A couple months back, Hector from Faction Cycling Co. sent us a jersey to test out. All of their jerseys are made in the U.S.A. and the company is based in Chicago, where folks know a thing or two about living with two wheels.
Here’s a bit about the jersey from Faction Cycling’s website:
• 100% Polyester Micro Denier Yarn
• Comfort Fit Design
• Pocket-less Construction
• 3/4-length Invisible Zipper
• Made in the U S of A
Faction Cycling describes the jersey as “Club Cut”, and while it is roomier than a race-cut jersey, it’s not quite as roomy as other club-cut jerseys I’ve tried. I give that a thumbs-up — I don’t like excess fabric flapping in the breeze — but others looking for more room may want to try a size up.
You may have noticed in the above description that there are no pockets. Faction says:
Since we were already packing all our junk in a bag, we ordered up a club cut jersey, and said hold the pockets. We kept the rest of what we liked in a standard jersey and lived comfortably ever after.
It’s true that many (most?) commuters and other cyclists carry a saddlebag to hold their goodies while riding, so it would seem that going pocketless is a good thing. In practice, though, I actually missed the pockets that I’ve become accustomed to having…my saddlebag isn’t that big, and I often carry a couple of extra C02 cartridges, my cellphone and snacks in jersey pockets. If you’ve got a bigger bag (saddle- or handlebar-bag) or routinely carry a messenger bag or backpack, you won’t miss the pockets as much as I did.
The detailing of the Flatlander jersey is subtle…thin white stripes against a charcoal grey background, with only a small company logo on one sleeve and a small Municipal Flag of Chicago adorning the left breast (Windy City represent!). It doesn’t scream “LOOK AT ME!” the way many other cycling jerseys tend to and as such fits the needs of commuters who want to keep a bit lower profile out on the roads. And, it doesn’t look out of place with other clothing…you want to wear a pair of regular shorts or jeans with it? Go ahead: the neutral color and subtle ornamentation won’t clash with “street clothes”.
The fabric is of top-quality…all of the features (durable, moisture-wicking) one might expect of a cycling-specific garment. Construction is top-notch, too; the stitching is great and there are no odd puckers in the jersey. A 3/4-length zipper lets you ventilate as needed on hot days.
Overall, I think this is a great jersey — with a price of $75, it is in keeping with other brands’ jerseys and it’s refreshing to see a U.S. made product. If you really need pockets, you’re in luck: Faction Cycling makes a few jerseys with traditional pockets as well. Check out their site for other jerseys, caps and cool t-shirts.
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