ProView – Outdoor Research Freewheel Mountain Bike Kit Review

Sage, newly green, expands out in every direction against the dusty, desert trails. Pedaling in the brisk Bishop sunshine, I climb and descend through the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. Finding the flow state, I look as far down the trail as I can, anticipating each rock rock garden and bank. Glancing up at the high peaks, still cloaked in white above the sage-covered valley of Payahüünadü, it’s just me and my bike.

Outdoor Research Freewheel Mountain Bike Kit Review

Product Name: Outdoor Research Freewheel Mountain Bike Kit Review

Product Description: New for 2024, we are proud to unveil our Freewheel Mountain Bike Collection. With an emphasis on function and durability and designed in collaboration with our athletes and customers, this eight-piece mountain bike-specific assortment embodies our history in progressive technical apparel design, allowing you to focus fully on your technique, not on the fit of your gear.

Offer price: MSRP: $39-$179

Currency: USD

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Fit
  • Features


This mountain biking kit had me feeling comfy-cozy and protected from the elements while training for the Tahoe Trail 100K bike race in the Eastern Sierra’s desert foothills. The components of this mountain biking collection are well-thought out, comfortable, and practical for a day on the trail. From Outdoor Research’s Washington home to the sagebrush scrub of the Eastern Sierra, this kit is designed for the mountain biker who wants to ride, not overthink their gear. 



  • The Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie excelled at blocking wind while maintaining breathability for cool-weather climbs 
  • The Freewheel Mountain Bike Gloves breathed well and had excellent touch-screen compatibility
  • The Freewheel 5L Hip Pack had plenty of space for all the gear I needed for a day of mountain biking, with excellent organizational features


  • The Freewheel Ride Shorts did not fit my body well despite the adjustable hip-cinch design
  • Despite the otherwise wonderful design, the head-hole on the Freewheel Short Sleeve Jersey was cut too small for my head while putting it on

I tested Outdoor Research’s Freewheel Mountain Bike Kit on the sandy-but-well-loved  trails outside of Bishop, California. As I begin my training for the Tahoe Trail 100K mountain bike race in July, I’m on the hunt for great gear to use on my training rides. I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the Freewheel Mountain Bike kit. Read on to see what I loved about this brand-new collection from Outdoor Research.

Women’s Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie

With the Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie, it was love at first sight. Bright yellow in color, soft and cozy, and relaxed in cut, I couldn’t wait to wear this hoodie out on the trails for a cool-weather training day. 

It did a great job of cutting the wind during breezy descents and keeping me comfortable during cool-weather climbs. The material was soft and supple against my skin, making it possible to wear this hoodie over a tank top or tee shirt with no discomfort. Despite the excellent job it did of cutting the wind, I also found it to be surprisingly breathable while pedaling uphill. The long cut and drop-tail hem prevented the chill from reaching my low-back while bent over the handlebars, but did not catch on the seat.

The cut of this hoodie was relaxed and comfortable for mountain biking. At 5’ tall, and around 105 pounds, I found that the XS fit me well. Made of recycled nylon and spandex for stretch, this synthetic piece felt well-thought out and useful for the everyday mountain bike ride. 

The Freewheel Half Zip is rated to UPF 50+, ensuring sun protection for long days on trail. This was certainly appreciated for long, chilly days of biking in the desert sunshine.  Made with bluesign-approved materials, this hoodie is guaranteed to be good for you and for the broader community.

The Freewheel Half Zip hoodie’s hood fit well over my bike helmet while out on the trail. The hoodie features a left hip zip pocket, which was excellent for storing snacks, chapstick, or a pair of keys. I was incredibly grateful that this pocket zipped, making it a secure storage location during flowy downhills. Unfortunately, the pocket was just a little bit too small to store my iPhone 15. In the future, a larger pocket would improve the design of this hoodie.

Despite the quarter-zip style on this hoodie, it was impossible to put it over my bike helmet before a descent, or take it off before beginning a climb. This product would be significantly improved with a longer zip in order to make it possible to take it on and off without taking off my helmet while riding. 

While the sleeves on the hoodie were a good length, I found that the cuffs were a little bit tight around my forearms. This made it difficult to pull the hoodie on and off. While this cuff fit was secure while riding, I felt that the cuffs could be widened a touch and still maintain the secure fit. 

Shop Women’s Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie on Outdoor Prolink
Shop Women’s Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie on Outdoor Research

Women’s Freewheel Short Sleeve Jersey

The Freewheel Short Sleeve Jersey is a do-it-all tee constructed with smooth, silky polyester and spandex fabrics rated to UPF 30. Extremely lightweight and cooling, this jersey did an excellent job of wicking moisture away from my body during long climbs thanks to Outdoor Research’s ActiveTemp technology.

The cut of the short sleeve jersey is boxy and relaxed. I wore an XS in this shirt. I liked this cut for mountain biking, as it allowed me to have a wide range of movement. This piece also features a drop tail to prevent exposed skin and sunburns on the lower back while riding. I found this cut to be an excellent feature, allowing for full sun-and-wind protection while riding.

During testing, I found this shirt to be extremely comfortable around the shoulders and armpit regions, allowing me to focus on my riding rather than my gear. Outdoor Research was extremely thoughtful about how they placed their seams, and as a result of this, I didn’t get any chafing while riding. The sleeves were a touch long for my liking, but they did a good job of providing additional sun protection to my eternally-toasted shoulders.

My only major con for this piece was that the head hole was cut oddly small while the rest of the shirt fit with a breezy, relaxed cut. For this reason, when putting this shirt on, I struggled to pull it over my head. A larger head hole would improve this shirt. 

