England’s Peak District is home to the design base of Flare Clothing Co. who, since 2013, have been churning out rad-looking, functional, and rather reasonably priced mountain bike clothing for men and women. I got my hands on a selection from the women’s range; the new for 2018 Stage Jersey, Solar Jersey and Roost Downhill Shorts, all made in Portugal.
Believe it or not, Scotland has been basking in one of its most glorious summers on record, making those long uphill slogs to our favorite enduro trails a rather sweaty experience. We find ourselves throwing caution to the wind (or distinct lack thereof), abandoning the protective gear and hunting out lightweight and breathable clothing to keep us cool.
2018 Solar Jersey
The 2018 Solar short sleeved jersey, made for blazing hot (or slightly sunny) days on the trail, is made from lightweight, wicking polyester. The slim fitting jersey with a dropped tail was without fault. It feels like a good quality piece of clothing and was plenty breathable. The artwork on this particular one isn’t for everyone, but Flare appear to cater to many tastes with a range of eye catching and unusual designs. Available in 2 color ways, sizes 8-20 (UK) for $45.
2018 Stage Jersey
Flare say the Stage is about endurance, durability and style. Ascending vertiginous slopes before tearing down roots, rocks, and everything in between. As such, the 3/4 length sleeves are loose fitting allowing plenty of wiggle room. Made from 100% polyester, this jersey is wicking and breathable, featuring a super lightweight back panel to enhance breathability. The fit is good – slim with a dropped tail and very comfortable to ride in. Available in 2 color ways, sizes 8-20 (UK) at $52.
Roost Downhill Short
Flare say the Roost is about shredding down gnarly Alpine tracks, digging deep on your race run at Fort William, or sending it on a 30ft double at the local woods. The Roost Downhill short is made from 500D Cordura, a super durable material but comfort isn’t compromised with the addition of 4-way stretch panels. I can’t say I put the durability through any rigorous testing with no crashes to speak of but it certainly feels like a tough material that wouldn’t tear very easily.
The Short features an adjustable waistband and crossover fly and there are two zipped pockets to keep your phone and keys safe while on the uplift. The seat area is double layered for maximum comfort and minimal chafe. An attempt at improving the breathability of these heavy-duty shorts is seen with the knee vents and mesh lining.
While standing up and walking around, the ergonomic fit of the shorts can leave you feeling as though they might fall down at any minute. A snug fit across the thighs and a loose fit across the waist makes perfect sense when you climb aboard your racing machine, however. Flare do say there is no stretch in the main shell of these shorts, so if you’d prefer a little extra room order one size up. The stitching on our pair had started to unravel after just 2 ride/wash cycles – we hope this is an isolated incident. That said, the shell material is robust and I would trust it to keep me safe from cuts and scrapes. These are proper baggies and fit comfortably over knee pads with room for movement to spare. Only available in Black, though the Flare detailing can be customized to match your jersey color, sizes 2-14 (US) at $72.
Flare also have a full range of men’s mountain biking apparel, including jerseys, shorts and lycra (shudder).