Fox is one of the best-known names when it comes to mountain bike clothing and accessories, but although the brand's kit is extremely popular, its women's offering was slimmed down several years ago. Fox began building it up again in 2014 and 2015 with new redesigned lines focusing on trail riding, and now the range has expanded further with brand spanking new jerseys and shorts for the downhill, freeride and enduro riding women out there.
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This expansion, according to Fox, is in response to increased success over the past few seasons. The brand has also increased its mens and kids offers.
"We believe our women customers and riders ride as hard as men do," a Fox representative said. "The idea this season was to offer the a wider range for every type of riding."
Included in the new range are downhill and freeride specific shorts, incorporating the same technical fabrics and detailing as can be seen in many of the men's products. In fact, in the case of the new Freeride and Demo DH shorts the only difference is the cut and the colouring.
"We use the same material applications but with a women's-specific fit," the Fox spokesperson added. "Logos and graphics take inspiration from the men's category but the colour story and designs are more feminine and unique to the women’s category."
Another element that will be of particular interest for taller women is the length of these shorts: both hang over the knees and easily cover knee-pads, which means no annoying gap between knee-pads and short hem when riding. The model in our photos is 5ft 8in / 1.74m tall and is wearing a size large, which we reckon equates to a UK/Aus 12/14, US 10/12. Jerseys and shorts go from S to XL.
The range also includes trail kit, tech tees and more, and Fox says that these too have equivalent levels of technical specifications but with women's-specific design elements.
"The different features are especially [evident] in the trail kits. Our Premium Women’s Lynx shorts are delivered with a women’s specific chamois pads for long rides, different patterning and pockets configuration," the spokesperson said. "The Lynx jersey has a totally different feminine patterning and a premium softer material that has an equivalent in the men's line."
The main colourways for 2016 include a black, turquoise and fluoro yellow line and a dark purple, pink and grey line. Polka dots and animal print also get a look in, though not all the products are coloured and patterned.
As well as downhill, enduro and trail kit, Fox has produced a cross-country line that includes form-fitting Lycra jerseys and women's-specific bib shorts, plus padded liner shorts, gloves and helmets.
While the new kit has been on sale for several months already in 2016, Fox is pushing the range via the release of a video featuring riders Clare Buchar and Katrina Strand. Fox, like many brands, is keen to emphasise that it's new product lines take into account feedback from the numerous top-level pros that wear its kit.
"Just as we do with our men riders, we test our products with our women elite DH riders and our women brand ambassadors. This is crucial to the success of the products. Also something which helps us to improve is that this apparel category is designed for women who ride by women who ride."
Australian pricing to be confirmed.
Women's Flux helmet
While Fox does produce some subtly coloured kit, the company is equally well known for it's loud'n'lairy in-your-face moto inspired patterns and designs. The 2016 version of the Women's Fox Flux Helmet (£72 / $99.95) sits firmly in the latter camp. The helmet itself hasn't been technically redesigned for 2016, but the new colourways are designed to complement the 2016 kit.
This means you get a choice of either the fluoro-yellow-and-turquoise-plus-animal-print or the pink, purple and black version, or it also comes in grey and pink or white and blue if you don't want to go quite that loud.
The helmet itself is an all-mountain / trail helmet with a deep rear profile for extra coverage, a visor and large ventilation vents. Fox also has a newly designed trail helmet out now – the Metah – and we've got more info on that in a recent 11spd gear roundup.
Women's Demo DH jersey
While the Women's Demo DH jersey (£40 / $59.95), a female specific version of the popular men's Demo jersey, may feature a women's specific cut, it's still designed to have plenty of room to fit over protective gear such as back protectors and body armour.
Constructed from a quick-dry polyester fabric with a more breathable mesh fabric at the sides, it has the loud eye-catching graphics you'd expect from a Fox jersey. Long sleeves, engineered collar and cuffs and fade-resistant graphics complete the jersey.
Women's Demo DH shorts
Durable downhill shorts constructed to fit women; that's the aim Fox had when redesigning their women's specific downhill shorts. The Demo DH shorts have been a staple of many a downhill riders' wardrobe for years, and the new women's version provides the same technical features with an adapted fit.
Tough polyester cordura forms the main body of the women's Demo DH shorts (£75 / $109.95), with a mesh lining inside. Stretch mesh at the rear and inside legs aims to provide sufficient give to allow freedom of movement and some ventilation. The rear of the waistband is cut higher to keep the riders lower back covered when learning forwards, and features large silicone grip patches to help keep the shorts in place.
A zip fly and sturdy plastic ratchet system, plus elasticated panels at the sides of the waistband, are designed to keep the shorts securely up when riding hard downhill, There's even a good-sized zip pocket on the left thigh to stow valuables or snacks in.
The Women's Demo DH shorts area available in black, turquoise and fluoro yellow - a colour way Fox calls Miami Green - or dark purple, pink and grey, called Neo Red.
Women's Free Ride Short
We know many women who, in the past, would just buy men's mountain bike shorts as finding ones with a leg length long enough to cover their knees or stay over kneepads when riding was virtually impossible. Happily for women who like a longer length of short or are tall, the Fox Women's Free Ride Short (£85 / $129.95) come in a pleasing and practical long length.
The shorts also don't skimp on the features. These are identical to the men's version, bar the colour options and the fit. Designed to sit better at the hips and waist, the shorts are still loose over the legs but with an ever-so-slightly more feminine cut - not form fitting, just less shapeless.
Constructed from a sturdy but flexible 4-way stretch fabric which allows plenty of freedom of movement, the shorts also have an elasticated panel at the back and laser-cut and reinforced ventilation holes at the inner leg. 3 zip-fastening pockets provide ample storage, and a zip fly with side fastening ratchet closure system keeps them securely done up. The shorts also feature what Fox calls it's 'RAP' or 'Rider Attack Position' cut which translates to a slightly higher cut at the back of the short waistband to ensure your lower back is covered when leaning forward over the bike.
The shorts are available in a plain black or plain fluoro yellow which will certainly make you stand out on the trail. It's bright!
All the colour ways are designed to be mix and match across the women's range, so you can go full-on moto DH with the matching Demo DH jersey and shorts, or tone it down with the Lynx Jersey and Free Ride shorts.