There are women out there who make cycling – even at the highest and hardest levels look elegant. These women pedal gracefully, suffer with dignity, and sweat in sparkling droplets which probably smell like fresh rain. But these women are not me. I am an extremely human woman, my sweat is less ‘fresh rain’ and more ‘ripe shoes’, and this is what it looks like when I ride:
Lest you think I’ve been captured here in the midst of exceedingly hard efforts, let me correct that assumption: this is just how I look when I’m pedaling. My poker face lets everybody around think I’m moments from dying, even when I’m spinning easily. I hunch over the bars like a gargoyle guarding a fortress. While I spent 6 years getting paid to ride a bike professionally, Eliel’s photographer will only capture studio photos of me standing next to a bike now. I don't blame him; even my sweet spouse says I look ‘strong’ on a bike versus beautiful.
I’ve long since moved on from worrying about being a pedaling paragon of grace and loveliness; I’d rather just enjoy the ride and ideally rip some legs off in the process. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on wanting to look and feel good while doing it. I’m willing to phone it in on my daytime apparel (“New outfit?” my husband asked dryly yesterday, watching me pull on the same tee-shirt and Walmart sweatpants yet again), but I make an effort when it comes to riding because it feels great to wear a sharp-looking kit. Nevermind that I start leaking bodily fluids on it immediately; under those dried snot rockets and salt stains is a classy kit and that feels damn good. When I show up to a ride dressed to kill, it genuinely feels more motivating.
Eliel recently dropped a new line of kits – the El Capitan jersey and bibs – and it’s quickly become my favorite. Sure, I work here and my job is to sell you gear, but if I didn’t think the El Cap stuff was great, I’d point you to a different kit or at least not volunteer to write a blog post about it. Instead, I wanted to write about this kit for two reasons: (1) it makes me feel like a million bucks when I wear it and (2) I want more women to have that same feeling.
But don’t just take my word for it; I'm not alone in feeling fierce in this gear. Read on for thoughts from other women on their experience wearing the El Capitan kit:
“Would have taken this spectacular El Capitan kit on the road, but we have a foot of snow here in Boston, so trainer it was. What a spectacular kit. I love the shorter length of the bibs, cuz I'm a little person, and just when you think that Eliel can't make a better fitting kit, along comes El Capitan. I had 4 PRs in Watopia just now, and all the credit goes to the kit. Thank you Eliel for continuing to surprise me — the material feels like silken tofu.”
- Beth Herman-Davis, Cyclist, Triathlete & Coach
“Today was a BIG a$& training day. I’m slightly traumatized and mostly satisfied. Also, pretty sure I tested the limits of the new El Capitan kit and the verdict: its limits go beyond mine. This kit is a bit more of an investment than some of the other Eliel Cycling lineup but I can say it’s like buying that one good pair of jeans or that expensive, yet special, pair of boots. You will look forward to wearing it on those important/big days, when being comfortable all day not only impacts your performance but ultimately your recovery.”
- Jess Cerra, Pro Gravel Rider
“Makes bridge repeats easier... keep movin’ and spinning those pedals, it gets easier! 💜🚴🏽♀”
- Patricia McNeal, Stroke Survivor & Cross-Country Cyclist
“Since all my 2020 events were cancelled, I had the crazy idea to do a solo 70.3 triathlon to celebrate my birthday. It was the perfect special occasion to try out the new El Cap kit. After 3 looooong hours on my TT bike, I was certain the El Capitan kit was the most high performance kit I've ever worn. It has a snug, compressive fit that makes sure everything stays where it should during hard efforts. The bib shorts are the epitome of luxury...the seamless leg grippers are buttery soft and so comfortable. Testing the El Cap kit in these conditions made me realize how perfect the cut and fabrics are for a race environment."
- Jenna Bullbrook, Cyclist & Triathlete, Eliel & Wattie Ink. Team Member
Ladies, you deserve to look and feel great on the bike. Give this kit a try. If you love it, rock it proudly, ride it hard, and know you deserve to be in the best gear. And if for some reason you don’t love it? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to return it, no questions asked, even if you’ve snotted on the sleeve already.