Outdoor Research Freewheel Kit

The Freewheel Mountain Bike Collection is tailor-made for the rigors of mountain biking.

Outdoor Research Freewheel Kit Apparel Review

While making good gear isn’t rocket science, Outdoor Research founder Ron Gregg might say it doesn’t hurt to have a Ph.D. in Applied Physics, as he does. Outdoor Research, or “OR” as it’s commonly known, is an aptly named legacy of a brand created by a devout scientist who liked spending most of his time in nature, or “The Big Office.”

Having methodically crafted industry-defining gear in almost every other outdoor category for decades, OR is turning its sights to mountain biking with its newly launched Freewheel Collection. This lineup is brimming with style and precision, consisting of tops, shorts, gloves, and a hip bag. The riding kit chosen in this review includes the Freewheel ride shorts, Freewheel short sleeve jersey, Freewheel half-zip hoodie, and Freewheel mountain bike gloves.

The Freewheel Short Sleeve Mountain Bike Jersey features lightweight, breathable, and UPF 30+ sun protection.

The Freewheel ride shorts stand out for their blend of functionality and comfort. Crafted with DuraPrint, a 3D-printed overlay, on the outer hems for extra abrasion resistance in high-wear areas, these shorts are prepared for rigorous trail riding. An adjustable waistband and a zippered thigh pocket on each side ensure a perfect fit and safe storage for essentials.

My first ride in these shorts was a testament to their design. Despite a few brushes with brambles and an unexpected meeting with Mother Earth, the shorts emerged unscathed. But beyond durability, these shorts are super comfortable. With the bike-specific tailoring and generous stretch, the Freewheel ride shorts felt like a second skin, moving with me and accommodating every adjustment I made. The pockets also had enough room for my phone and a couple of snacks.

The Freewheel short sleeve jersey is the epitome of breathable performance wear. Its quick-drying polyester fabric keeps you cool even on the most grueling climbs, while UPF 30 protection shields you from the sun’s rays (not that I caught many rays during my winter test period.) The fit is spot on—snug enough to avoid being caught by the wind but generous enough to allow a full range of motion. It also doubles nicely as casual wear with its minimal graphics and versatile colorways.

The Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie is built with breathable and bluesign approved weather-resistant materials.
The Freewheel Jersey has Thermo-Regulating ActiveTemp™ Treatment, keeping the upper body cool on grueling climbs.
The Freewheel shorts are crafted with a contoured waistband with higher back waist for coverage in seated position.

The Freewheel half-zip hoodie is perhaps my favorite piece of this kit as it offers dynamic warmth without much weight. The fabric feels bombproof, while the inside feels soft against the skin—almost a little fleecy. The half-zip design allows for quick temperature regulation, which I found invaluable during a ride that started chilly but warmed up by noon. The hoodie proved to be an essential layer, offering just enough warmth for the morning without overheating as the day progressed. It is a superbly practical piece that I don’t want to take off at the end of a ride.

The Freewheel mountain bike gloves complete the kit with a focus on grip and protection. Featuring a silicone grip pattern on the fingers for enhanced brake and gear control, these gloves also boast a well-built wraparound index finger design that seems super durable. A spill on a particularly tricky descent put these gloves to the test, and I was grateful for the added protection that allowed me to walk away with nothing more than some dust on my pride.

The Freewheel Half Zip Hoodie is a breathable, quick-drying layer that protects against wind and moisture.
The Freewheel Leather Gloves sport grippy crash-resistant goat leather palms with padded reinforcement.

Each piece in the Freewheel Collection demonstrates Outdoor Research's commitment to quality and innovation. From the trail-ready shorts and jersey to the essential hoodie and gloves, this lineup is designed to meet the demands of mountain biking enthusiasts. Whether it’s tackling steep ascents, navigating technical descents, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride through the forest, the Freewheel Collection offers the performance, comfort, and style that modern riders demand.

The meticulous design and thoughtful engineering of the Freewheel Collection have the power to transform the mountain biking experience. Outdoor Research, with its legacy rooted in scientific inquiry and a passion for the outdoors, has once again raised the bar, offering riding gear that’s not just functional but also stylish and durable.

Outdoor Research Freewheel Riding Kit

MSRP Half Zip Hoodie: $179
MSRP Leather Palm Gloves: $59
MSRP Short Sleeve Jersey: $60
MSRP Ride Shorts: $115

Learn More: https://www.outdoorresearch.com/collections/freewheel-mountain-bike-gear