plus, for the roadie with flair, they have bar tape and cycling kits. I had been holding out on accessorizing my Stumpjumper until finding just the right color scheme, and the Supacaz Ignite Ti saddle was the perfect starting point with a neon pink fade to neon yellow. While not technically a women’s saddle, the overall sizing and shape is not significantly different from most women’s saddles. The generous cut-out serves to alleviate pressure in a rider’s most sensitive sitting areas and the generally short length allows for a lot of movement in, out, and around the saddle.
The Ignite saddle has a firm feel and the cover is slick — both in looks and finish. There’s certainly a lot to consider when selecting a mountain bike saddle and I still need to put in a looooong ride to really commit to the Supacaz Ignite Ti. It’s safe to say my initial testing has been very promising. Available in 143mm and 155mm widths.
Buy it: $185, available at Supacaz.com
The Supacaz Grizips come in a rainbow of colors to complement any bike. They grip as well as expected and get the job done. They’re also easy to install. The only problem was having to select a color. Oh if these aren’t bright enough to see at night, Supacaz also has glow-in-the-dark grips.
Buy it: $20, available at Supacaz.com
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Dakine Drafter Women’s Hydration Pack
The Dakine Drafter has always been a classic and versatile hydration pack. The 14L women’s Drafter offers ample storage capacity for your epic Monarch Crest days or all your daily riding provisions, plus space for about five burritos in the main compartment. Carrying all these “necessities” plus 3L of water on your back may seem like more trouble and discomfort than it’s worth. Fortunately, there are two features to minimize having a back smothered with a heavy, cumbersome load.
First, the mesh back panel keeps the pack from actually touching your back and second, and perhaps the most stand-out feature of this pack, is the placement of the water bladder. The women’s Drafter houses the bladder low in the pack so the weight of the pack is better distributed to your lumbar region. Keeping that water low and contained means less sloshing and pack jostling when the trail gets rough.
The women’s specific fit helps the pack stay put while riding. The span between the straps is designed for womens’ narrow shoulder widths and the sternum strap can be placed high up on the chest. If you regularly ride with a hip pack and have some bigger rides requiring more carrying capacity, this will be a comfortable pack.
Buy it: $135 MSRP, See the deals on previous year’s colors
Wild Rye Clothing
We’re recognizing Wild Rye for making inclusive mountain bike apparel for the everyday, outdoor-loving gal. Besides the fun and functional clothing, this brand really stands out for producing their products in a sustainable manner and empowering women through their partnership with SheJumps and initiatives like Women-Led Wednesday.
A big frustration with women’s mountain bike apparel is the fit. If you’re short or curvy or both, you’re bound to have a tough time finding something to wear that isn’t too long, too small, or too fitted, and is it too much to ask for some pockets, please? Enter the Freel shorts by Wild Rye.
The Freel shorts fit great and are comfortable on and off the trail. These shorts are amazingly comfortable and stylish. They are made out of a breathable, yet durable nylon. The inseam is pretty long but the shorts don’t feel baggy. I’m not constantly feeling like my pants are falling down as I have with other shorts. They are designed with standard front pockets and a storage pocket on the lower leg that is handy for a credit card or granola bar. The fabric repels water nicely too, which is one less thing to worry about if you get caught riding in an afternoon storm.Hannah Morvay
Buy it: $119, available at Competitive Cyclist
The Sandia shirt is nice for early morning rides in the high country. The mesh and wicking material, made of recycled polyester, used on this shirt make it super breathable. There are three pockets on the back, useful for water, phone, and snacks. This is a great end of summer/early fall riding shirt. It’s perfect for those in between temperatures when you don’t want something heavy but a normal jersey just isn’t going to cut it. My only gripe with this shirt is that the fabric snags really easily. Friction from my hydration pack and brushing against a few overhanging branches on the trail made it look much more worn than it was.Hannah Morvay
Buy it: $95, available at Competitve Cyclist
Singletracks Women’s Jungle Jersey
We just got these jerseys in and yah, it’s the best thing since the 13-speed drivetrain. Obviously, I’m biased but was your first thought not, what does the jungle leaves have to do with mountain biking? See there, stand-out gear makes you stop and think. The amazing designers at Spacecraft Collective presented a design with some tropical flair and I knew these were my people! Somehow I added over 50 tropical houseplants to my collection this year and my monstera deliciosa has been going wild. The jungle represents the unknown, the mystery, the thrill and fear that comes along with mountain biking.
