• Janine Wolstenholme

Who's who at Zania Womens Mountain Bike Clothing

Written by Janine Wolstenholme – Founder of Zania Womens Mountain Bike Clothing and Mountain Bike Mindset Coach

Well hello people (waving uncontrollably atcha!)

I can’t believe that I’m actually saying that, or writing it for that matter. It’s been a dream of mine for many years, and you will see this as you continue reading. I really want to take time to share with you who I am, what floats my boat when it comes to two wheels and why I started Zania Sports Clothing a ladies mountain bike clothing range.

Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy.....

Two wheels came into my life back in the early noughties when I wanted something to complement the strength training I was doing in the gym. I wanted something different, something outdoorsy. My hubby and I decided to buy a couple of mountain bikes, the cheapies from the local leisure store and we bought some gear and that was us well equipped and ready to rock and roll.

Within months I was hooked, I could see the benefits to this new hobby and I soon became an avid trail rider. We’d spend most weekend riding in the Peak District, the local woodlands with regular trips to all over the UK with odd one to the Alps just to dip our toe further into the mountain biking lifestyle. We soon built up a network of mountain biking friends to meet up with at the weekends, ranging from the weekend warrior to the full on committed racer.

Pearce Cycles Race Series

My fitness and skills progressed quickly and I soon found that I preferred riding downhill rather than pedalling uphill. I started longing for the challenge of riding downhill, fast and this was the slippery slope to an adrenaline fuelled lifestyle, pushing my limits mentally and physically, with many injuries thrown in as a slap in the face to test my resilience and mental strength on bouncing back to fitness and getting back in the saddle. If you’ve been in a place of recovery before then you’ll certainly know the challenges.

​So why Zania?

Back in the early days there were virtually no brands out there providing women mountain bike wear so my ‘go to gear’ was fellas bike wear in a size small. I’m sure you’ve been there too at some point. The alternative was lycra and for those of you who are in the know …….that’s a definite no no for downhill. I did think about starting clothing line then but my career developed, so the project was put on hold for about 10 years.

I was still frustrated with the lack of womens cycle clothing I realised there was still a growing need for a new ladies range and I personally still had a very big itch to scratch when it came to designing a women specific mountain bike clothing range.

So, 2017 was the beginning of a new chapter with the development of Zania Sports Clothing. You could say, Zania was born out of many years of frustration with the mountain bike clothing industry not providing a women specific cycling range that ticked all the boxes for me - fitted, looked good, was comfortable and practical. I had a vision in my mind so started working with a designer back in January 2017, we immediately set to work designing a range.

I wanted to design a range that was very different, something colourful with bold and bright prints. The fit was the most important part of the design, it had to be a ladies cut, contoured in such a way to fit curves, lumps and bumps no matter what size. We've certainly achieved this in the jerseys because we are receiving great feedback from customers.

The shorts are taking longer than originally planned and this is because I want to bring you a pair of top notch shorts, practical, comfortable and well fitted. We tested the short samples throughout 2018 and realised changes needed to be made to the overall fit and the material needed to be more durable. We are currently working with the factory and we are confident that we can bring you an awesome pair of mountain bike shorts.

Wow, and what an incredible journey this has been so far. Thank you for being part of this journey, together we are all in for one hell of a ride!

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