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Fondo Athlete: Melissa Mackenzie


Road and mountain biker from Melbourne, Australia

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Tell us your cycling story?

I’ve been riding for about 2.5 years now. I’d been doing a lot of running and decided I wanted to try something different so I brought a bike and signed up to do a half ironman; with absolutely no idea what I was doing. The bike leg turned out to be my favourite and after some encouragement from my local bike shop, I joined a club, got a race licence and went along to a couple of crits. At the time I had no idea what Tour of Bright was; it was just a race someone suggested I should do, so I signed up. It was a tough event for my first ever road race; I basically walked down the time trial ramp and I still hadn’t learnt how to hold a wheel properly so I was working so hard just to hold on, but I loved it!

What are you training for at the moment?

Nothing in particular at the moment; I had a couple of injuries last year which never really got the chance to heal properly, so it’s been good to have a bit of a rest and just have some fun cycling. This year I’m hoping to spend some more time trying to improve my mountain bike skill; at the moment I’m terrible and terrified of rocks, then later in the year I’ll probably start training for Tour of Bright again.

What do you love most about riding bikes?

I was running on my own before I started cycling, so I love how social it is. I really love the culture of going out on a bunch ride and then stopping at a café afterwards with everyone. It’s also a lot of fun to go exploring new places on a bike and I’ve made some great friends through cycling.

How many Fondo kits do you own and which one is your favourite?

Probably too many, Nine. N+1 applies to kit too right?
As much as I love all my Fondo kits, Ibiza is my favourite. I know it’s ridiculous but I have multiple sets of this one design.

What do you like about your Fondo kit?

Everything! I wish I had bought a Fondo kit sooner. It’s the most comfortable kit I have tried, and it fits me perfectly. I absolutely love the designs; they’re pretty and flattering but not too girly. The fabric is of a high quality, which is really comfortable to wear and despite how much use mine have had they haven’t worn out or lost their colour. I also love that you can buy a different size top and bottom, because we are not all the same shape or size.

And finally, what makes Fondo kit so comfortable?

The chamois is amazing; I’ve never had an issue with saddle sores in Fondo kit, even after 6hrs on the bike. I love how firm they are; when you first try them on it take a little while to get used to how firm they are, but once you do other kits just feel too loose. Because they’re firm everything stays where it’s meant to; you don’t have to wiggle around because your chamois has moved or readjust your jersey because it’s rolling up, you can just ride without worrying about what your kit is doing. The wide bands on the leg are so comfortable and prevent any unflattering sausage leg and the fabric is really soft and it breathes really well.
It might seem like the simplest thing but finding a kit that fits well and is comfortable is hard, but once you do it makes cycling so much more enjoyable. If you’re kits not comfortable or you feel self-conscious in it you’re not going to enjoy riding or ride as often. Fondo has helped my cycling because it’s one less thing to worry about when racing, my kit doesn’t bother me and I actually look forward to wearing it.

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