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Choosing your cross equipment when you are a woman


More and more female MX riders are lining up at the start of cross competitions. Imagine, from zero official riders around fifteen years ago (zero), there are now around thirty of them competing in the French MXF Championship. The feminine gender is indeed present, and imposes itself. So, with this number of pilots increasing, and the level increasing proportionally, thecross equipment for women is also becoming more and more sophisticated. We asked a few questions to Manon Haudoire, driver in the World Championship, in CFS, winner of the Enduropale in 2020 and incidentally kids cross trainer. And his advice should help you see more clearly when choosing your women's cross equipment.

From head to toe: how to choose your cross equipment when you're a woman?

1. cross helmet for women: watch out for your neck!

Lightweight women's cross helmetOf the cross helmets, there is something for everyone... Brand, shell size, weight, style, design. What should guide your choice is the weight of the beast. In the same way as men, you must pay attention to the weight of the helmets displayed on the technical sheets, otherwise you risk suffering from shoulder and/or neck pain. Ideally no more than a thousand grams, and even more so if you plan to participate in long Enduropale-type races.

Manon Haudoire, who answered our questions, also has a preference for interior textiles with a velvet feel like that of her Kenny Performance cross helmet. In intensive use, she finds it less irritating to the skin.

2. Women's cross mask: for wide-angle vision

women's cross goggles wide field of visionTHE cross masks, also called glasses, as you certainly know, protect your eyes from projections and impacts. But this service sometimes costs for optical comfort. Reduced field of vision, optical distortions, fogging, etc. are all obstacles that can hinder your correct interpretation of what is happening around you on the ground.

Manon Haudoire therefore recommends large masks which have the advantage of offering a maximum vertical field of vision, and the observation is the same for the roll-off. Good ventilation and specific treatment of the lens against fogging are also essential.

3. Focus on women's cross clothing: closer to the body for less hindrance

slim fit women's cross jerseyTight outfits with cut slim fit are more pleasant to use. The sleeves that flap in the wind, we have seen better for being comfortable on the handlebars. That’s good, in terms of cross jerseys and cross pants, THE slim fit is quite fashionable at the moment. On the side of the shelves for men and women.

The presence of elastic textile inserts such as Lycra stretch and Elastane in your cross outfit remains a box to check to gain elasticity. The good news is that more and more brands ofcross equipment think about it, from Fox to Thor , via O'Neal or Shot ...

4. Stone guard and protective vest for women: light weight required

Soft women's protective vest at chest levelFor Manon Haudoire, the protective vest is all the more necessary when you are a beginner. And indeed, after reflection, it is during this period that we get into the most trouble and ultimately that we run the most risks! So you might as well invest once and for all in protective equipment that will last you for a long time.

A bit like the MX helmet seen above, we favor lightness here. Heavier means more hindrance to movement. Likewise, flexibility in the chest must be ensured for better comfort. Protective vests offer a good compromise between protection and comfort for your first years of practice. And here again, several brands offer female models.

5. Knee protections, your ligament guarantee

Double-jointed women's protective knee braceLike the protective vest, the more you start, the more cross knee pads are essential... Even if it must be admitted that it is an investment. And to tell you, Manon Haudoire immediately dismisses protections that are too “entry-level” and don’t stay in place. She advises choosing a model with double articulation for better ergonomics and greater fluidity of movement.

Also, you should know that certain mutual insurance companies can cover part of the amount, generally on medical advice.

6. Women's cross gloves: stop blisters

Women's cross gloves in the right sizeThe concern for the hands when racing in MX is the shocks and vibrations which end up heating the skin. Even causing blisters in some drivers. To avoid this, Manon Haudoire recommends above all avoiding cross gloves too big. They systematically form a crease in the palm which ends up causing damage.

Pilots more prone to blisters can also ensure the presence of gel inserts on the palm side, in the most exposed areas, to limit friction.

7. cross boots for women: finesse for better feel of the controls

Small size and fine women's cross bootsFor some, the premier challenge will be to find a cool and well thought-out model for women, in the right size, and in colors that are not too stereotypical... Many manufacturers start their products at size 40, some even in 42. This is good if you are in these sizes but this is not the case for all pilots… It seems that manufacturers cannot always accommodate women. The advantage is that, in all cases Manon Haudoire recommends choosing a pair of motocross boots one size larger than your usual size. Regardless of the brand considered.

Another piece of advice is to favor rather thin boots: they will slip more easily under the gear selector, and the feeling of the controls will also benefit. You'll find that some brands, like Alpinestars , offer slimmer models than others. At the same time, be sure to choose a model that is well protected at the ankle level.

Once you receive your boots, check that they fit you well at the ankle. Good support is essential for correct protection.

To complete your women's cross outfit: which underwear to choose?

women's anti-perspiration technical cross -country underwearThere is no point going back to the benefits of bras, already known to all bikers (if not all women). On the other hand, for the bottom, rather than briefs, choose boxer shorts (for men) which have the advantage of protecting more of the skin surface from saddle dermabrasion.

Manon Haudoire also mentioned the interest of technical underwear which in fact help to limit your cooling, between two heat strokes. With technical underwear, perspiration is quickly moved away from the skin to prevent the feeling of cold. You will find them almost everywhere, including in the Motoblouz road catalog.

Little addition that we don't think enough about when we're starting out: the cross socks. They protect the legs from irritation caused by orthotics (see above).

 

That's the essentials. Then, when it comes to colors, design or even brands, it's just a matter of taste... We hope that Manon's advice will be useful to you in choosing your cross equipment for women. And Thanks to Manon for her availability

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Loic

Editor and tester for Motoblouz , I am an unconditional fan of roads with bends. For me, the motorcycle is a means of escape as well as a means of transport.

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