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The Clothesline: Six women’s summer kits put to the test

This week marks the halfway point in the summer of 2013, the midway point between June’s green, blooming hillsides and September’s browns and reds, and the turning of the leaves.

Summer is the time of year when many of us get the bulk of our riding in. The days remain long and hot, with evenings that allow for rides well past 8 p.m.

As such, it’s an ideal time to present six women’s summer kits, ridden and reviewed over the past six weeks of summer in Colorado.

Summer means different things in different climates. In Colorado, it stays hotter and hotter as the weeks roll through August and into September; selecting the best kit for the day becomes all the more important. Sun exposure, humidity, temperature, and wind are all factors a rider must take into account when planning on a long summer day in the saddle.

We selected six women’s summer kits (top-bottom combinations) to battle the summer heat this season.

The range of the apparel was wide. Some were designed to be race-quality, while others were aimed toward more casual riding. There were various fabric weights, zipper lengths, and pocket configurations, as well as an even blend of three bibs and three standard shorts.

Each kit comes with its own unique pros and cons, and comparing one kit against another would be a bit like comparing apples to oranges. Instead, each kit was considered individually. They’re listed here not by price, or by overall rating, but rather in the order they were tested.

So read on, keeping in mind that though summer is half over, that also means there is still half a summer — and a lot of riding — that remains.

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