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New MTB kit - DHaRCO clothing review

DHaRCO Gear


Me on my Stumpjumper bike in my on he trail with my new DHaRCO gloves and womens gravity pants
Out on the trails with my new DHaRCO gloves and womens gravity pants

For around ten years I’ve been wearing my Fighter Girls martial arts shorts for everything; hiking, surfing, swimming, biking. I’ve around 4 pairs of these shorts, they’re made primarily for MMA, but if you don’t mind not having pockets, they’re a great, robust piece of kit. With all my scrapes, falls and escapades, I’ve yet to tear or split them. They have bright colours and furry designs, the fabric is slightly glossy and of good thickness, but dry reasonably quickly too. I’ve not bought any recently btw but will when funds allow.


If only Fighter Girls had a pocketed range! For riding I prefer my men’s Fox mountain bike shorts, they have cavernous pockets! But are sadly on the slow boat from the UK to Australia, so I decided I’d treat myself to some new ones, plus some riding trousers, or pants as they call them in Australia, and some gloves.


On your socials you may have seen many adverts for DHaRCO mountain bike gear. To me, being the suspicious type, It all looked a bit too good to be true so I kind of ignored the adverts, even though I did like the look of their range. I really wasn’t over enthused by the colour of the Fox gear, the range I usually buy. I’m really not a stealth colour girl, of which most of the mountain biking apparel available is, although I did like the Fox Defend teal coloured option, the only non-stealth colour they have available. I filled a basket online with the teal shorts, pants, jersey and some brightly coloured gloves. But I had a nagging thought about the DHaRCO gear, so before I pressed the go button, I decided to check it out.


I have no idea why it is spelt DHaRCO, or how to pronounce their name, which is a little annoying and a reason not to want to bother with them tbh. Anyway, I found that they had good reviews, the range is designed in Sydney Australia and they seem to be a well respected company, so decided I would buy ‘Australian’. Noting the clothes seem to be made in China.


Looking at the Fox and DHaRCO size charts, it’s impossible to know which would fit better, as they both list different points of measuring the length in their size charts. I wish these companies would offer a ‘Long’ option, even if it meant paying a little extra.


When I’m at my medium weight I’m a UK size 10 bottoms. Looking at the DHaRCO size chart, I was a medium. Gloves-wise, from the end of my longest finger to my wrist measures 19.5cm, so I usually go for a large glove, whether it be driving gloves, biking gloves or rubber gloves!


Although only 5’8” tall, that’s around 170cm, I always have problems with getting trousers long enough. From my hips to my knee, if they are fitted with a ‘knee-bend’ detail, the knee-bend is always above my knee, and the hem is way above my ankle, basically they are too short. With no option of 'long' available, I thought I'd risk the regular size.


My purchases

DHaRCO Womens Gravity Shorts size Medium in the Clay colour

DHaRCO Womens Gravity Pants size Medium in the Leopard colour

DHaRCO Womens Gloves size Large in the Panama design

I wasn't really keen on their jersey designs, so ordered the Fox top.


Fox vs DHaRCO Price Comparison


Fox shorts $150 Dharco $125

Fox pants $195 Dharco $180


So not much in it!


I ordered direct from DHaRCO, their website tells you what is and isn’t in stock. My order arrived quickly, in around 3 days. The clothing certainly has an air of quality about them, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they fare. They’ve a lot to live up to, my Fighter Girls shorts and Fox shorts, in all the years I’ve been falling off in them, have never worn through or ripped. Although the Fox shorts lose their stick on decals after a few washes.


Summary

Shorts

  • Pull-in Velcro adjustment on both sides of waist

  • Waist fastened by Velcro, two poppers and zip (seems a little excessive to me)

  • Zipped pocket centrally on rear

  • Zipped pocket on right hand hip

  • Snug fit over protective pants

  • Fill the knee pad gap OK

  • Slim fit (neither tight or baggy)


Me in my DHARCO womens gravity shorts in clay colour
Back view of my DHaRCO Womens Gravity shorts in clay

Front view of me in my DHaRCO womens gravity shorts in clay colour
Front view of my DHaRCO womens gravity shorts in clay colour

Pants

  • Pull-in Velcro adjustment on both sides of waist

  • Waist fastened by Velcro, two poppers and zip

  • Zipped pocket centrally on rear

  • Zipped pocket on right hand hip

  • Zipped pocket on left hand thigh

  • Snug fit over protective pants and bulky knee pads

  • Too short for me


Front view of me in my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print
Front view of my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print

Front view of me in my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print
Front view of my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print

