Guest Post by Marley Blonsky (shared with WK in 2019)
I’ve been riding bikes long distances since 2014 but I’m not a traditional cyclist. I’m a fat woman with large breasts – I wear a size 18/20 in shirts, a 20 in pants and have a 38H bra size, so most bike clothing just doesn’t fit me. Using those measurements, the team at Machines guided me to a 3XXXX-Large, which is a bit snug, but feels really good once I start riding.
I’ve tried countless jerseys and bibs, some of which I bought, some that were given to me for charity rides, and some that were gifted to me by brands that promised they fit plus-sized cyclists. None of them fit well. Seriously, none of them. Until I wore this Machines for Freedom Summerweight Long Sleeve Jersey. I feel like I found a magical unicorn of a bike jersey!
This jersey has become my go-to outfit for every ride and I’m bummed when it’s dirty. It fits me like a glove, accentuating my curves and not squeezing out more, while providing sun protection, but still remaining lightweight enough to wear on hot summer days or cool mornings. And do we even need to mention this gorgeous print? It’s why we’re all here.
The attention to detail on the jersey also makes it a winner in my book. The full length zipper gives you options – you can ride with it open for more ventilation, zipped all the way up for more warmth, or totally open for a layered look. The pockets in the back are actually functional and the non-slip gripper along the waist helps ensure that it doesn’t ride up when you’re lean over on the bike.
I’m honestly so excited for high performance bike wear in extended sizing.
Along with this jersey, I also tested “The Most Versatile Pant” bib in a XXX-Large. I’ve heard for years that the chamois pad on the Machines bibs and shorts is the holy grail and I was so excited to try it out for myself.
The bibs were a bit snug when I first put them on, which was surprising to me, but once I figured out that it was the compression of the fabric and that it was intended to be that tight, it was all good. They loosened up a bit, especially as I started riding. and I have to admit, my butt looks really good in these bibs. I also really appreciated how high the waist comes up on these bibs – I have a big belly and the top of these bibs came up over it just fine and didn’t roll down at all, even when I was in full riding position over my bike!
I’m also pretty short person (5’1) and these pants were long on me. Lucky for me, they have a zippered ankle, so I was able to bunch up the extra fabric at my ankle without it getting in the way of my shoes. Not the best look and if they would offer a short length or petite size, I would definitely appreciate that option.
The chamois pad did live up to the hype though, and has held up through numerous washings and multi-day rides. I don’t even use chamois cream when I wear these bibs! They feel padded, but not too much and in just the right spots.
Overall, I am so happy that there is finally an new option in plus size performance bike wear! I absolutely love that I can finally wear the same thing as my smaller friends and no detail was spared and even the smallest details were paid attention to!
Full disclosure: I received the kit reviewed in this post free of charge. The decision to write this review and all opinions expressed are 100% my own. This is not a sponsored post. Thanks as always for reading!