Although Machines For Freedom may sound like a punk rock band, it’s actually a high performance women’s cycling brand. The company was founded in 2013 in Los Angeles to fill a void in women’s cycling apparel. Every piece in the Machines for Freedom Women’s Cycling Clothing product line strives to combine high performance fabrics with streamlined and flattering shapes. In this review, we’ll specifically be looking at two items in their lineup: the Essential Cycling Pants and the Summerweight Longsleeve Jersey in the Moonlight print. The Essential Cycling Pants retail for $158 and were inspired by their best-selling Essential Shorts. Developed for long days in the saddle, the Essential Cycling Pants feature the shame chamois as the endurance bibs.
Machines For Freedom makes women’s cycling clothing in beautiful prints, offering flattering fit and size inclusivity.
Additionally we’ll be looking at the Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey in the newly released Moonlight print. With a retail price of $168, the long sleeve jersey is constructed using their ultra lightweight UPF 50+ fabric with mesh panel inserts for breathability. The newly released Moonlight print is an attractive leafy print with hits of deep blues, bright white, and light blues. Both the Essential Cycling Pants and Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey also offer size-inclusive and streamlined shapes with Yoga-inspired waistband and compression fabrics.
|Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey||Essential Cycling Pant|
|Likes||+ Beautiful print|
+ Flattering Fit
+ Very Lightweight for hot days
|+ Waist doesn’t dig|
+ Lightweight fabric
+ Panels are beautifully constructed.
|Dislikes||– No Reflective elements|
– Doesn’t work well with a Baselayer.
– Premium Price.
|– Crotch length is too long.|
– Doesn’t work well with a Baselayer.
– No Reflective elements.
|Where to Buy (US)||Machines for Freedom||Machines for Freedom|
Nothing exciting to see here. We received the medium sized Essential Cycling Pants and the medium sized Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey in Moonlight folded neatly in plastic bags. One nice feature to point out are the information tags is that instead of being attached with plastic bands that have to be cut or pulled off, Machines For Freedom uses safety pins.
SUMMERWEIGHT LONG SLEEVE JERSEY
In contrast to the trend toward solid color jerseys, the Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey in Moonlight has a vibrant print. Machines For Freedom describes the Moonlight print as being inspired by leaves in the moonlight. The dark hues combined with white highlights mean the Moonlight print works well both during the day and night as it stands out on the road. The Jersey is constructed with their Summerweight UPF 50+ fabric which uses a blend of polyester and elastane. It’s a soft, elastic and highly breathable fabric which works particularly well in warmer weather. There are also mesh panels under the sleeves as well as at the sleeve cuff and side to help with additional venting.
We liked the minimal branding on the jersey as there is only a single brand label on the bottom left torso of the jersey. In terms of features, the jersey has a single full length self locking zipper that sits flat/flush on the outside for a premium look. We did find it difficult to engage the zipper, but once it was on it was easy to adjust. The jersey also has a short collar and a two-piece Raglan sleeve with a shoulder dart for a form fit. The design of the jersey is form fitting with a women’s specific cut that contours at the hips.
There are three large pockets on the rear with an additional zippered pocket that can be used to secure valuables or smaller items. The rear of the jersey also has a drop tail design with a silicone strip on the inside that helps keep it in place. On our 5.5”, 123lb rider, the small jersey was true to size. It was form fitting but comfortable, although we did find the sleeves to be a tad short. Also because of the tighter fit, wearing a baselayer underneath the jersey on colder days felt a bit too snug. If you plan on using the jersey on colder days we recommend sizing appropriately.
ESSENTIAL CYCLING PANT
Inspired by Machines For Freedoms Endurance Bibshorts, the Essential Cycling Pants are a unique take for cycling pants. The full length pants provide UPF 50+ protection from the sun and have a paneled design that contours around your body for a flattering look. Unlike most paneled workout tights that are joined by large visible flatlock stitches, the stitches used on the joining panels of these pants give it a Kintsugi look. Although it’s only available in black and lacks reflective elements, the minimal branding means the Essential Cycling Pants pair well with any cycling kit.
One unique feature of the pants is the wide Yoga inspired waistband that is more comfortable than traditional bib pants or shorts. We did find that the medium sized pant’s crotch length was a little too long for our liking making it hang awkwardly off the saddle nose while riding. Also while they’re great for warmer weather with a soft and breathable nylon and elastane construction, we did find that the high waisted design of the pants felt a bit awkward with a full length baselayer underneath. The mid-level compression fabric was also reminiscent of swimwear fabric to us in terms of texture and elasticity. Additionally the mesh panels behind the knee provide welcomed ventilation and add some visual styling to it.
One of the main features of the cycling pants are the chamois which is shared with Machines For Freedom’s Endurance Bibshorts. The chamois is a two-toned design with multi-density foam construction. There is an additional pressure relief section built in the center of the chamois with moisture wicking fabric used throughout. We found the chamois to be comfortable from the first ride with a great balance of support and padding for short or longer rides.
Cycling clothing size is hard to get right given the range of body types and sizes. Machines For Freedom is size inclusive with most of their apparel available in sizes that range from XXS to XXXL. The impressive size range and size calculator makes it easy to find the perfect size. We found the high waisted design of the medium sized Essential Cycling Pants to fit perfectly on our 5.5”, 123lbs rider with a 40” hip. Additionally the small sized Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey in Moonlight was comfortable and form fitting. Even though it was snug, the elastic design and mesh panels were flattering and didn’t restrict motion.
Overall we found the Machines For Freedom Essential Cycling Pants and Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey in Moonlight to be well designed and visually attractive. The Essential Cycling Pants are comfortable with compression material and the wide Yoga-inspired waistband. We found the endurance chamois to be comfortable for short and long rides. The vibrant Moonlight print looks even better in person with dark blue and bright white colors. Combined with the minimal branding and form fitting design, the jersey is comfortable and well designed. We did find that the self locking zipper was a bit difficult to first attach and the snug fit made medium-weight baselayers a bit uncomfortable. Both items are consistent with the Machines For Freedom goal of high performance and flattering clothing for female cyclists.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Machines For Freedom. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.