Shop Women’s Freewheel Short Sleeve Jersey on Outdoor Prolink
Shop Women’s Freewheel Short Sleeve Jersey on Outdoor Research

Women’s Freewheel Ride Shorts

I’ll be honest: these shorts didn’t fit me as well as I hoped that they would. As a 5’ tall woman with narrow hips, finding shorts and pants that fit me is hard. I ordered a size 0, and found them to still be a little bit too big. 

No shade to Outdoor Research, as it seems that they worked hard to make these shorts fit a wide range of body shapes and sizes through the highly adjustable Low-Pro Side Waist Adjustment tabs. I’m aware that I’m on the smallest end of users. That said, I wished that these shorts just came in a smaller size or petite cut – while I was able to cinch the waist down to its maximum tightness to make them fit, the width and length was still awkwardly baggy on my body.

Made of bluesign-approved nylon and spandex rated to UPF 50+, the Freewheel Ride Shorts were comfortable against my skin, despite not fitting me all that well. The material felt lightweight, breathable, and relatively stretchy for a softshell-style short. They could easily be layered with a pair of padded liner shorts as a result of the relaxed fit.

I appreciated the top-loading and side-loading zippered side pockets for secure storage of snacks, keys, and the like. These pockets were placed well, and didn’t get in the way while riding. And – thank goodness to Outdoor Research for making women’s shorts with pockets that actually fit things in them! The top-loading pocket is massive, with tons of space for all of the odds and ends one might need on the trail.

Shop Women’s Freewheel Ride Shorts on Outdoor Prolink
Shop Women’s Freewheel Ride Shorts on Outdoor Research

Freewheel Mountain Bike Gloves

Outdoor Research absolutely nailed the Freewheel Mountain Bike gloves. I am totally obsessed with them for their high breathability, excellent touchscreen compatibility, and supple dexterity. With a power-mesh back of hand and a synthetic suede palm with perforated venting, these lightweight gloves are built for big, warm days on the trail.

These gloves are seriously breathable. Unlike beefier gloves I’ve used, I found that my hands never got overly sweaty while using the Freewheel Mountain Bike gloves. This was beneficial because I never felt like I needed to take off my gloves while pedaling up long climbs to avoid sweaty hands. They were well-vented on the palm, back of the hand, between the fingers, allowing for optimal comfort.

Most “touchscreen compatible” gloves just don’t do it. Enter: the Freewheel Mountain Bike gloves. I had no problem navigating online maps, texting a friend, or taking photos while out on the trail – all in the comfort of these gloves. These are the best touchscreen-compatible gloves I have ever used.

I had excellent grip on my handlebars in these gloves. These gloves offered a wonderful balance of protection and grip while maintaining lightweight breathability. I can’t imagine that they will be the most durable gloves I ever use, but they will certainly be in my kit for the Tahoe Trail 100K.

The only downside is that I ordered an XS in these, and found the fingers to be slightly too long for me. This overall didn’t bother me, but may bother others with even shorter fingers than mine. This said, the gloves are stretchy, and I feel that they could accommodate a wide range of sizes and shapes quite well.

Shop Freewheel Mountain Bike Gloves on Outdoor Prolink
Shop Freewheel Mountain Bike Gloves on Outdoor Research

Freewheel 5L Hip Pack

The Freewheel 5L Hip Pack is roomy and well-featured, making it a joy to use out on the trail. Big enough to store the Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie, snacks, a water bottle, bike tools, a phone, earbuds, and some chapstick, this hip pack is where it’s at. 

I appreciated being free of a backpack while riding, while still being able to carry all of my essentials. While this hip pack looked massive on me, it proved the right amount of storage space for everything I needed for a day out. The padded waistband was comfortable for all-day rides with no chafing experienced during my testing.

The interior of the hip pack’s main compartment features a zippered pocket for securing the essentials. The rest of the main compartment is large enough to hold a jacket, tools, and a few other items. On the front, the hip pack features another zippered compartment for glasses. The right side features a stretchy, mesh water bottle pocket with an elastic cord that could be used to add security. Finally, the zippered mesh hip pocket easily fit my iPhone 15 in it. All in all, the number of pockets and bike-specific design features impressed me while using this hip pack.

I was surprised to open a Velcro compartment at the very bottom of the hip pack to find an additional mesh stow net that could be secured to the exterior of the pack. Think exterior helmet carry on a backcountry skiing pack. Outdoor Research says that this mesh stow pocket is made for pads or a jacket. While perhaps not the most secure storage option if you’re blasting downhill through rock gardens, I thought this was an incredibly clever idea for increasing the hip pack’s capacity.

The hip belt cinched small enough to fit me, but left a lot of the tail dragging. It would have been nice if there was a clip to keep the extra hip belt material out of the way while riding, as I found the extra length hitting my leg while pedaling.

Shop Freewheel 5L Hip Pack on Outdoor Prolink
Shop Freewheel 5L Hip Pack on Outdoor Research

The Final Word

If you’re looking for a thoughtfully-designed mountain bike kit designed for the downhill and cross-country rider alike, look no further. Outdoor Research clearly put a lot of care into this collection: seam-placement to avoid chafing, durable, moisture-wicking materials, and so. many. zippered. pockets. 

In the future, some minor tweaks to fit and features could make this collection absolutely stand-out. And may I suggest… maybe a few more feminine colorways in the future? I would love to see some more red, pink, or purple for us lady-bikers who want to show some extra style on the trail. Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but I, for one, love ripping around in pink!

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Jackie Florman

Jackie is a backpacking guide at Lasting Adventures Guide Service in Yosemite National Park, CA. She also works on a snow hydrology field research team, writes for HikingDaily.com, and is currently writing a thesis in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She loves splitboarding, scrambling, and rambling around in the Eastern Sierra and the Colorado Rockies. Follow her adventures on instagram @jackieeflor.

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