Cycling Apparel Designed by Women, for Women and Woman-Owned
I’m thrilled to come across yet another woman-owned apparel company, Jelenew. After seeing their press release, Facebook ads, links from friends, and even Lars emailing me ― I had to experience for myself what all the chatter was about.
Slindy Li founded Jelenew in 2021 to create inclusive (extended sizing), high-quality women’s cycling apparel suitable for outdoor and indoor activities. The garments are designed to adapt seamlessly to various active settings while versatile enough for everyday wear, whether for running, Pilates, walking or other activities. Jelenew’s key point of difference is its proprietary technology CurveTecTM inspired by French haute couture design using draped tailoring and form-fitting design supporting key muscle groups, especially during the active pedaling motion.
Specifically, this technology provides maximum mobility for a female physique. According to the company, CurveTec enhances the cycling experience by supporting the core, lower back, shoulders, hips, and thighs.
From the feel of the fabrics to the contour of each item, you know that women designed each item for women. I tested three pieces from the Jelenew line: a base layer, jersey, and bib shorts. Below is my review.
Zinc-Ion Antimicrobial Sleeveless Base Layer
Sizes: XXXS – 4XL
Fit: True to size
Colors: Black or White
How obtained: Company samples
RBR advertiser: No
A Performance Base Layer that Feels like an Expensive Silk Top
Slipping into Jelenew’s base layer is like putting on an “almost there” silky tank. It feels very luxurious, but don’t let that fool you. It’s high-performing, wicking perspiration away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable no matter the season. The addition of zinc-ion to the technical fabric provides antimicrobial properties, too.
Jelenew uses seaming to tailor to a women’s curves for a next-to-skin fit, allowing you can wear a race-cut jersey without the bulk of the extra fabric. According to the company, the Pro-fit silhouette provides lightweight support for the chest. I probably didn’t feel the support because I wear a sports bra, so maybe it’s intended for a smaller busted woman.
One thing to note, when I slipped the base layer on for the first time, I thought the logo went in the front. But the white version has it on the back, while the black version has it on the front. Go figure. I assumed the logo would be in front, but when the neckline choked me, I turned it around for a perfect fit.
Hourglass Short Sleeve Jersey
Sizes: XXXS – 4XL
Fit: True to size, but very short waisted
Colors: 5 various color combinations
Simple Yet Stylish Designed Performance Jersey
Jelenew uses a simple color-blocking design for their Hourglass short sleeve jersey. As you can see in the main picture, the company sent me their forest version. It has a solid forest green front and back, with one burgundy sleeve and a pale pink sleeve. It’s simple yet stylish.
The Italian fabric is soft, silky, and highly breathable, using diamond-shaped mesh along the sides for added ventilation. The company calls the fitted cut Pro-fit or a contoured hourglass cut. I found the jersey too short for my body shape; with a 19″ zipper, the bottom hem is even all the way around. I just felt like I needed to tug at the hem, but the jersey stayed perfectly at the waist. The extended sizing of Jelenew apparel is refreshing. I think a woman of smaller stature, and maybe younger, might not have an issue with the jersey length. But for me and larger women (2XL – 4XL) might have a problem with the fit. All I can suggest is to try it for yourself.
One other issue I had was with the placement of pockets. The opening placement was very high, and slipping my hand in and out was difficult. Typically I put my cell phone in my rear jersey pocket for quick access to take pictures. Unfortunately, I could only use the pockets for items I didn’t need while riding.
Jelenew uses tailored U-shape and Y-shape panels on the back to fit the riding position and to reduce drag. The slightly longer laser-cut sleeves and Lycra fabric enhances the jersey’s look, feel, and aerodynamics.
Women’s Evolve Y Back Bib Shorts
Sizes: XXXS – 4XL
Fit: True to size
Colors: Black, Black/White, Navy
Get Ready to Look Amazing in Bibs
Wow, what can I say ― these bibs are awesome! From the ergonomic fit to the compression fabric to the super comfy chamois, I give these bibs a perfect five-star rating.
The Evolve Y Back bibs use the Elastic Interface® Crossover 3D thermal molded chamois, which is next to skin soft, doesn’t chafe, and provides hours of comfort in the saddle. The compressive fabric also adds to the comfort by reducing muscle fatigue. The 8″ inseam and hyperelastic 3″ silicone leg grippers keep the laser cut cuffs in place and provide a clean transition from the bib short to the skin. It eliminates the dreaded sausage leg. UPF 50+ fabric protects your skin from the sun. The only logo on the garment is a small reflective element sewn into the side of the leg for visibility in low-light conditions.
Logo bib straps have extra stretch so as not to dig into your shoulders while riding and stay in place without needing a center clip like some brands require. The straps are also designed not to roll or twist, which is a novel idea.
Finally, get ready to look fabulous in these bibs. A high waistline and female-specific tailoring provide a flattering feminine silhouette.
I’m very impressed with the high quality and performance fabric used, as well as the attention to detail of each item I tested. Jelenew is definitely NOT a shrink-it-and-pink-it company. They source the best Italian fabrics and design cycling apparel for a woman’s body. In addition, Jelenew is committed to empowering women by partnering with strategic non-profit organizations around the U.S. that support women and help them become their best versions.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.