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
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
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.
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:
| 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|
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