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Wild Rye Review: Freel Mountain Bike Shorts & Sandia Jersey

I like passing dudes on the trail, but I don’t want to LOOK like a dude. Which is why I love Wild Rye.

This for-women, by-women clothing company has managed to create mountain bike clothes that are functional, sporty, and still feel and look feminine. Wild Rye proves that function and form don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Recently, I’ve been testing out the Wild Rye Freel mountain bike short and Sandia jersey. I found both pieces to be flattering, comfortable, and well-constructed– with just one snag (pun intended). Read on to learn more….

Wild Rye Sandia Jersey (1)

May 2023 Update: Included additional purchasing options, updated prices, and changes to the Wild Rye jersey line.

Video Review

Wild Rye “The Freel” Mountain Bike Short

Say hello to your new favorite pair of mountain bike shorts. Well, they’re my new favorite pair of mountain bike shorts at least.


  • Water (and dirt) resistant material
  • Stretchy and comfortable
  • Flattering fit
  • Beautiful colors and designs


  • Spendy for a short without chamois

Price & Where To Buy:

A MTB Short That’s Actually Flattering On A Woman’s Body

Why do I keep buying bike shorts that are designed for a man’s body?! I’ve got hips and a butt and waist.

The Freel short recognizes this. The shorts run true to size, so you don’t have to size up to fit around your hips or muscular thighs. They also use a fit guide that I used to measure myself, and the fit turned out perfectly.

I have a narrow waist and I didn’t have any gap between the waistband and my middle like I do with many shorts. It’s worth noting that the waistband is NOT adjustable, but the material is stretchy enough that I don’t think women with wider waists would have any issues with it digging.

The waistband also has belt loops so I suppose you could wear a belt if you needed to, but that wasn’t as issue for me.

wild rye waistband

Stretchy Fabric Doesn’t Bunch Or Dig

There’s really nothing worse than having a pair of bike shorts that restricts your movement. Fortunately, that’s not the Freel.

This short is nice and stretchy. So stretchy, in fact, that I was able to do some post-ride yoga in the shorts with ease.

Because the fabric is stretchy it also better accommodates a wide variety of women’s bodies. Because we all have curves and thickness in slightly different places. The stretchy fabric helps accommodate those differences.

Comes In A Wide Variety Of Head-Turning Colors And Designs

Even if the these shorts weren’t as comfortable as they are, I’d probably still want a pair just ’cause they’re so darn cute. The hardest part was picking just one pair because all the colors and designs are amazing.

In fact, just talking about this has convinced me I need to order another pair ASAP.

Water-Resistant Fabric Also Resists Getting Dirty

Perhaps the truest test of a mountain bike short is taking it on a dusty, dirty multi-day bikepacking trip through the desert. Which is exactly what I did with these shorts.

I wore the Wild Rye Freel three days straight (with clean chamois), and it came out at the end of the trip looking pretty darn clean still. This included my son dumping half a can of Coke Zero on the shorts as well.

The short’s fabric is water-resistant, which is why that Coke Zero just rolled on off. This water-resistance also does a good job of repelling dirt and other stains. There were a couple of times that the shorts were looking pretty dirty, and I was able to literally just “brush them off.”

Wild Rye The Freel Short

“Enduro” Length Provides Additional Coverage

The Freel short is an “enduro”-length short, i.e. it’s longer than your traditional mountain bike short. This is great for women who really are doing enduro or downhill riding, as the short provides additional protection and won’t create any weird gap between it’s hem and your knee pads.

It’s also great for any woman who simply wants additional coverage. If you’re looking for a longer short, the Freel is a great option.

Plenty Of Pocket Space

If you like stashing stuff in your short pockets, you’ll be happy to know that there is ample pocket space in the Freel short. In addition, to the two front pockets, there’s also a large zip pocket on one of the legs.

I’m not a huge fan of putting my cell phone in my shorts, but the zip pocket is plenty big for a cell phone should you choose too. Or you could fit lots of snacks–more my style.

