Zoca's Active Women's three quarters are a welcome break from the tradition of basic black for cycling shorts and tights. Yes, black is flattering and goes with all manner of differently coloured jerseys, but it would be nice to just occasionally have a choice of something different. Zoca do a sleeveless cycling top to match, giving a rather fetching ensemble. If the idea of coloured cycling kit brings you out in a cold sweat, they do black too.
But looks aren't everything, and do these tights live up to their initial promise? The three quarter length is handy for three season use (or year round with British weather) and these particular tights are made from a lightweight supple and slinky fabric, making them ideal for variable conditions. They are made using a paneled design, with flat seams, and a female specific synthetic chamois pad. There's a gently curved drawstring waistband, a small zipped pocket at the lumbar area, grippers at the bottoms of the legs and reflective trim.
The fit is fairly true to size, with a size large being roughly equivalent to a UK 14, and the leg length fell a short distance below the knees on me at 5 ft 5, so taller women may find the leg length somewhat short. The supple fabric is extremely comfortable, but not particularly supportive, making it good for recreational and fitness riding, but probably not so ideal when more long-term muscle effort is required. This fabric wicks moisture well, and keeps the legs at a good stable temperature. The synthetic female specific pad is well shaped, and also soft and pliable, offering good levels of ride comfort, but again is probably better suited to less intense and not really long rides due to this softness- whilst it protects well, it can feel like it's compressing over time. Another niggle is that due to the softness of the fabric, the waistband does have a mild tendency to want to migrate south to bunch up above the pad, which isn't very aesthetically pleasing. Tying the waist drawstring tighter would help combat this, but that results in a less comfortable waist.
In essence, these are a great looking and pleasant to wear pair of tights, which perform really well for recreational and fitness riding. The same soft supple fabric that makes them so nice to wear though, also causes a few minor problems, which make them less appropriate to higher intensity or longer duration riding. For a sector of the female riding market where looks are very important, these are ideal.
Available from www.sheactive.co.uk
Attractive, comfortable and nicely featured. Great for recreational and fitness riding, but more competitive women riders may find them slightly underspecced.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Zoca Active Women's 3/4 Cycling tight
Size tested: Beetle, Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at style conscious female cyclists.
Better suited to fitness and recreational riders than competitive ones.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
AQUAMOVE fabric - 91% polyamide/9% Elastane Lycra
Female specific synthetic chamois pad
Elasticated waistband with drawcord
Small zipped lumbar pocket.
Well made using good quality fabrics and components.
Extremely comfortable and wicked moisture well.
Soft fabric does rub/bobble relatively easily
Not a bad weight for tights that could happily handle three season use.
Very comfortable fabric, but pad can compress slightly over long duration rides.
Not a bad price at all for a pair of stylish and comfortable 3/4 tights.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well for recreational and fitness riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, colour, soft fabric, pad comfort
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Migrating of waistband and bunching of fabric at top of pad, compressability of pad over long rides.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially fashion conscious ones.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A stylish and comfortable choice for non-competitive riders at a good price.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.