Some of us bike commuters prefer to wear cycling-specific gear to and from work…for long miles, training rides before or after work or just for the increased comfort such garments may provide. On the very hottest days here in Florida, I’m more than happy to bring a change of clothes — nothing looks (or feels) worse than sweaty professional wear. Sometimes this means a jersey, other times it is simply a tshirt and shorts.
And, when I DO wear a jersey, I tend to go for somewhat garish designs — no team kit for me, but I have a soft spot for “off-kilter” artwork.
When World Jerseys/Microbeer Jerseys offered us a chance to test one of their new Shmaltz Brewing Company jerseys, I snapped at the chance. Cycling-specific? Check. Garish artwork? You betcha:
This is a modern jersey all the way…high-performance wicking fabric, three elasticized pockets in the rear and a 3/4 length zipper. This jersey is cut in what I’d call a “generous club fit” — the small size was just a little baggier than I like (I don’t race, but I’ve got a racer’s upper body). Slim folks with a little more meat up top will fit fine in the small size.
The pockets are deep and secure — plenty of room for snacks, a spare waterbottle and tools/inflators for roadside repairs:
The 3/4 length zipper is awfully handy on the hot days…lots of ventilation when you need it and easy to zip up when you’re going fast or start to cool off:
The fabric is a bit heavier than some other summerweight jerseys I have on hand. I compared the thickness to a Voler, a Santini and a Northwave, and in all cases the Shmaltz jersey “feels” a bit more robust. On the bike, I really didn’t notice too much difference, but I think I’d prefer this for warm, not blazing days. I never felt like I was roasting, but I did tend to feel that the jersey wasn’t quite as breezy as others in my collection. Part of that may be that this jersey’s primary color is black, which isn’t the best choice for daylight riding in Florida’s summers.
Construction of the jersey is top-notch — tight, even stitching and no pulls or odd gathers. The elastic hem and cuffs seem to be stout stuff and should retain their shape with a little washing care.
Synthetic jerseys aren’t for everyone, as we’ve discussed recently…but for those among us who like such things, these Microbeer jerseys are a pretty good choice. Now, I need to see if I can track down a bottle of the Coney Island Lager this jersey represents!