Editors Note: Jeannine Labbe and I have emailed back and forth for sometime and she recently reached out to see if I would like a women’s opinion on a few things. As I take pride in being a well rounded testing site, I agreed to let her evaluate a set of Women’s gear for all you lady riders out there. I only gave her one condition however… She had to be brutally honest with her findings. Below is Jeannine’s honest review of the Fly Racing Women’s Lite set of gear.
By Jeannine Labbe:
Finding a high end set of women’s gear is hard to do. Finding a high end set of women’s gear with clean colorways (or even more than one) is nearly impossible. FLY Racing’s Women’s Lite racewear checks both boxes, so, when Keefer offered to let me do a review for Keefer, Inc. Testing, I jumped at the chance.
After receiving the Women’s Lite gear in Blue/Hi-Vis, we headed out to Little Sahara State Park for a few days of riding in it. Little Sahara has nice mix of dunes and sand trails, so it afforded me the chance to see how the gear worked when riding at speed, when shifting positions on the bike for steep hills, when transitioning from standing to sitting and back again through the trails, and even how well gear holds up to running through bushes and tree branches.
The first thing that I noticed after putting on the gear is that it is really comfortable. Like wearing a favorite set of soft pajamas comfortable. The materials are soft against the skin and the overall feeling is really light. I typically change out of my riding gear between rides, but kept the FLY Women’s Lite gear on all day just for this review. I’d put in on before our first ride of the day and not take it off until after sunset, well after our last ride, when the temps dropped into hoodie territory. I must also say that I’m also a huge fan on the clean lines and colors of this gear set. The subtle addition of the darker shades of blue on the front provides nice visual contrast while also providing some camouflage if your belly is not as flat as you might want it to be.
The Women’s Lite jersey features multi-panel construction with raglan sleeves, a tag-less v-neck Lycra collar, an extended tail, mesh ventilation panels down the sides and the inside of the arms, shorty cuffs, and sublimated graphics. The sublimated FLY Racing graphic is well placed to not look weird across the bust line, as can happen when graphics don’t span most of the length of a shirt or jersey. The choice of hi-vis on the blue colorway for the mesh inserts provides a pop of color, but it has the downside of being like a highlighter for belly bulges.
FLY refers to the jersey’s fit as women’s pro-fit. It has a slimmer fit with a cut that complements a woman’s curves. The sizing is close to being spot on, but might run just a bit large. I’m 5’3”, 145 lbs, and carrying about 15 extra pounds of baby weight (despite the “baby” having just turned 4). I fall between a medium and large, a problem I frequently have in street clothes, too. The medium jersey fit, but showed off my extra curves, so I opted for a large. It’s a bit loose, but not baggy. If you are considering two sizes, I’d suggest going for the smaller size if you are trim or don’t mind showing some bulges and going for the larger size if you prefer to better hide your imperfections. The v-neck is small enough to keep most of the roost out, but large enough to not feel tight. Sleeve length was nearly perfect for me, so it could be a bit short if you have longer arms, particularly if you wear a smaller jersey.
The Women’s Lite pant features a lightweight minimalist design, a ventilated mesh liner, 90% stretch panel construction, pre-shaped knees, leather heat shields, adjustable waist belts, leg cuffs with a removable elastic band, and sublimated graphics. The knees have a low profile padding in them that should provide some abrasion resistance and resistance against knee braces rubbing through. I don’t wear knee braces, but the knees are roomy enough that you should be able to run them without them getting bound up in the pants.
As with jersey, the pants run fairly true to size, but a tad on the large size. I wear a size 10 jean and they are typically a little loose. The 9/10 Women’s Lite pants are very loose. The 7/8 pants fit, but looked like yoga pants. Since I didn’t feel comfortable wearing bright blue yoga pants on a dirt bike, I opted for the 9/10. As with the jersey, if you are between sizes and on the thin side, you’ll probably want to opt for the smaller size. If you opt for a larger size, the side belts gives you the ability to really cinch down the waist. I love the waist belt design. The belts just pull forward and attach with Velcro. They are much faster and easier to use than the old style where you run the belt back and then pull them forward through a loop. Their soft and low profile design is much more comfortable when you lean over, too. The pants also feature my favorite motocross pant closure system of a zipper covered by a Velcro tab. It’s quick to use and low profile. The pants sit below the waist and are fairly short in the crotch. They come with removable hip pad that have large holes in them to allow maximum air flow. The pants have enough stretch that the pads do not affect the fit, but they do add odd looking bulges so I opted to not wear them. The interior of the waistband has silicone grips that grab well enough to be uncomfortable if you try to untuck your jersey between rides.
