Madison Zena Jersey and Short - Review

Oct 10, 2016
by Lauren Jenkins  
Zena riding kit

From its modest beginning as a small bike shop in North West London in 1977, to one of the UK's leading cycling distributors, Madison has become one of the biggest names in the European mountain bike industry. Madison may be familiar to mountain biking because of the Madison Saracen team, and while Madison had longstanding deals in place with the Athertons and also work alongside a number of teams in all branches of cycling. It wasn't until 2009 that Madison launched its clothing line. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength. Dedicated to providing high-quality apparel to the cycling market, Madison are constantly striving to improve their products - and the same goes for women's kit. Madison are bringing more women onto the design team in order to further improve their options for female riders. The Zena kit is part of their mountain range, aimed at cross-country and all-mountain riders.

Zena Short Sleeve Jersey

Madison Zena Kit
Madison Zena Short and Top

The Zena short sleeve is designed for anything from long days in the saddle to a quick after work trail ride. Made from a highly breathable fabric and moisture wicking material, it's is designed with comfort and breathability in mind and also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Jersey Details:
• 1/4 length front zipper allows for temperature control
• Mesh vent panels ensure you stay cool
• Zippered pocket on the rear of the jersey
• Stitched in micro suede optics wipe
• Colors: Aqua Blue, Aspen Yellow or Very Berry
• Sizes: UK 8 to 16
• MSRP: £27.99.
More info
Madison Zena Kit
Zippered pocket for more storage.

Zena Shorts

Madison Zena Kit
Madison Zena Short and Top

Zena shorts are constructed with a durable stretch fabric with a water-repellent (DWR) coating. With a four-way stretch crotch panel and lightweight material throughout, the Zena short is designed to offer a maximum range of movement and keep riders comfortable in the saddle. There is ample storage, with five zipped pockets for all your necessities, as well as well-placed vents to keep air flowing through on hotter rides. The shorts also offer a good degree of adjustability with a built-in elasticized waist strap for a comfortable fit.

Short Details:
• Zippered hand and cargo pockets and an ergonomic phone pocket provide you with ample storage
• Silicone print in the back of the waist grips to your liner short to prevent any unwanted movement
• Two pop studs and a chunky fly zipper keep the shorts in place.
• Double and triple needle stitching in all the right areas ensure bombproof construction
• Colors: Phantom (pictured), Aqua Blue
• Sizes: UK 8 to 16
• MSRP: £49.99.
More info.

Madison Zena Short and Top
Five pockets provide ample storage.

Madison Zena Short
Adjustable straps for the perfect fit.


I opted for the shorts in a UK size 12 in the Phantom colorway, and a Very Berry jersey in UK size ten. I always opt for a slightly bigger size short to allow for padded liner underneath, and the fit and sizing for both the short and jersey were both comfortable. At 5'9 I found myself wishing the jersey was a little longer, but was happy that the shorts were a good length for my height. I wore the kit in mostly high temperatures in Morzine, France, and found the short to be the better performer in the heat. Overall, in terms of pricing and quality, I was impressed, especially when considering the color and size options available.

Zena Short Sleeve Jersey: The Zena jersey is extremely well made and the fabric has a high quality, durable feel. As well as having a nice feel to it, it's also very stretchy making it really comfortable to wear and the optics wipe came in handy for wiping my glasses. I went for the Very Berry for the pop of color, while pink may not be everyone's favorite, I quite like mixing dark shorts with a bit of color and the pink is quite rich. My one issue with it, despite the vents and breathable fabric, is the fact I found it quite hot when out on long rides in high temperatures as it felt quite stuffy. However, I can see this being the perfect option for the cooler autumn evenings when it's still too warm for a long sleeve jersey. The pocket was also a welcome addition, it's a great size and can be used for a phone, keys, or a trail snack. The fit was also true to size, and although it's quite fitted the stretchy fabric ensures it's not restrictive. Overall I was impressed, especially as it's affordable and feels great.

Zena Baggy Shorts: Zena Baggy Shorts are a good all 'rounder. Great for long rides or a quick blast, they are comfortable, with a well-thought-out design. I went for a UK size 12, knowing that I'd prefer something with a bit of room for wearing my padded shorts underneath, and just on the off chance they were too tight in a smaller size. There were two things I quite liked about the shorts: one was the amount of pockets - I'm not one for storing things in my pockets when I'm riding, but it did come in handy when I didn't want to bring a bag, but still wanted to bring a multi-tool, phone, keys, or a few other essentials. Secondly, I liked the fact that they felt lightweight and were pretty breathable. The vent panels did keep me cool.

As someone who is on the taller side (5'9"), I was glad that I didn't get the dreaded gap between my knee pads and the bottom hem while I was riding. The shorts are a good fit too, not tight and with just the right amount of baggy for a trail short, and the Velcro straps on the side meant I could adjust for the most comfortable fit. Overall, the shorts have well-thought-out features, they are quite attractive, and come at a good price - with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes Madison's Zena short and jersey are well-thought-out and affordable, and would be good investments for women looking for a comfortable, everyday trail kit. - Lauren Jenkins

Visit the high-res gallery for more images.

