my next door neighbour, in common with a sizeable percentage of the local population, participates in the odd game of golf. there's many of us, most notably the mighty dave t who would contend that every game of golf could be filed under the heading of odd, but for the time being, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. i have returned, on occasion, from my perambulations, to witness an impressive red and white leather golf bag sat in his back garden either prior to being whisked to machrie golf links, or just back from a timely eighteen holes.
it is customary, i believe, to enquire after any member of the pelotonese as to how exhilarating was this morning's ride, but i have learned over the course of time, never to ask how a game of golf had proceeded. if the query has been levelled at the winner, they'll tell you in full, missing out scarcely a single stroke, while if fate has been less kind, they will try (in vain, i might add) to explain where they think they're going wrong with regard to their swing. bluntly put, i could care less.
but the one thing that golf has in common with cycling is that of cost. not just those flashy leather bags with the wee tea cosies atop what i believe are referred to as drivers, but in the use of carbon fibre for the shafts and titanium for the hitty bits. and guaranteed to invoke a sharp intake of breath are the various fees levied upon members of certain golf clubs, several of which outweigh the cost of my mortgage by more than just a few pounds.
there are, of course, sports that can be enjoyed with very little cost. though nike, reebok and adidas are quite happy to offer running shoes worth a small fortune, in point of fact it is relatively easy to get by with less expenditure. trainers, a vest, a pair of shorts and perchance a rainjacket in case of inclement weather and you're sorted. no doubt the specialists would disagree, and they may well be right, but if running for the simplicity of running, large quantities of cash are unnecessary. similarly that of swimming; a decent pair of shorts or a swimsuit, maybe some goggles and a swimming cap, and the only other expense would be entry to the local swimming pool. if you get serious, there may be club membership fees, but those are very unlikely to equal those of the golf clubs mentioned earlier.
bicycles cost a bit more.
even a very basic road bike will leave little change from a few hundred pounds, and just as you wouldn't go swimming in a pair of levis 501s, it kinda makes sense to purchase even a budget pair of cycling shorts, a helmet, shoes and a jersey. a bit like golf, those can range from not very much to the sort of prices that would make your kneecaps crinkle. because quite often the cheaper end of the market is seen as a less sound investment. or, at least, until now.
with cycle jerseys of a quality that equals those worn by the professionals often costing from this side of £100 to well over the other side, it would not be unseemly to view a jersey costing £29.50 with at least a modicum of suspicion. i have already introduced these first offerings from tribesports, a company previously known for its running gear, that has now entered the cycling world with ladies and gents' jerseys in grey and black respectively.
at my first point of writing, i had the jerseys in my possession but had yet to find the opportunity to go riding, something that hardly makes for a pertinent review. additionally, in respect of a point made on twitter recently, i now like to have washed any cycling apparel at least twice before committing word processor to pixel. all the above have now been taken care of.
the tribesports short sleeve jersey has three rear pockets, two of which are open while the third is a zipped security pocket sited outboard on one of the others. it is something of an oddity, for the majority of cycle jerseys arrive with three, plus a zipped version. why this number was adopted, i know not, but if we follow rule number 29, at least three pockets are going to be required to avoid the use of an embarrassing man satchel. the material is certainly not the thickest on the market, meaning you'd probably require additional clothing in the freeze of winter. the review period, of necessity, meant hiding the jersey under a softshell or rain jacket, however, though offering a remarkably close fit (medium size tested), it does offer copious stretch properties without any notable tendency to remain stretched after use.
for a jersey of such relatively little cost, it was most impressive to remove from the washing line even after three or four washes and find that, not only had it retained all of the shape it started with, but there was no tendency for the material to pook or bobble. the quarter length zip was most amenable to being run up and down with ease as cycling proceeded, and those orange panels under the arms actually have a purpose in life other than that of dubious aesthetics. they are constituted of a more open weave, allowing the armpits to breathe, always an important point at any coffee stop along the way. though in reality, the tribesports jersey is unlikely to rival those at the more expensive end of the market, in truth, that isn't its purpose in life. and if we conducted one of those blind tests so beloved of pepsi and coke, i doubt anyone would pinpoint just how amenable its pricing really is.
for those who need to increase the number of jerseys they own, simply due to more regular outings, or for those just beginning but not sure if they'll like it or not, this is not only amazingly good value, but a highly effective garment, sensibly designed and coloured that would see you fit in to whichever peloton your sunday belongs, without any eyebrows raised or beratings from the old codgers that always hang about at the back.
very impressive, and not just for the price.
a review of the women's jersey will follow soon. meanwhile both jerseys can be purchased direct from tribesports
monday 31 march 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................