We were really impressed with The North Face’s first proper range of mountain biking clothing, launched last year, coupling the company’s sharp sense of style with practical features and top-notch fabrics.
They’ve followed up that initial launch with a few more garments for the spring, which includes an push into the women’s mountain bike clothing market, which is very good to see.
What we’ve got above is the versatile Dirt Track jacket, its removable sleeves just the tickets for the changeable conditions present at this time of year. One minute it’s mild and sunny, the next it’s cold and raining, and it’s this variety of weather the jacket is designed for.
Used is Gore’s Windstopper fabric for complete protection in howling gales, with a stretchy fabric in panels under the arms and around the sides, ensuring the jacket isn’t restrictive when you’re throwing some shapes on your bike. As we’ve said, the sleeves zip off, and can be stowed in the two rear zipped pockets.
There are some nice details; a brushed collar lining, elasticated binding cuff and hem, longer rear tail, shaped reflective prints and reflective logos. It costs £135 and is available in two colours.
Typically, it’s warm enough to get away with just one layer under a jacket like the Dirt Track, and the Muddy Tracks Crew looks just the part. It is a short sleeve casual jersey, happy to be worn on its own in the summer or under as part of a layering approach.
The material is quite weighty between the fingers so should give good insulation on colder days, while the small zipped pockets will secure valuables, and the bold graphics on the front will appease the younger more fashionable types.
The women’s clothing, particularly the jacket, has received the thumbs up from the few women in the office (who cycle) who have clapped eyes on it, and if the men’s clothing is anything to go by, we should expect a similarly high level of performance. There’s also a short sleeve jersey and baggy shorts in the new range.
The North Face are clearly intent in offering high quality products that perform in the toughest environs, and it has spent the time since its launch wisely, adding some excellent looking items to its slowly growing range.
It’s been a quiet launch for The North Face into what is a new market for the company, which is a shame as we’ve only been impressed with the garments we’ve tested so far. Every time we’re out on the trails where TNF branded clothing we get numerous questions about it, asking how it performs and usually where can it be bought from.
We’ll be testing these samples over the following weeks, so watch out for our reviews
Read our review of the Muddy Tracks jacket http://bikemagic.com/gear/the-north-face-muddy-tracks-jacket-review.html