MENTIONS: @SaskiaD / @LaurenJenkins


  • + 21
 Pink and teal how original. You can definitely tell madison is pushing the boundaries of women's kit design. No other manufacturer has done what they have. My mind has been blown for the rest of the day.
  • + 6
 If I bought that pink jersey for my wife she would roll it up and shove it up my a...
  • + 7
 "I opted for" they do other colours as well.
  • + 2
 Yeah this is the exact kind of women's bike (or ski) clothing thing that pisses my wife off. Companies need to get past the shrink it and pink it strategy if they want to attract women to their brand.
  • + 5
 I work for one of the larger clothing companies in the industry and pink and teal are the most popular colours for women.
The proof is in the sales. supply & demand.
  • + 1
 @Justmatthew: I'm not the biggest fan of pink (you wouldn't think it from pink jersey AND pink helmet) but I don't mind a bit now and again. I think it depends on the garment as a whole, the style as to what colour I'd choose, and I liked the pink more than the blue and yellow options this jersey comes in. If I had my way all my kit would probably just be black and grey! I do see everyone's point, though, pink and teal are popular colours in women's apparel.
  • + 1
 @laurenjenkins: I love the look of those shorts, and the quantity of pockets! Do you happen know of any distributor who will ship them to the States? Didn't see any international shipping options on their site Frown
  • + 2
 @ryetoast: I'll do some digging for you and see if I can find out. Feel free to PM me if you don't hear anything!
  • + 1
 @ryetoast: You can purchase it from their website, no distributors in the US currently. If you have any trouble drop me a PM
  • + 10
 I've got some adisonn shorts, in a manly camo with neon yellow trim for extra Enduro props. Anyway they are brilliant shorts, tough, long lasting and we'll positioned zip pockets, great padded liner too
  • + 9
 Your kneepad tan lines are LEGIT !! Big Grin
  • + 5
 Try as I might I can't get rid, thankfully it's coming up to winter in Wales so my tan lines will be hidden away until the sun comes back out!
  • + 3
 @laurenjenkins: It was still summer in South Wales this weekend! And good choice on the colours - pink looks great in photos.
  • + 2
 @laurenjenkins: They are a badge of honor. Like my white hands and brown arms!
  • + 4
 You can tell it's for girl shredders because it is magenta and teal, the official colors of women's MTB *eye roll*.
  • + 7
 Ftfy: You can tell it's for enduro shredders because it is magenta and teal, the official colors of enduro *eye roll*.
  • + 2
 i dunno. i see more dudes riding bikes with and wearing these types of colors. i don't think there are any gender specific colors in mtb.
  • + 2
 @cuban-b: I agree there aren't.
  • + 3
 @cuban-b: this. For all the griping about gender colours, I see a ton of dudes riding with pink or magenta. Hell, even my bike bike is draped in purple loveliness!
  • + 0
 @VwHarman: he's but men's kit comes in yellow green blue neon orange red white, you know, colours other than pink, teal and purple. It's not just MTB it's outdoor equipment in general
  • + 1
 @browner: i dunno. yeti uses teal on their bikes and kits. richie and graves been rocking that for years. purple is all over anodized parts from the 90s and today. and the name of this website is called... i can go on all day.
  • + 2
 @VwHarman: You are correct, there are an increasing number of male riders using a bigger range of colors - which is great!

I worked in a bike shop for 4 years and currently work in the bike industry. My comment is because I've heard a lot of women complain that almost all new gear that comes out for them is the same color scheme. I am not saying that those colors are strictly for girls, but that there should be MORE color offerings for female - not just pink and teal.
  • + 1
 @thepwnstar39: I can't argue with it put that way! I find a lack of colourway options silly as the pattern is where the design lies, and fabric is just a set up issue for the manual part of the process. I can't see why offering a couple more colours would add more than a couple bucks to the cost of the final product.
  • + 2

Black is the best... Smile
If you dirt your hands on your creamy chain, you just wipe them in your dress...
  • + 2
 Im a female mountain bike rider and I LOVE pink. Give me everything in pink and with sparkles. Cheers.
  • - 2
 Remember, women are only allowed to wear some combination of pink, purple, teal, turquoise, black and white while outdoors. Given these Rules, it's pretty avant-garde that Madison offers one item in line up in yellow. Bold move.

Arcteryx must love that people will pay $800 for a jacket simply because it's available in other colours. As with all things, no risk means no reward.
  • + 2
 i like madison stuff. good value and lasts.
  • + 2
 The shorts have HOW many zippered pockets?! TAKE MY MONEY!!!
  • + 0
 The shorts are cool, but the boy is funny... Smile
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