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Tag Archive: cycling jerseys

Review: Solo Classique Cycling Jersey

A new player on the cycling-clothing scene is Solo Cycle Clothing, all the way from New Zealand. When they contacted us just before Christmas to gauge our interest in their line of jerseys and other clothing, we were very receptive to what they were offering. As with any new company venturing onto our shores, though, there were some delays in getting a jersey to test. I was hoping for a winterweight jersey to help counteract the chilly temps here in Ohio, but things just didn’t work out that way. Still, Solo sent me a short-sleever from their “Classique” line, and it has gotten quite a bit of use now that spring is here.

First, some of the slickest packaging in the cycling industry:

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Here’s a little bit about the jersey from Solo’s website:

•The Solo design team openly declares its mission: to produce the most beautiful cycle clothing in the world. The Classique range of jerseys pays tribute to iconic nations within cycling’s golden age, with retro styling and accents that will set you apart from the field
•Constructed from Nuovotec polyester; a proprietary polyester blend created for Solo Cycle Clothing, that has superior breathability, wicking, anti-bacterial properties and is super soft against the skin.
•Thoughtful and functional features including an 8″ front zip with oversize zipper pull, four rear pockets, silicon elastic waistband and knitted retro look arm and neck bands
•Retro-inspired design elements including superbly screen-printed (not digitally printed) chest, arm and rear graphics, resulting in bright colors and patterns
•The world’s most beautiful cycle clothing is here. Timeless style inspired by cycling’s golden era. Discover your new favorite jersey within the Solo Cycle Clothing Classique range

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As you can see (and read), the Classique line is geared toward a retro look with modern materials…and they’ve nailed that look with the simple patterns, short zipper, and rib-knit cuffs and neck. This particular style, the “Brouwerij Heuvel“, is an homage to the rich cycling heritage of Belgium, and as many cycling jerseys are, it’s also an homage to BEER. Ironically, this is the second beer-themed jersey I’ve had the pleasure of testing, and I don’t even drink!

The Solo jersey is cut in a near-racer’s form — a little more room than a true racer’s cut, but not as baggy as “club cut” jerseys tend to be on my narrow frame. The quality of the jersey is apparent from the first wearing — the material is supersoft and breathable, the stitching is superb, and the knit cuffs are robust without being constrictive. There’s a thick silicone band at the hem to keep things from riding up in the heat of battle, and that’s always a nice feature. Take a closer look at the cuffs — they’re surprisingly soft and hold everything in place very nicely:

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On the back there are the three traditional pockets, and one smaller zippered pocket for valuables. I really like the extra security of a zipper for my phone and ID cards, so it was nice to see this included.

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As with jerseys from the 60s/70s/early 80s, the Solo Classique line comes with a short 8″ zippered neck. This is my only gripe…yes, it looks retro on this model, but there’s a reason longer-length zippers became standard on modern jerseys: ventilation. My personal preference is for a full-zip jersey, or at least a zipper that goes down pretty close to my belly button. In springtime temps, the short zipper is not a big deal, but as the temps ratchet upward, I will desire much more ventilation than this 8″ opening will allow.

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Not every commuter likes to wear cycling-specific garb…in fact, I would hazard that most simply ride “as they are”, or at most change shirts when they get to work. For those of you with longer commutes, or a penchant for after-work/weekend athletic pursuits, a cycling jersey like this starts to make more sense. Retailing for $139.00, this ain’t no throwaway cheapie — sticker shock for some, but pretty much in line with top-quality cycling wear. To soften the sting of that price tag, Solo is offering a special deal to Bikecommuters.com readers:

URL: http://www.solocycleclothing.com/
Code: GILET50
Offer: Buy a Solo Classique Jersey and use this coupon to get a Solo Equipe Gilet at $49.50 (50% off RRP).
Time frame: Effective now through 31 May

Overall, I have greatly enjoyed the Solo jersey. It won’t be my first choice when the heat of summer comes, but for now it is serving me quite nicely (and making me look incredibly stylish). Take a look at the rest of Solo’s lineup by visiting their U.S. or global websites.

Review: Shmaltz Brewing Co.’s Microbeer Jersey

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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!

Check out the Microbeer Jerseys website for more style choices, and also pay a visit to World Jerseys (who is affiliated with Microbeer?).

2009 BikeCommuters.com Jersey

We’re taking pre-orders for this jersey. Sizes available will be S,M,L and XL, we also have these available in Women’s sizes M, and L.

This uses the same great Elite Dry Fit that our other jerseys came in.
Price including shipping to the 48 states (exludes Hawaii and Alaska-no Int’l ) $35.
bikecommuters jersey

If you’re interested in placing your pre-order, let me know. info@bikecommuters.com

We also have another design that will be due out next month…