After spending years living and riding her bike in Europe, Australian native Mandy Davis became disillusioned with the lack of casual style riding clothing available to mountain bikers, especially for women. What Davis saw available was moto oriented kit, lycra and not much else in between. The more she became disheartened with the available options, the more she became interested in closing that gap herself, but it wasn't until she and her husband returned to Australia and re-immersed themselves into the outdoor lifestyle of her home country that she became truly inspired to take action. Taking the plunge, Davis threw everything into developing a line of riding clothing that offered both men and women a relaxed, easy going lifestyle inspired look that also functioned well in the warm Australian climate. And so from the sun and surf inspired beaches of Sydney's Northern Beaches, DHarCO
, short for Downhill Australian Rider's Company was born.
Like most classic surf styled casual wear, DHarCO bases its designs around simplicity rather than bells and whistles, and the evidence of this creed is easily visible in the range. The Ladies Gravity Shorts we tested are cut from a simple 4 way stretch polyester fabric that is breathable, moisture wicking, water repellant and was specifically developed to be durable yet lightweight for warmer weather wearing. On the design side, there is one side pocket on the right of the short and a back pocket to store smaller items as well. The waistband is a simple velcro system, and the crotch is designed to be "no snag". The short pictured here is Deep Orchard, and also comes in Dazzling Blue and Black with a retail price of $95 USD.
The Ladies Downhill Jersey features a relaxed, t-shirt style cut that's intended to leave room for slimline armor, yet still provide definition and shape. The jersey is made from a lightweight, moisture wicking, quick drying breathable polyester material, again catering to warmer climates. The cuffed sleeves are intended to help keep your jersey in place and the ribbed collar is stretchy, making putting the jersey on a little easier. There's also a sneaky side pocket for stashing smaller items in. The Gravity jersey comes in Purple Checkers (pictured), Blue Checkers, Peach Polka Dots and Blue/Green Polka Dots and retails for $65 USD. Pinkbike's Take:
|The Gravity shorts are quite simple in their design, but the thoughtfulness put into the material and construction makes them some of the most comfortable and best fitting shorts I have ever worn riding. They fall into that perfect all-round place between being stretchy and having a barely there feel. The inside finish of the short is super soft, while the outside feels like it's going to stand up to a scuff. I didn't have any major crashes while wearing these shorts, but I did have a few scuffles and after five months of use I'm still yet to get a nick or scratch on them. What I really liked about these shorts is that I could wear them both for long days in the trail riding saddle, and for more DH oriented days in the bike park. The one front pocket was totally fine for a phone or a snack and the smaller back pocket was perfect to carrying smaller items like a key or debit card for rides that warranted carrying as little as possible.|
I decided to size up on the jersey so I could easily pop elbow pads on for heavier duty riding days, and even with the added bulk of the pads and the larger size of the cut I still felt as though I was wearing a flattering garment. I found the breathability quite good on this jersey; on really hot days there was decent circulation through the material to help keep me cool and the material dried off pretty quickly when things got a sweaty. The Downhill jersey and shorts come in a fun color palette and print offering something that definitely looks a little different to what's currently available on the market. After having the Downhill shorts and jersey for some months now along with some of the other DHarCO pieces, I can honestly say that these are uber-comfortable, and in my opinion, good looking kits that more often than not I am opting to reach for when going for a ride. If you're after riding gear that's neatly tailored and that you can feel good in both on and off the bike, a kit from DHarCo is well worth a look. - Rachelle Frazer.
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