Back view of me in my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print
Back view of my DHaRCO womens gravity pants in leopard animal print


Gloves

  • Can operate touch screen with gloves on

  • Feel good, fit well and really, I don’t know they’re there, so like a second skin

  • No serious protection (but fine for ‘normal’ riding, for serious gnar I’d wear something with a lot more protection)

  • Look good

  • Faux suede palm

  • Pull on, with no fastener at the wrist


Me in my DHarco Panama gloves
DHarco Panama gloves

Me in my DHarco Panama gloves
DHarco Panama gloves

More Detail


Shorts


Good looking, nice quality shorts. A slim fit. With my Bluegrass protective pants underneath, the shorts are snug, when my Troy Lee ones arrive from the UK, I expect the shorts to be tighter as the Troy Lee protection is thicker.


The shorts pull in each side of the waist by means of a Velcro adjuster tab, I’m using the Velcro fully open. There’s two poppers and Velcro to fasten the shorts, along with a short zip. There’s a pocket, fastened by a zip, on the right hip, it’s not huge (like the old Fox men’s shorts I wear) but I can get a phone, measuring 7.5cm x 16cm x 8mm thick, into the pocket. Personally, I wouldn’t want to ride with it there, it’s a bit tight but may give it a go sometime. I rode with my Olympus Tough G6 camera in the pocket yesterday, it was a tight fit but didn’t hinder my pedalling. Bear in mind that the tighter the short are on you, the more limited the pocket space will be.


There’s also a central pocket on the rear, in the small of the back, fastened by a zip, it’s quite small but would hold a lift pass, credit card and some money.


The shorts are long enough to reach my knee pads, so no unfashionable gap, if you're bothered by that!!


The shorts aren’t lined except for the a pretty lining around the inside of the waistband. The short's material is quite thin and has a crepe look to it.


I’ve ridden in the shorts and they feel good. If I order again, I’d probably go for a large, and pull them in at the waist with the Velcro, which will mean I can have baggier shorts, and a bit of extra length.


Pants


Nice looking in the animal print, Leopard design. A slim fit, the same waist and hip fit as the shorts, then the legs taper. With my Bluegrass protective pants and my bulky 661 knee pads on underneath, they are snug on the waist, hips and knees. I have particularly skinny legs, so the pants are baggy on the thigh and calf. I would imagine if you have ‘proper’ thighs, then they will look a whole lot better than they do on me!


The pants pull in each side of the waist by means of a Velcro adjuster tab, I’m using the Velcro fully open. There’s two poppers and Velcro to fasten the shorts, along with a short zip.


There’s a pocket, fastened by a zip, on the right hip, I can get a phone, measuring 7.5cm x 16cm x 8mm thick, into the pocket. Obviously, if the pants are a tighter fit on you then the pocket space will more limited.


A zipped pocket can also be found on the front of the left thigh, my phone doesn’t fit in it but a slightly smaller one would, but then that depends on how tight the shorts are on your leg. Personally, I wouldn’t want to ride with anything on the front of my leg, when I go over the bars, I always land on my front!


There’s also a central pocket on the rear, in the small of the back, fastened by a zip, it’s quite small but would hold a lift pass, credit card and some money.


Now length. A rough measurement from my ankle to my waist is 100cm, from my waist to mid-knee is around 55cm. The pants are too short for me from waist to knee, and from knee to ankle. They look a bit silly, but tbh, this is normal for any trousers I buy! They didn’t restrict my pedalling or riding and gave me added protection against mozzies. I bought long pants mainly for bikepacking, and to encourage me to ride in the colder weather! I'll certainly welcome the added protection of my lower legs too.


The pants aren’t lined, there’s a pretty lining around the inside of the waistband, and double thickness material on the knee detail. The material is quite thin and has a crepe look to it.


Gloves


The gloves are light-weight and pretty in the Panama design, with a black faux suede palm. The large size are a perfect fit for me. There is no fastener at the wrist.

I can operate my phone touch screen, although it takes a bit of getting used to tbh.

I’ll use these for bikepacking once my more protective gloves arrive from the UK.


Conclusion

All in all, I'm quite pleased with my experience with DHaRCO so far. The quality looks good, the fit, except the length of the pants, is good. If they are as robust as the Fighter Girls and Fox gear, I'll be happy to buy again.



**Update**

A year later, I've worn the Dharco gear for most of my rides. If I could buy again, I'd go a size up in both the trousers and shorts, to allow for my yoyoing weight! Thus far, no splits or tears to report. I've only fell off a couple of times!


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