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Women's Winter Cycling Kit: Best Finds of The Season

05 Jan 2018 By: Catriona Sutherland 0 comments

Women's Winter Cycling Kit: Best Finds of The Season

I’m sat writing this cosied up to the fire with snow falling outside; the roads and trails covered in shiny white stuff and less-than-tyre-friendly ice. Indeed, winter in the northern hemisphere has arrived in force and so it's time for all things warm, waterproof and reflective for riding.

If you’re in the market for weatherproof gear, here are some great options i've been using over the season to help combat the wet and cold conditions.

Gore-Tex ONE POWER LADY ShakeDry Jacket

Waterproof jackets are an essential part of winter cycling, but I often find them a little bulky and hard to store in my jersey pocket if the weather improves. I've been keeping an eye out for an answer to this issue and it looks like the problem has been solved!

Gore-Tex launched their ShakeDry range recently and the latest addition in the line-up for women is the ONE POWER LADY ShakeDry Jacket, a ridiculously light, ultra-protective waterproof layer that weighs as much as a single apple, but is certainly more powerful at protecting you against the wild, wet or just plain windy days on the bike.

I’ve being testing it out to see how it stands up.

What is Gore-Tex ShakeDry?

Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable, windproof membrane – it lets sweat out whilst preventing rain and snow from entering inside. Traditionally, an outer face fabric is bonded with this membrane, then finished with a treatment called DWR (durable water repellent). With ShakeDry garments, this membrane is placed on the exterior alone - no outer face fabric and no DWR needed. 

The issue with an outer face fabric is that eventually there's an element of ‘wetting out’ over time, as dirt and grime build up and the DWR treatment wears off. Ever wondered why your waterproof stops beading and water appears to be soaking in? The chances are it needs washed and the DWR revived. Another layer of fabric also adds weight.

So, the wonder of this new technology is there's no more wetting out and no need for re-treating the jacket with a DWR solution! 


What's The Benefit of ShakeDry Technology?

By removing an outer fabric layer you’re saving weight and pack size. With no need to re-treat, you'll also save money on reproofing solution. Another benefit I found was that since the membrane is windproof, I ended up wearing it as barrier against the icy blasts as well as rain. 

The Verdict?

My boyfriend took one look at me wearing the ONE POWER LADY ShakeDry jacket and aside from wishing he had one himself, suggested it’s certainly stylish enough to wear not just on the bike, but for a night out! Now, I'm not sure I'm ready to combine it with heels and a handbag just yet, but it's certainly striking and had comment after comment from fellow riders.

Taking influence from motorbike styling, I love the asymmetric zipper, cross-hatch stitching details and the high neckline, which was great for added protection together with a neck buff. There’s a handy reflective lined pocket for cards or keys on the front panel chest and the body, both with zips so you know your valuables are secure. To the back, an elasticated banding cinches it in at the waist, which gives it a feminine cut and finish. 

Aside from appearance, it has been my go-to jacket since it arrived. Whilst the ONE POWER LADY ShakeDry jacket is ultra-light, the integrity of the protective membrane has been top notch and as a result, i've hardly had it off my back this winter.

Price: £280

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Endura Women’s Windchill Gloves

I find hands and feet are without a doubt, the hardest to keep warm on a winter ride! I’ve struggled with mitts and almost been tempted by ski gloves to ward off the chill, but that doesn’t do much for dexterity. To keep my little fingers from freezing, I’ve been testing out Endura’s Windchill Gloves, which are both water resistant and windproof – a beefier version of the Singletrack gloves I’ve been using all summer.

The Verdict?

The Windchill feels protective without being too bulky; there’s a thick, yet soft upper fabric that combats cold air and a warm, microfiber palm and inner lining that's reinforced with gel pads for protection. I don’t care so much about gel padding in summer, but in the winter months when I’m riding off-road, cold hands feel every bump – so it’s a welcome feature.

For fit, I found the size small perfect for my little hands, and especially liked the longer cuff – which tucks nicely into a winter riding top or jacket and keeps out the elements. 

Price: £29.99

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Endura MT500 Baggy Waterproof Shorts

Endura’s MT500 Baggy Shorts have been added to the winter wardrobe and I’d suggest that even if you don’t ride a mountain bike, they work well as a commuting short for day to day.

First Thoughts

Trying them on for the first time, the Endura MT500 are a great fit – a feminine shape and not too baggy (although the name suggests so) – if a little shorter than I’d like perhaps. Sitting just on the knee, they’re articulated and fit neatly over knee pads too. They don't come with a bib insert as standard, but there is a fitting system so you can clip in a set of Endura's own inners - or choose to wear your own of course.


Best Bits

The magic is in the material! Endura have combined a 3 layer, fully taped, waterproof Cordura fabric on the seat of the shorts and back panels - an ideal choice given its reputation for being robust, but repelling water easily. Cordura is the choice fabric of the military - so if it’s good enough for the armed forces, it’s got to be good enough for the trail! 

For venting, there’s a handy set of zips to release heat if you're working on the way up. In Scotland, we’ve scaled from -10 to +10 over the winter months, so it’s a necessary addition. I’ve worn others that have left me in a sweat-soaked mess thanks to noisy, crunchy material, but the combination of this soft, stretch fabric with Cordura works really well on the MT500 Baggy Shorts.

The Verdict?

With time to play over the holidays, I've worn the Endura MT500 Baggy Shorts on numerous night rides and plenty of mucky, wet miles in the snow and mud. So far, they've stood up strongly but my preference would be for more coverage at the knee, as I found they rode up mid-ride. If you're not a mountain biker, but looking for something to use on a road commute, I think these are an ideal choice as they don't scream 'MTB', and have a slimmer fit than most.

RRP £ 79.99

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About Catriona Sutherland

Catriona is an avid mountain biker from the UK, favouring endurance events. She has competed in various 24 hour, marathon and stage mountain bike races around the world including the Joberg2c, Epic Israel and the Strathpuffer. Currently working as freelance marketing consultant, mountain bike guide and serial adventurer, Catriona is happiest riding her bike, drinking coffee and planning her next trip!

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