The pants feel very light. The leather heat shields feel heavy relative to the rest of the pants, but that feeling goes away when you put on boots, which support most of the weight. The mesh liner, which goes to the knees, is soft and comfortable and its hi-vis color actually shows through the pants, giving the top of the pants a slightly more yellow color than the jersey. The pant legs, with their slim fit, lightweight material at the back, and mesh at the front, fit very comfortably into my Alpinestars Tech 7 boots. With my short legs and large pants size, I did have to pull the pant legs up and hold them in place with my boots to get the knee in the correct area. This didn’t cause any comfort or performance issues, though.
The FLY Women’s Pro Lite glove is a minimalist glove with a perforated Clarino palm and heart-shaped silicone grips on the first two fingers. The material on the back is form-fitting, stretchy, and features the same light to dark color pattern as the jersey. Clarino material wraps around the back of the thumb and a Velcro closure allows you to tighten the fit around your wrist if needed.
The gloves are a bit difficult to pull on. The opening is small enough on my size 6 (small) gloves that the Velcro closure is redundant. The unpadded palm is a bit thick for my taste, but only because I have small hands and run small diameter grips or half waffle grips with the waffles removed. The thickness of the Clarino on the palms made the grips feel large and ultimately made my arms pump up. After fighting it for a couple half hour rides, I finally had to switch to my thinner Thor Void gloves. I wanted to get in more a durability test on the gloves, but needed to be able ride for more than a few minutes at a time.
The pants/jersey retained their comfortable nature on the bike and they didn’t restrict movement. The sleeves of the jersey stayed in place without being tight around the wrists. The pants didn’t catch on the shrouds and didn’t pull when moving my legs forward or up, which I appreciated. My one gripe is that, after an hour or so of riding, the pants stretched out enough that they started to pull down a bit in back in situations where I slid back on the seat. My hips kept me from worrying about them actually falling down, but it was a bit annoying. However, even with the pants pulling down a bit, the jersey stayed nicely tucked in. This could be because the tail is long enough, or it could be product of me being very short-waisted and wearing a larger jersey. The leather heat shields on the interior of pant legs did their job to protect my legs from the hot head pipes the couple times that I low-sided and ended up under the bike.
While the neckline was high enough to keep the roost out, the mesh inserts allowed in plenty of sand. It was windy out, so most of the sand might have from crosswinds rather than roost, but, regardless, I had a decent amount of sand on my back by the end of the day, which can be common with most jerseys.
I was impressed by the ventilation of the gear. The temperature never got extremely hot, but I remained comfortable in nearly 80 degree weather. When riding at speed in a standing position, the pants flow a surprising amount of air. I usually ride in TLD GP Air pants with mesh inserts and the air flow was almost comparable. The jersey breathes well, but it doesn’t perform as well as the pants do when compared to a full mesh model. On the flip side, when the temps dropped into the low 60’s in the evening, I didn’t need to change jerseys or add a jacket as I often need to with fully vented gear.
Durability is mixed bag, though mostly good. I somehow got a snag on finger of one glove before I had even started riding. The mesh inserts of the jersey also snag easily. However, the pants and the rest of the jersey held up well to repeatedly brushing up against bushes on the trails. At one point, I even broke a 1” diameter branch with my forearm although my arm was scratched and bruised you can’t even tell that the jersey took a big hit. The pants and the non-mesh sections of the jersey don’t show any sign of the repeated bush strikes neither. Another minor issue is that the stitching has started to stretch out a bit on the sides of the knees and on the shoulders where my chest protector and my Camelbak hit. I don’t know that the jersey would have this issue without the Camlbak, so if you are just riding moto, you would likely not see the issue there. Regardless, it’s minor, but you can just see the stitches; they don’t appear to be pulling out.
Overall, I love the FLY Women’s Lite Racewear. It will be my new go to gear in all but the hottest and most humid weather. I hope to do a follow-up review on its long term durability and the hot weather performance. It could prove to even be my favorite hot weather gear.
The Women’s Lite pant retails for $149.95, the Women’s Lite jersey for $38.95, and the Women’s Pro Lite glove for $29.95. In addition to Blue/Hi-Vis, the gear is available in White/Black and Neon Pink/Black. Over the boot pants are available in White/Black and Neon Pink/Black for $114.95.
If you have any questions, get them to Keefer and I’ll be happy to answer them. And a special thanks to Kris and Keefer, Inc. Testing for giving me the opportunity to review the FLY Women’s Lite racewear.