A Bit Spendy For A MTB Short Without A Chamois

At $129, there’s no denying that the Wild Rye Freel is a premium-priced mountain bike short. The similarly-designed Shredy All Time short, for instance, comes in at $108, and that’s already one of the pricier options on the market.

It also does NOT include a chamois, so if you’re a chamois kinda girl, then you’ll need to consider the additional price of that purchase as well.

But, let’s be real. You can’t put a price on a good pair of mountain bike shorts. Chances are if you buy The Freel, you’ll happily whip out your credit card later on for a second or even third pair.

Bottom-Line: Enduro-Length MTB Shorts That Are Actually Flattering

We’re adding the Wild Rye Freel short to our list of the best women’s mountain bike shorts. There aren’t many shorts that match the Freel in terms of cut and comfort, and possibly no others that look so cute.

Wild Rye Sandia MTB Jersey

Want a jersey that will look just as cute at the brewery after your ride as it does on the trail? Meet the Wild Rye Sandia short jersey.

Note: I reviewed the Sandia short sleeve jersey. While the long-sleeve Sandia jersey* ($95) still remains an option, the short-sleeve jersey has been replaced by the similar Salida jersey* ($75).


  • Feminine cut
  • Pairs nicely with the Freel or Kaweah short
  • Fabric is breathable and wicking
  • Grip-strip keeps jersey from riding up


  • Fabric snagged after only one wearing
  • Not forgiving around the waist

Feminine Cut Made Me Feel Pretty

A lot of mountain bike jerseys are boxy and generally unflattering. The Sandia jersey almost looks like a cute blouse I might wear out on the town, but made with tech fabric.

Waist Was Clingy On My Less-Than-Flat Stomach Days

Most of the days I wore the Sandia jersey, I felt comfortable and confident. There was one day, however, that I had some bloating, and I noticed the jersey clinging to my belly bulge.

While the jersey isn’t crazy clingy, it is a bit more tight-fitting than many women’s mountain bike jerseys, so if you have a little extra cushion around your middle, you may not love this jersey. Or, you may just want to order up a size.

Grip Strip Keeps Jersey From Riding Up

There is a grippy strip (similar to the grips on the legs of cycling shorts), on the bottom of the rear of the jersey. I loved this as it helps keep the jersey in place, and it won’t ride up and give you that awful gap between shorts and jersey. No more plumber crack!

grip strip

Fabric Stayed Dry And Cool Even On Hot Days

I tested the Sandia jersey on several 80-degree days, and was happy to discover that I stayed relatively dry and cool in the jersey, even when doing lots of sweating.

The neck, belly, and back have mesh-like panels with lots of little air holes. This did a killer job of keeping the air flowing through the jersey.

Colors Pair Nicely With The Full Array Of Freel And Kaweah Shorts

The Sandia jersey only comes in two colors, navy and gray, but they magically both look good with all the Freel and Kaweah shorts. I love that Wild Rye has managed to create a complementary color pallette so you can mix and match all of their peices.

Wild Rye Sandia Jersey (2)

Sad To See A Snag After Only One Wash

The only bummer with the Sandia Jersey is that it came out of wash #1 with a small snag. Snags aren’t that uncommon with bike jerseys–but gosh dangit!

Since then I’ve had a few more snags, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but durability is certainly something to consider. Or, you might just want to handwash with your other delicates.


No Pockets….So Wear a Pack

Some ladies like rear jersey pockets, others don’t, so I’m not counting this as a pro or a con. Just assume you’ll need to carry a hip pack to carry your essentials.

Bottom-Line: Feminine Jersey That Looks Good…But May Not Hold Up As Long As You’d Like

This might be my favorite jersey, if it weren’t for the snags. If you’re gentler on clothes than I am, you might be in luck. Otherwise, expect it to look beat-up sooner than later.

Aside from that, the Sandia jersey is comfortable, breathable, and has a flattering cut.

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About The Reviewer

kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @kristenlbonkoski

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