When it comes to kit, finding stuff that fits and does the job is sometimes hard work, not all female riders like pink, although many brands still insist on making a plethora of pink, purple and other associated ‘girly’ colours. There is nothing wrong with pink, but women need functional, well fitting kit that works for us out on the trails. Loeka are one brand that listen to women and offer kit that isn’t overly feminine. When starting out they received mixed reviews, you can’t please everyone, but over the years they have listened to their customers and asked women what they want. Offering all mountain, freeride and trail shorts as well as tech jackets jerseys and lifestyle wear they have a lot to choose from. All items come with a lifetime warranty too!
1. Who are you?
Dave Mellor, Mountain biker, Yorkshireman, lover of real ale, good coffee, and bikes! In between riding and the pub, my company, Fix Distribution looks after Loeka Clothing in the UK and Europe.
2. What’s the story behind Loeka and Fix?
Dave: Loeka was started in 2005 by Rory Harmse, who owns and runs the brand. After friends of his complained about the lack of decent, women’s specific riding kit available, he decided to do something about it and Loeka was born. I’ve been involved since the summer of 2012. Searching for riding kit for my girlfriend, it was obvious that in the UK, choices were slim for girls looking for properly fitting clothing for all mountain and gravity-based riding. When the opportunity came up to get involved with Loeka, I jumped at it. I’m genuinely very excited to finally launch the new range to the UK this year.
3. What would you say sets Loeka apart from others currently offering women’s riding apparel?
Dave: There’s really nothing else like it out there, most brands appear to offer a women’s’ range but often they’re men’s designs given the “shrink it and pink it” treatment. Loeka ONLY make performance MTB clothing for women, so their approach is quite different. Apart from Loeka’s eco-friendly and ethical approach to manufacturing- (every product is made in Canada from recycled and/or recyclable materials where possible, even down to the packaging and labels) I’d have to say that the fit and design are like nothing else out there. The products are designed from the ground up, to fit and be more flattering to a woman’s body shape. Little features like the seamless, infinite Waistband on the riding shorts, ensure the best possible fit on and off the bike. Better fit means better comfort on the bike, which in turn equals better performance and loads more fun on the bike! It helps that it looks awesome too!
4. Why did you introduce the recycling scheme, and what does it mean for those who take part?
Rory: We started recycling to keep our clothing out of the landfill, reduce waste and help keep the outdoors we love to play in clean. For those that take part, they are helping the environment and for putting in the extra effort we reward them with 10% off their next order.
5. Aside from running Loeka, how do you guys spend your time?
Dave: Riding bikes, spending time with the family, the usual mundane things.Work-wise I also take care of distribution for El Gallo components, Nookie Bikes in the UK.
6. Since starting in 2005, what changes have you seen in MTB for female riders?
Greater recognition from the industry but more is still needed. Some dealers really understanding how important women are to the sport and its growth. There are definitely more women in the sport now than a few years ago – just look at the results sheets from any DH or enduro race and you’ll see numbers in the women’s’ categories have been steadily growing. Long may it continue!
7. Other than offering women’s MTB clothing, how else does the brand get involved with the sport?
Rory: Sponsorship of ambassadors to help promote the sport to other women. Sponsorship of events, like the Diva Descent racing/coaching weekends, and whenever possible and doing our best to grow women s numbers in the sport by being ourselves and showing other women how much fun it is.
8. Where can ladies find Loeka clothing in the UK?
Dave: The list of Loeka dealers is growing all the time – any good bike shop can order Loeka products. If you can’t find one near you, contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction. Loeka products can also be ordered direct through fixdistribution.com
9. Where do you guys like to ride most?
Dave: The North Shore of BC and Sun Peaks Resort are Loeka’s local spots. Although a trip to Canada would be the dream, I’m pretty lucky being based in Sheffield with the Peak District right on the doorstep. I can usually be found dodging trees in Wharncliffe or Greno Woods though.
10. What do you have in store for 2014?
Rory: Updated jersey and short designs. Updated material that includes spandex for a more comfortable better preforming fit, but the same great sizing. All our items are now made in Vancouver BC Canada plus we have a couple of surprises that you will have to wait for!
Loeka – Website – Facebook – Twitter
Fix – Website – Twitter – Facebook
Total Women’s Cycling Awards to be held tomorrow!
The first ever Total Women’s Cycling awards, supported by a number of well known cycling brands will take place tomorrow in the London Excel Centre at 7pm. Hosted by Anna Glowinski and Anthony McCrossman the awards will celebrate brands, athletes and individuals who have made a difference to women’s cycling.
There are 16 categories in the awards, including; bike brand of the year, cycle clothing brand of the year, UK cycle venue of the year, women’s cycling blogger of the year and pro-rider of the year. To view the full list of finalists, visit the website. Entry to the awards is free with your show ticket and winners will be awarded a framed, special, one-off design Ana Nichoola jersey! If you’re attending the London Bike show tomorrow, make sure you head over to the main stage from 7.00 – 7.30PM to watch a piece of cycling history!
In the last Women’s Wednesday we gave you the opportunity to win a front mudguard from Mudhugger!
The winner is: Kelly Cowley! We’ll be in touch to sort out getting your prize to you.
We take a look back to last season, and check out what Tracey Hannah got up to in during the Hafjell World Cup!
If you have an event coming up, or would like to get involved with Women’s Wednesday, please get in touch!