The jersey is lightweight, made of anti-bacterial pique polyester with a mesh back (not shown) for maximum cooling and venting — because, you just might be riding in the jungle — or just Florida.
Buy it: $60, only at the Singletracks Store
Shredly MTB Short
Oh dinosaurs, you will never be forgotten as long as I have my trusty Shredly Jonesy MTB shorts. No, these are not kids’ shorts, they most certainly are made for women. These Shredly shorts have everything a woman might want from a mountain bike short: adjustable waist, thigh vents, 4-way stretch, pockets galore, and the jeweled buttons add a nice sparkly touch. But the patterns are the icing on the cake. You’ll find floral and cacti, woodland creatures, jungle flair, and vibrant colors that pop in the deepest forests and sunniest skies. Shredly’s MTB shorts cost $98, chamois not included.
I’ve never had an issue with these on the bike. The waistband doesn’t dig into your stomach like some shorts, and Shredly even makes elastic waistband shorts that totally eliminate this problem. The straight leg cut keeps makes the leg looking long and slim and when in the saddle there’s enough room for movement. The Jonesy and the Lisa jungle print are my go-to shorts because they’re functional and fun! Wearing these fun prints is always a good reminder that mountain biking is a blast despite the crashes and Strava segments.
Industry Nine Wheels
Industry Nine makes some of the best mountain bike wheels, and this time I wasn’t just reeled in by the pretty colors. Starting at $1,325 for the Trail 270 wheels, you can get custom colored spokes hand-built for a one-of-a-kind wheelset with Hydra hubs for maximum engagement. Nope, I didn’t go with the blue/silver set-up, but after demoing them for a weekend in Pisgah, I had an eye-opening ride experience. Not only were the I9 wheels significantly lighter, I felt more connected to my bike through techy spots and climbs. Singletracks writer Michael Welch also recognizes the instantaneous response from Hydra in the Enduro 310C wheelset and I have to agree with him that I9 wheels would be the one of the best upgrades you could make to your bike.
Kitsbow Icon Shirt
When the time comes to KonMari my gear closet, I know for certain the Kitsbow Icon shirt would stand-out as a keeper. Most flannels mountain bikers wear strike a balance between technical features and a laid-back mountain lifestyle appearance, and Kitsbow goes above and beyond with a shirt that is obsessively focused on quality.
Hand-tailored in California, the Icon is made of heirloom-quality Pendleton wool. The shirt is soft, warm, and slightly heavier than most flannel shirts while not feeling bulky. The technical features are subtly integrated so the craftsmanship of this piece remains the spotlight. The elbow patches serve as a water and dirt repellent and provide an additional layer against light abrasion from the trails. Articulated shoulder vents piped with reflective lining blend right into the plaid pattern. Even the backs of the snap fasteners are covered, contributing the clean look and feel.
Smith Forefront 2 MIPS
Remember the stand-out fluorescent green Koroyd of the Smith Forefront? Well, you can still get that option but with the Forefront 2 you can also get all the protection of Koroyd but with a helmet color way that stands out even more. The Jade/Deep Ink colors (shown above) make for a fun lid with serious protection. This helmet has a MIPS liner for added protection against rotational motion. Plus, 20 large vents keep your head cool as the honeycomb-patterned Koroyd allows air in. Great rear coverage extends to the base of your neck.
Buy it: $230, currently on sale for $169.93 at REI
Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon
This is perhaps the item that started it all. Honestly at first I found the colors on the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon outlandish and thought, oh geez, here we go again with pink women’s bikes. Then, in unknown territory among the trails of Sedona she was there for me smashing every rock and punching up every hill with endless energy.
My Stumpjumper is a carbon trail bike with 27.5″ wheels and 150mm travel. Since this is a women’s version, the suspension is tuned for lighter-weight riders, so when you’re a burrito over 100 lbs and riding an extra-small frame you can still get full squish! The stock build comes with a 12-speed NX Eagle drivetrain, Guide R brakes, a dropper post, other Specialized details, and a SWAT box. It’s a solid component package with room to upgrade or customize in the future.
You can choose a bike based on specs, geometry, even color but you’ll know the one that’s right for you will stand out.
Buy it: $4,520, available at Specialized
Ladies, what do you wear to stand out on the mountain bike trail?