Sourcing and Producing Women’s Mountain Bike Clothing: The Kaden Process

I’m sure we’ve all done it...stood alongside the trail and lamented to our riding buddies about some piece of clothing that’s currently bothering us. Or, even denouncing an article of mountain bike clothing that just isn’t working and swearing to get rid of it immediately after your ride. 

As women riders, this had long been the story and was one of the primary reasons we started Kaden. We are proud to be one of the brands that stepped up and took matters into our own hands—to design the best women’s mountain bike clothing. After many months of designing, sourcing materials, product testing, and revisions, when we launch a new garment to our line, we are overjoyed to introduce items that riders love and couldn’t fathom being on the trail without.

We want to give you an inside look at our process and show you the nuts and bolts of the work that goes into producing our clothing. We’re committed to functionality, the use of high-quality materials, and ethical manufacturing. Let’s pull back the curtain so you can see what goes into every piece of Kaden mountain bike apparel.  

Chelsea working with Kaden Chamois

Designing Women’s Mountain Bike Clothing

Our needs as women mountain bikers are at the heart of everything we do at Kaden. When it comes to design, implementing ideas can lead to exciting results. There are typically several iterations of a product as it develops from conception to final design. 

Function and Style

Every piece of Kaden clothing is conceptualized in-house, creating our own original designs and patterns. We develop our initial patterns and test samples using feedback from riders and our own input. It’s not that we’re always trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re just actively trying to create the best products that are a step above what's already in the market. 

Unlike a lot of women’s mountain bike clothing, we like to keep things pretty simple. We focus on solid color-block styles so everything we create is much more timeless and won’t come and go with industry fads. We like to combine an evergreen style and high function into each piece. 

To ensure each piece functions the way we would like, riders wear our samples and put them through the wringer. First and foremost, we emphasize the fit while on the bike. If you don’t love it in the saddle, why wear it? With the feedback from our testers, we tweak patterns and samples until we feel like we’ve nailed it. 

The Kaden Fit

The result of our back-and-forth testing and iteration process are pieces that are the perfect blend of being roomy enough to be comfortable while moving on the bike and still flattering. You’ll notice some consistent features across our entire line that reflect this ethos.

Many of our jerseys are a little longer in the back so they don't ride up when you're in a riding position. They are designed using ultra-soft and moisture-wicking materials so you stay cool, dry off quickly, and have plenty of freedom of movement.

Our chamois are designed with smooth and wide legs and waistbands so the fabric doesn't dig into the rider's body in an uncomfortable or unflattering way. We like our shorts a little longer to fit over knee pads without an awkward gap between the pads and the shorts. The stretchy waistband moves with you and doesn't have abrasive snaps or buttons that pop open when riding aggressively, and the fabric has the perfect amount of stretch for athletic bodies.

These are the things we stand by and that set us apart. We believe these design features make our clothing extra comfortable to wear and perform at the highest level. 

Kaden oak tag patterns

Sourcing Materials and Manufacturing Women’s Mountain Bike Clothing

Once the pattern is up to our high standards, we explore different fabric options. We then make additional samples using the material we think will work best and revise from there (if needed). 

If you haven’t caught on yet, bringing each piece of clothing to market takes tons of time and effort! 

Choosing and Ordering the Right Fabrics

The fabrics we love give our garments stretch in the right areas, hold form in others, and offer the best comfort all around. Ideally, you hardly feel the jersey on your back! We have been fortunate to find some high-quality, reliable suppliers. These suppliers are known within the biking world, and their first-rate materials are what make them so great. 

We have been lucky to find wonderful suppliers in Italy, Japan, the U.S.A., China, among other places. These suppliers and the specific materials are carefully chosen for their unique properties and the clothing they will be used in. 

When we find the perfect fabric for a new piece, we create a sample and then put it through the paces.

Manufacturing Puzzle

After making the necessary tweaks and designing a product we love, it’s time to get these babies into production. From multiple fabrics to zippers and waistbands, ordering each component and sending it to the manufacturer is a process. This can mean ordering goods from 5-12 vendors, so any minor delivery hiccup can mean a major setback in production (remember the global supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic!?).

When the pieces all arrive at our manufacturer, production can finally begin. After creating a full-size run (XS through XXL) (or jump-size set; XS, M, XL) our hard work and vision starts to come to life. When everything is finished, there is no better feeling than when the big boxes filled with our new garments finally arrive.

Sustainability and Impact

As an outdoor industry brand, lessening our environmental impact through all these phases is always on our minds. Unfortunately, the apparel world is not often known for having a small environmental footprint. Production methods used in making clothing have a long way to go, but we consciously aim to make the best choices available to us. 

For a small company like ours, it’s a delicate balance between producing clothing our community will love while being good for the planet, and our pocketbooks. Whenever possible, if we find a fabric that is quality enough to last years and also from recycled materials, we opt for that. We also look for factories and suppliers that strive to repurpose their waste. 

We will continue to make the best damn mountain bike clothing while also doing our best to minimize our impact on the planet. 

Kaden chamois shorts

Your Part

We hope this deep dive into our process sheds light on how much we care about producing quality clothing for every woman. We put careful thought and effort into everything we do and hope that shows through in each piece of Kaden clothing you put on. 

Your support over the years has allowed us to keep innovating and pushing what’s possible in women’s mountain bike clothing. Our customers’ loyalty gives us the motivation to keep creating clothing you will love on the trail.  

If you haven’t yet, check out our kit builder. It’s a fun way to mix and match colors and styles to find your new trail look. Now that you know what goes into each Kaden piece, you can feel confident you will love everything you wear! If you have suggestions, new features, or improvements you’d like to see, please let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

We love you and thank you for being a part of our Kaden community!


I want to try mountain biking, now what?

I want to try mountain biking, now what? Authored by Kaden Ambassador Kristy Brown. So you’ve been toying with the idea of trying mountain biking, ...

How to Introduce Kids To Mountain Biking

Hoping to turn your little one into your new biking buddy? Here are some tips for introducing kids to mountain biking. Authored by 2023 Kaden Amba...

Is Mountain Biking welcoming to all shapes, siz...

Is Mountain Biking welcoming to all shapes, sizes and ages? Authored by 2023 Kaden Ambassador Kristy Brown Let me share my experience as a plus si...

8 Essentials for your Mountain Bike First-Aid Kit

A list of everyday items that you can use in a mountain bike first aid kit. These items will help with minor cuts and less serious injuries and you...

Sourcing and Producing Women’s Mountain Bike Cl...

I’m sure we’ve all done it...stood alongside the trail and lamented to our riding buddies about some piece of clothing that’s currently bothering u...

Our Top 5 Private Mountain Bike Coaches to Maxi...

These MTB coaches will help you take your riding to the next level. Located across the U.S. and in Canada, we'll help you find the right coach for ...