We are so excited to introduce you to Philadelphia Holmes. Phila, as she prefers, has had a life spent outdoors. She's represented Australia at two World Age Group Long-Course Triathlon Championships, completed IRONMAN Cairns, run back-to-back ultra marathons over the Welsh mountains, completed many 100km trail events - including Ultra Trail Australia - though she would say that most of her running ultras are 'for fun on the weekend'.
Phila is the female owner of 6 off-road cycling Fastest Known Times (FKT) along the South Burnett Rail Trail including the 180km FKT. She likes to ride for fun too, and rode 400km in 18hrs one Saturday 'because it seemed like a nice way to spend the day'. There may have been beer involved. Phila is a self-confessed purveyor of fine triathlon and cycling kit, and is particularly impassioned about female participation in sport and supporting others. In fact, you may have heard and her cow bell before at events begging for high fives and hugs from competitors. She works full time as a nerd in a laboratory although mostly she'd rather be outdoors. Personally, we think Phila is an all-round All-Star, and because she is as honest as they come and loves to go the distance, we asked her for her bare all opinion on our kit.
We'll let her take it from here and we hope you enjoy.
The FOHER Team.
I like to go far. Sometimes I like to go far fast. Sometimes I like to go far slow. I just love going far running and on my bicycle.
Why is this important to know? The further I go, the longer I go, the more important the small, finer details are. In fact, the small details are so important to get right that I shouldn’t have to think about how big of an impact those details truly are. Nor should I have to bear the consequence of overlooking how big of an impact those finer details make. No one is having fun while living in the dreaded chafe city, or worse.
Pic: That time when Phila backed up a 200km ride with a second 200km (off road) ride in the same week, mid-summer.
The technology in the fabrics of FOHER Co's kits are up for any challenge. The high quality Italian mesh fabric used in both the run singlets and in the cycle jerseys moves your sweat away from your skin and allows it to evaporate in the surrounding air. What this means is that it not only cools you when it is hot, the material itself doesn’t become weighed down with your sweat. We talk weight savings on the bike but how much are we carrying in our own sweat in our clothes if it doesn’t manage moisture well? This moisture wicking technology isn’t only important for when it is hot, it is actually probably more important when it is cooler or cold. Climbs are a great example of this: sweating and working hard up a climb then to get up the top, the weather is a bit cooler, I am sweating from working hard and now I’m cool and about to descend off the other side. I’m not working anymore but I am wet with sweat. If my kit doesn’t dry fast enough and manage the moisture of my sweat, I am going to be cold. Then add in the weather has turned bad and there is no opportunity for me to get warm again and I can end up hypothermic. It doesn’t have to be that drastic though, on my last long ride outside I rode for 18 hours straight to cover 400km. I live in Queensland and it was summer, so it was humid and hot during the day, it sprinkled rain and then the temperature plummeted during the night. My one FOHER Co jersey was so perfect for the variations in the conditions I didn’t even have to think about being hot, cold or wet and I could just enjoy my time riding.
Pic: Two weeks bike packing in one set of FOHER Co bibs, vest and arm warmers that dealt with wind, snow and hail and perfect sunny days as well.
The same goes for the running gear, I don’t even have to be running 14 to 20 hrs at a time for the moisture management to be important. I love running in the mountains, Blue Mountains and the Victorian High Country are some favourites of mine, cool starts, warmth in the sunshine and working hard up mountains and climbs to then be standing in the cool of the shadows in the gullies or in the wind on top of a summit my one shirt I am wearing needs to be able to manage the moisture to prevent me from being cold from my own sweat.
The cycling jerseys have a slightly heavier Italian lycra on the front which is smoothed off to reduce drag and increase our aerodynamics which made it an ideal choice for my 180km female Fastest Known Time ride, or any racing we do for that matter.
Pic: Phila standing on the top of Mt Bogong on a 50km run in the Victorian High Country.
The ability to moisture wick well also aids in helping to reduce the possibility of getting chaffed from wet clothes. Talking about chafe this is where the flatlock stitching and well thought out seam placement is important. This is featured in both FOHER's run pants and hipsters and FOHER’s cycle bibs. Flats seams mean there is less bulk to catch and rub and the placement of them means there is even less chance of them rubbing. I have literally run just shy of 20 hours straight in one pair of FOHER pants and I have run many 14 plus hours in the hipsters. I have never had chafe because of these well thought out seams and flatlock stitching. I have done many 9+ hour rides and have never had discomfort or cutting in from the grabbers on the legs because they are wonderfully wide bands that also stop the sausage leg dilemma and there is no riding up of leg hems to be messing about with either. The added plus of having quality like this in endurance events is that even when the big bloat happens the construction of the hipsters and knicks means that all the extra fluid and extra stomach that suddenly appears gets held into place and doesn’t jiggle about.
Pic: Phila having worked up a sweat running up to Lions Peak in Hong Kong. This was on a quick stopover after running the back to back mountain ultra marathons in Wales.
Key components for sitting a long time on the bike is bike saddle and chamois. A female specific chamois for us females is a dream. I remember the day I made the commitment to forking out for quality bibs – my world was changed. I did that 400km ride and I could still sit on my saddle without any worries (it was only my hands that were the issue! Crazy!). Padding where we need the padding, breathability and moisture wicking to keep it from feeling like a diaper and sopping up our sweat down there. I took only one pair of bib knicks, FOHER of course, on a 14 day bike-packing trip to New Zealand’s south island where not only did I spend big days in the saddle but I spent some of those big days hiking my 25kg bike laden down with a tent and camping gear up steep climbs, through mud and sleet and hail. I could get back on my bike day after day in the comfort my knicks provided and never had to think of them, because they never gave me cause too.
All the fabrics FOHER use have four way stretch which allows the fabric to move as you move and doesn’t restrict movement. Every change in stride or step up out of the saddle is seamless as the fabric moves with your body. So, when we are moving, hauling arse, racing hard and going for coffee rolls we not only look fantastic but we feel it too.
Pic: Phila running the Three Capes Track in Tasmania in her Super Run Hipsters
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Grab your tape measure, make sure it is held flat, not twisted and always make sure that it is held firmly, not cutting in or squashing the area you are measuring. Please take the measurements below and compare them to the size chart to find the size that is right for you.
Taking your measurements whilst naked will give you your exact measurements, but if you intend wearing a garment (like a sports bra under your trikit), then take your measurements with those garments on.
CHEST/BUST – Place tape measure around the fullest and widest part of your bust (usually the part with the nipples!) Be careful not to let the tape measure slip down at the back, or squash you.
WAIST – Place tape measure between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hip bones (the easiest way to find your waist is to stand in front of front of a mirror and suck your tummy in hard - you should see it!). It's also usually the narrowest part of your natural waistline.
HIP – Place the measuring tape around the fullest, widest part, usually over your bottom or at the top of your thighs between your hips and thighs.
HEIGHT – In bare feet, stand against a wall and mark the point perpendicular to the top of your head. Measure up to this point from the floor.
These measurements do not include ease, which is the amount of extra space allowed in a garment for comfort and movement. The amount of ease added can greatly differ depending on the fit of the garment.
Still not sure about what size you could be? Our two product models are good examples.
Amanda is wearing the 2P trisuits and is a Small. Amanda is 177cm tall, Bust 85cm, Waist 70cm, Hips 89cm
Katie is wearing all of our other products in an XS. Katie is 156cm tall, Bust 80cm, Waist 68cm, Hips 91cm.