The Cyclist’s Closet: Loeka’s Apparel for Outdoor Adventure (+ Giveaway!)
We were introduced to Loeka’s line of women’s only cycling apparel and outdoor adventure clothing by Rory Harmse last fall and knew a great thing when we saw it. Loeka’s story started back in 2005 when a friend complained to Rory about the lack of good women’s cycling apparel, especially for mountain biking. Since that fateful day, Rory made it his mission to provide that clothing and thus, Loeka came to be. The name “Loeka” is a combination of the Spanish word “loca” (crazy) and the Hindi word “loka” (world); thus a new word which means “Crazy world.”
Loeka, based in British Columbia, has truly stepped in to fill a niche needed for women who like adrenaline-stoked, mud-spattering, trail rides and yet didn’t want to be mistaken for guys once their helmet was on. The clothes are feminine without needing to be pink. The jerseys, which come in a variety of sleeve lengths, have a palette of vibrant color and some fun decorative touches. The shorts are designed for a wide variety of riding from the lightweight shell shorts to the All Mountain Oszust Shorts which can take one from cross-country riding to hanging around town. The more technical Cascade Freeride Shorts are designed for downhill riding, rougher terrain and wet riding conditions. For those that ride year round, Loeka makes wind-blocking and waterproof pants so you can take on winter riding conditions (they are especially perfect for the Pac NW!) Loeka jackets have great design and technical features and range from the lightweight waterproof shell jackets to warm soft shell jackets and some great breathable waterproof jackets with adjustable hoods.
The women who wear Loeka clothing really put it through some tough tests. They want it to be comfortable, to fit over their downhill armor, to take the wet conditions of the Pacific Northwest and to be durable enough to withstand some crashes. But they aren’t men, so with input from Loeka’s team, the jerseys are made wide in the shoulders for the armor, yet the sides are still tapered to curve with the body. The shorts which come in two lengths take into account women’s waist to hip ratio and their thigh to hip ratio and still fit a lot of body types. Many women are surprised at the longer lengths of the jerseys which are a godsend for tall women. The jerseys are made of materials that are breathable, wick away moisture and are antibacterial, so they repel odors as well.
How does Loeka cycling apparel stand up to tough riding conditions for those who train and race through the season? These riders really put the clothes to the test.
Michelle Thorne: “Living on the North Shore seems to be the perfect place to test new riding gear. I had the opportunity this year to give Loeka’s newly designed clothing a beating, and that is exactly what they took. From all kinds of riding and weather conditions, the shorts, jerseys and jackets proved to me that there are truly no bad conditions as long as you are wearing the right stuff. The jacket and long sleeve jerseys were water resistant and warm on the snowy and rainy days with just the right amount of ventilation if the sun managed to crack out. The 3/4 sleeve jersey and DH shorts were cool and comfortable on the hot sweaty dust days. The fashionable colors and cuts specifically made for women get noticed. I got stopped in the Whistler Bike Park more than once by girls complementing my clothes. The materials are strong and durable and held up to daily washing and extreme crashes.”
Jaime Rees, team downhill rider for Loeka from Spokane:
“Loeka is by far the most comfortable riding clothing I have ever owned. It is so nice to have clothing that fits and is flattering on and off my bikes. My weekday evenings and weekends consists of my Loeka 3/4 sleeve jerseys and Freeride shorts. You will never find me on my bike without my Loeka gear. It is just as important to me as wearing my helmet.”
Loeka has a great jersey to offer in our giveaway. It’s a XC/Road jersey and it’s perfect for your road and mountain bike adventures. This long-sleeved-jersey is especially great for cool weather rides. With a full-length 2-way zipper you can vent as much as you want and with 3 rear pockets, you can pack all your essentials for the ride. This jersey can be seen in the photo on the right. (Size medium)
Comment below to enter. Do you think you’d LOVE something from Loeka? Entries need to be posted by November 3rd. Please make sure you use a real name & email address so that we can contact you if you are a Cycle & Style winner. The prize can be shipped within the USA.
Please note if we try a couple times to get a hold of you by e-mail over the course of a week and do not succeed, we will choose another winner. WoW!! Our winner replied quick!! Thanks Lissa S. of Portola Valley, CA! Congratulations!!
New for Spring 2012
We go a look at the new products for Spring 2012: new jerseys and shorts and the stand-out pieces are fromLoeka’s urban bike clothing line, made just for women. It’s a line of great casual wear perfect for biking around town.
The other great announcement is that Loeka is involved in a recycling project. Loeka Recycle is an initiative that enables customers to return their old Loeka items to be recycled into reusable materials for signage, banners, merchandising. Plus any winter items that are in good condition will be donated to women in need so they can stay warm and dry. These are just the first steps Loeka is taking towards the ultimate goal of operating a completely closed loop recycling system. Customers who participate in the program are rewarded with vouchers for their next purchase.
Here is a sneak preview taken at Interbike 2011: