Last year, I read about Machines for Freedom, a sweet new, all women’s cycling apparel company with a fine eye for detail. Did you say all women’s cycling? Did you say fashionable jerseys? This has been a long time coming.
Machines for Freedom
Machines for Freedom (MFF) is a Los Angeles based women’s cycling apparel company founded by Jen Hannon. It is company that specifically caters to women’s needs for cycling attire, AND has very good looking kits. What a breath of fresh air. To top it off this is a pretty cool name for a cycling apparel brand. I like how the name is abstract and speaks to the feeling of cycling. I can’t emphasize enough how the cycling industry has lagged far behind when it comes to women’s gear. Often the women’s selection is weak or non-existent in some shops. I have even found some very popular cycling clothing brands have mediocre cut and fit for women’s kits. Luckily things are starting to change. I decided I had to try out MFF, even if just to support the concept of this new brand and applaud a big step forward for the women’s cycling community.
I decided I would try out one of the MFF jersey’s, after trying one on and liking the fit. The Horizons jersey was my favourite design, with flattering pastel colours and a pattern reminiscent of mountains edges. Just my style.
I have been wearing the jersey now for 4 months (only one month outdoors).
The Jersey Fit
So far, I have found the fit perfect for me – however the jerseys run a bit small (I am often a small, but a medium in MFF). I love the way the neck collar is designed with a soft and secure zipper cover, so that the zipper doesn’t rub or dig into my neck. I absolutely love the long length, and the elasticity of the waist. The jersey doesn’t ride up on long rides the way a lot of my other jerseys do. The three back jersey pockets are very deep and elastic- perfect for holding a lot of things on long rides without jersey sag. Remarkably, there is no sag at all, even when I have stuffed the pockets on long rides of 70 km+.
The Jersey Fabric & Detail
The jersey gives you what I would like to call the invisible feeling- it feels so good and does the job so well that you don’t even notice it’s there. There is even a small zipper compartment sewn into one of the back jersey pockets for your valuables. It is a form-fitting jersey with no drag, and is exceptionally comfortable. The fabric has a very high end feel and wicks sweat very well. It is 75% polyester and 25% elastane. The high percentage of elastane is great for sweat wicking, and the soft and elastic feel of the jersey. It has all of things that I value in a solid jersey.
As a bonus, the jersey has beautiful detailing. The black mesh under the sleeves matches the contour of the back pockets, the zipper and the logo. The fabric also has a glossy sheen to it, making it look very luxurious and expensive. The sewn on logo is a nice touch and I like how understated and simple it is. The flattering colours and pattern make the jersey very attractive looking, and I receive a lot of compliments wearing it.
The main drawback of this jersey is the price tag. The cost at about $175 USD is a bit too high for me to consider purchasing multiple items at once. I believe the quality of the jersey is very high, from what I have seen, so it’s worth it to invest and see if the jersey makes it for the long haul. I would also say that given the extra attention to detail, high quality feel and attractive design, that you feel like you are getting a lot more than your typical jersey provides. Another drawback for the brand as a whole would be the availability in bike shops and other countries. It is not yet very easy to find for the purpose of trying on in the store.
Final Thoughts on MFF
I tried on the MFF bib shorts in an effort to buy the whole kit, and although I can’t provide a review for these because I don’t own them, I found them to feel a bit restrictive. I prefer the lighter and more elastic feeling of my Assos shorts for now, however, bib short fit is very subjective and everyone has their own body type and preferences. I did love the way that they looked. All of MFF designs are forward thinking and have great attention to detail. The Horizons jersey is now my go-to jersey for long rides, and my other jerseys really don’t compare. Overall I am impressed, and would consider investing in another one. I love the idea of this brand and the way that their marketing promotes women’s cycling. It is one of the few brands I have seen that provides unique and attractive designs while considering the comfort of the woman rider. The new FUTURE(ISMS) line looks very cool, and shows that MFF is willing to keep up with the times and the modern woman. It feels like progress to me, and progress looks good on you!
Happy jersey shopping!