by Molly Hurford
In anticipation of Issue 21 of Cyclocross Magazine with our huge women’s feature, we’re taking a look at some of the kit and gear options out there for women these days. The fashion spectrum has improved drastically over the years, and finally companies are making clothing for women, not just taking men’s cuts and using pink fabric to call it women-specific. One of the kits I recently checked out was the Mavic Cloud shorts and jersey, which proved to be exceptionally comfortable while still staying in a competitive price range. Both pieces retail for under $80.
The jersey is definitely more club-cut than racer-cut, but that doesn’t mean it’s baggy or unflattering. It fits close, but not tight (when compared to other kit from Mavic and other brands in the same size), and it boasts built-in UV protection. The jersey is full-zip, and the pockets are big enough to hold whatever you might need (often, small pockets are an issue in women’s kits) so this was a great “long ride jersey.”
The plain color options with very minimal logos make it unobtrusive, so it’s a good basic to have in your kit closet. And for anyone who likes little extras, you’ll most likely love the Cloud jersey, since it comes with matching arm warmers. The fabric is a bit on the thin side for the jersey and arm warmers, so it’s great for the summer (the arm warmers are great for avoiding sunburn) and has room for base layers underneath when the temperatures finally drop and it’s cyclocross season again.
The Cloud shorts have the same fit as the jersey: a bit bigger than you’d expect, but not in a necessarily bad way. The paneling on the front allows you to breathe, rather than feeling constricted like some shorts have a tendency to do. It may sound like a strange comparison, but the panel on the front is similar to a pair of maternity pants: great for when you’re panting on a climb!
The Ergo 2D Women’s chamois is a little on the thin side, which I actually appreciated (no “diapering” issues with these shorts), but women looking for a bit more padding may not be as impressed. And, same as the jersey, the shorts are offered in basic colors, so they’ll go with anything you already own, or serve as alternatives to the shorts that come with your standard team kit.
One note: compared to the other Mavic kit that we’ve been reviewing (the Bellisima kit and Ventoux kit) and the other brands we’ve been looking at for the women’s clothing feature in Issue 21, the Cloud kit tends to be a bit more “club cut,” as I said previously. So if you like a snug fit on your kit, consider sizing down. The size small jersey’s arm warmers were falling off of my arms, and the shorts, while comfortable, were a bit loose in the leg bands. I love it as a casual, fun ride kit, but I’d probably opt for an XS or even XXS if I was planning on racing in it (I typically fit in a size small at 5’4″ and about 118 pounds). Luckily, they offer a huge size range, so there’s something for everyone.
Stay tuned for more from Mavic!
Shorts and Jersey MSRP: Both retail at $79.90 (but you can find great deals on the web if your LBS doesn’t carry them!)
Shorts Colors: black, pink and black, white
Jersey Colors: light blue, pink, green
Material: Sleek Wick ST