As a female rider it is tough to find gear for all applications of riding and I am constantly on the look out for new riding specific pieces. Living in the North Eastern part of the US, I had only heard of Loeka Clothing through word of mouth, but never actually seen any pieces in person. Loeka is a ladies only clothing company that is producing technical clothing for us girls that
want our own gear that is made for us.
For the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of testing some fine women's mountain bike clothing made by Loeka. Owners Rory Harmse and Coreena Fletcher set me up with a pair of brown Tech Pants and a wicked-funky plaid Tech Jacket.See how it all stood up inside
,First off, here is a little tester background, I'm 5'7" and about 136 pounds. The clothing was worn on lengthy New York rides, from Westchester County at Graham Hills Park and Sprain Ridge Park, to Long Island at Glacier Ridge. All rides were more aggressive XC/AM and the bikes used were a Santa Cruz Nomad, Intense 6.6SS and a Specialized Stumpjumper. The average temperature was on the warm side at 66 degrees, but I'll take that in November on the East Coast any day. Jacket features
- Designed to wear with or without armor
- 320D Polyester outer layer for durability, protection and waterproofing to 20,000mm
- Mesh lining for comfort, wicking and breathability
- Under arm zipper vents for extra cooling
- Inside pocket to keep valuables safe and dry
- Removable hood also designed to fit over a helmet
- Adjustable wrists
- Shoulder gussets to allow for extra movement
- Available colors - Pinnin' It, Harmony and Black Orchid
- Sizing - XS, S, M, L and XL
- Size tested, Large
- $184.99 CAD msrp
The most unique feature on the jacket is the main zipper, which runs off to the right side of the jacket. A bit tricky to zip at first, but eventually I got it down without a hassle. The zipper styling makes for a smaller right pocket which isn't a problem but needs to be remembered, because if you stick something in there quickly without zipping up the pocket it could fall out - I almost dropped my wallet gassing up the car after a ride. There are many zippered pockets though, an inside one and one along the back of the jacket, like an XC jersey. Plenty of room for storage, which I always need. iPhone was well protected and that's what's important.
The detachable hood is an excellent feature as I found it a bit much with an XC lid and the pony tail holder. Full face helmet was more comfortable. The hood did fit over both helmet styles.
Adjustable wrist closures are a nice touch and can fit over gloves in a way that nothing is exposed to moisture, cold air, etc.
For 2010, the jacket will be receiving new names, Storm n Van (black with purple stitching), Yellow Leaves (plaid), and Pinstripe is pinstripe.
- Also made of 320D Polyester outer layer for durability, protection and waterproofing to 20,000mm
- Mesh lining
- Stretch panel built in to rear of pant for proper fit and placement while riding
- Articulated knees allow for full movement on and off the bike
- Side zipper vents
- Leg zippers allow you to put pants on over pads and shoes
- Belt loops and front snap closure
- Available colors - Chaos, Midnight Ripper and Princess Pin
- Sizing - XS, S, M, L and XL
- Size tested, Medium
- $159.99 CAD msrp
Just a heads up, the pants run BIG. I was in between sizes and made great use of the belt loops on the medium. They have a baggy fit, great for leg armor and/or knee pads which I wore during my last Westchester ride.
Again, lots of pockets, including two Velcro rear and one side Velcro/zipper pocket.
Adjustable ankles help keep everything out of the way of the rings and chain.
Despite the baggie style, the pants did not catch in any drivetrain components. There was some rub on the right crank of my Stumpjumper, but that is with any full length pants that are not spandex and really who wants to ride in tights?!
Overall the clothing was comfortable, fit well, was durable, functional and looked great. I had no issues with anything tearing or breaking. I was very fond of the zipper vents, which I had to use on every ride due to the warmer weather (not complaining about the nice weather as the cold is pretty much here now). I had a few comments and questions from others during my test rides, the most common being, "Kat, why are you wearing a snowboard jacket?" Co-owner Rory was pleased to hear that feedback as the company is trying to cross over to that sport as well. Due to the extreme waterproofness of the jacket and pants, they can be used for a day on the snow too.
My only regret was ordering the clothing after the local DH spot's season was already over. I think it would have done brilliantly and kept me warm and dry at the mountain, especially at the beginning or end of a season when the weather is a bit cooler and unpredictable. As I previously stated, I did wear knee and elbow pads during a test ride and armor did not affect the fit at all.
I enjoyed wearing Loeka's gear and appreciated the opportunity to do some testing. After my first ride I located them on Facebook and became a fan.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need more information on style or fit, or post comments below and I will do my best to answer here on the site.
Check out www.loeka.com
to learn more about their clothes for us ladies.
*New web site launching on December 18th 2009
All ride pictures taken by H.Ann G.