Please welcome my better half to the Ordinary Cycling Girl review panel! Let’s call him Ordinary Cycling Guy for ease; it fits with the blog initials! Here he is with his review of the Heritage Jersey from new British brand, Svelte.
Thanks to Ordinary Cycling Girl (my wife!) for asking me to review the Heritage Jersey from Svelte.
Now, unlike my slender other half, I am a robust MAMIL who fell in love with cycling once rugby became too painful. The flash, heavily emblazoned offerings of many manufacturers are not a ‘good look’ for me. I like to go for understated but hopefully still good-looking kit which, if you care about quality, means expensive! Svelte’s stated aim is to offer ‘stylish, high-quality bike clothing at competitive prices’. This sounds like good news….
The most distinctive selling point for me with the Heritage jersey from Svelte is the three colours; deep navy, green and burgundy. They are rich, modern and classic. And the cool simple vintage styling works for me. The jersey is made in Mile End, London – finally some kit actually made in the UK – from Merino Perform fabric, which is 36% Merino and 64% polyester; the idea being a good combination of shape-retention and wicking performance. And it performs well. It’s comfortable to wear and has so far kept its shape after a good few washes and it has wicked moisture away with decent effect during my rides…and I sweat, so that’s good praise!
The defining features…are all present and correct
Svelte have clearly targeted a simple athletic fit without gimmicks. However, the important features that define a cycling jersey are all present and correct. There’s a zipped pocket hidden in a seam on the right, a buttoned key pocket on the left as well as the ubiquitous but essential cargo pockets. The rear metal button unobtrusively bears the classically-designed Svelte logo.
I would perhaps like to see the addition of a reflective stripe or piping on the rear pocket to aid visibility given the dark colours on offer, but it’s a stylish piece of kit. Timeless in design, functional and extremely wearable.
Comfort and quality
Yes, the quality is top notch. “As good as Rapha?” I can hear you asking. Well, the answer is very possibly yes. It certainly has the feel of a high quality garment and has so far responded well to the miles. As for ride comfort, it’s well-engineered for the ride position, perhaps a little short in the body for my 6′ 2” frame and build but I have a longer than average torso. And it doesn’t become uncomfortable in the upright or ‘coffee and cake’ position either.
Negatives? There’s not a lot to say here. My only criticism, would be that the sizing does not aim for flattery. As a chap with a 44 inch chest who usually ends up wearing a size large, the Svelte Heritage jersey in XL was snug. So, if you’re convinced by the quality and design, go a size up from your normal size. And Svelte – maybe consider introducing an XXL so as not to exclude the big blokes from your lovely kit. They’re not a bunch you want to upset!