The Machines For Freedom Technical Crew is a simple, women-specific long-sleeved sweater-style top with hidden technology suited for colder rides on the trail or gravel bike. It's got an ergonomic fit with great freedom of movement in the arms but a little short in the body for enough rear coverage. The large rear zipped pocket offers storage space and a style that looks polished on and off the bike.
- Best mountain bike jerseys for women
Machines For Freedom Technical Crew - Technical details
Machines For Freedom (MFF), a women-specific cycling apparel brand, has created the Technical Crew long-sleeved jumper-style cycling jersey to make any bike ride more comfortable. At first glance, you would think it was a classic sweater with bold-block colour but, on closer inspection, it has articulated shoulders, a discrete zipped rear pocket and technical fabric that aim to keep the body comfortable during high-energy cycling.
The collar is a crew neck but has a small polo-style neck design feel to it. The top is light in weight and made using a polyester, rayon and spandex mix. Materials used are incredibly soft on the skin, with a fleece-backed inner that has moisture-wicking capabilities and dries fast.
There is a rear pocket with a zip closure. A long pull on the end of the zip offers ease of use, and the pocket is large enough to carry a phone, money and a snack while on the go.
This top is available in two colours: cantaloupe orange(tested) and cobalt blue. The sizes range from XS to XXXL.
Machines For Freedom Technical Crew - Performance
This top has become the ideal layer for my gravel and mountain bike rides and popping it on for some hiking. It’s incredibly cosy and soft and looks smart on- and off the bike. It also works as an easy go-to layer during winter as it isn't overly thick and bulky, so it can be used as a layer over a short-sleeved jersey or a long-sleeved base layer.
While riding recently in slightly milder winter conditions, I didn't need a jacket as the Technical Crew offered enough weather protection without feeling too warm.
The tailoring of the top is dynamic, and it's evident the brand has considered the ergonomics, of riding. The front is shorter so that the top would not bunch up when riding, and there is ample space on the chest as one could expect from a women-specific brand that Machines for Freedom is.
The overall length of this top is slightly short. Although it works perfectly for me, I can see it being an issue for anyone taller. The articulated arms and the baggy sleeve design offered plenty of room for moving on the bike.
The large, easy-to-access back pocket fits plenty of items inside. I had my phone, keys and an energy bar, and I didn't notice them on my back. The opening to the pocket has a long pull, so it can be opened even with gloves on, although the pull is very thin and is often difficult to locate the first time. Closing the pocket was slightly more challenging while riding and it took some dexterity to close the zipper.
Machines For Freedom Technical Crew - Verdict
With its cycling-specific features neatly integrated and the casual-but-performance-focussed design along with effective materials, I’m very impressed with what the Technical Crew jersey offers the rider. The fit is dynamic with a baggy sleeve design and a shorter length on the front, so there is no unwanted restriction while in the cycling position. The rear pocket is relatively easy to open and close while on the go, and when compared to similar options, I found it difficult to find a similar product to this from the market.
Rivals include the Endura SingleTrack Hoodie with its casual look, technical and soft materials and a pocket for under £55. For £130 Fox Racing Women’s Defend Thermo Hoodie is similar, again featuring a hood and pockets, plus all the attributes of the MFF crew but with added wind resistance. None of these brands offers the same, broad size range that MFF does, though.