I’ve got a problem with most of those stretchy, made-for-bike-racing jerseys.
They’re mostly too tight, for one. Also, I hate the way they gather at the bottom, then ride up my belly as I pedal.
That’s why half the time when I head out on my bike I end up wearing just a regular, loose-fitting tech-fabric shirt. It’s not ideal. No pockets, for one. And I look a little rodeo clownish, with big padded shorts on the bottom and a flappy shirt over that. Ug.
Last week, a California-based company called Tonik, which makes performance cycling clothes for women, sent me some goods to try. I slid a black jersey with horizontal, candy-colored stripes out of the package, along with a pair of bright-colored wrap-around skirts.
The material felt slightly thicker than most of my jerseys – making it a little hot for summer riding in Texas. But I loved the three roomy pouch pockets and single zip pocket on the shirt’s back. I also liked the cut – no gathered bottom, and a little longer than most.
Tonik was founded in 2014 by two women who were looking for cute but well-made short-sleeved jerseys to wear for a 100-mile bike ride. They couldn’t find one they deemed both comfortable and flattering, so they set out to make their own, with the mission of fitting all body types. The result is a jersey actually designed for a woman’s shape, with a broader chest, a longer back and fabric that drapes in a flattering way.
“There are lots of jerseys out there made for skinny Italian men,” says Kristina Vetter, who bought the California-based company two years ago.
The line has expanded to include tanks, long-sleeved jerseys, cycling dresses, jackets, and wrap-around skirts, which can be worn over cycling shorts or worn as a swimsuit coverup.
“Our customers are a lot of recreational riders and they like to get off their bike and put something on around their bike shorts to grab a coffee,” Vetter says. “It has the wrap design so it doesn’t interfere with pedaling, and it’s also small enough that you can stick it in your jersey pocket.”
I’ve been using my skirts over my swimsuit when I head to team practice, and when I get on the boat for a morning of waterskiing. I wish it had a little more Velcro, so I could adjust the waistband a little more, but it’s useful and cute paired with my bikini.
“We’re really all about fit,” Vetter says, noting that the clothing fits up to size 20. “And we make you look great at every size. A number of our customers were women wearing their husband’s biking jerseys. It looked awful and it felt ugly. We’re all about giving people things they can wear to make them feel fantastic.”
Now, if someone could just do something about those padded bike shorts…
The jerseys sell for $99; the wrap skirts are $65. For more information go to www.tonikcycling.com.