Solo Cycle Clothing’s Heuvel jersey >> $139
The lowdown: Classic looks made using modern materials
Pros: Good fit and great touches
Cons: pricey at $139, but the jersey is well made
At the VeloNews.com office I’m known as a bit of an old-school cyclist. I don’t train with power and I own multiple steel bicycles (and I’m always lusting after more of them). Caley Fretz has accused me of being born in the wrong decade.
But I do love modern technology, especially when it comes to cycling clothing. High-tech fabrics keep me warm and dry in the winter and spring, and cool and protected from the sun during the summer.
With its Heuvel jersey, Solo Cycle Clothing managed to please both my aesthetic and technical tastes. Its design is inspired by the classic garments used by racers in the 1970s. I looked in vain for a brewery by the name of Heuvel (brouwerij means brewery in Flemish and Dutch) but that doesn’t detract from the jersey’s top-notch construction.
While the look is retro, the materials are modern. Solo uses a polyester called Nuovotec (“new tech.” See? I’m not making this up!). It wicks well and is also anti-bacterial. Against the skin the fabric is nice and soft, though it’s a bit heavier than many modern summer jerseys.
Other premium brands try to get clever with their pockets, but Solo stuck with three large rear pockets and a small zip pocket for valuables. I appreciated that on long rides in the mountains. I had plenty of room for food, a vest and my phone.
The bottom of the jersey has a gripper that goes around the entire waist. This certainly helped keep the slippery material from riding up.
The small size fit me well (5 feet 10 inches, 145 pounds). And while the jersey uses modern fabrics, it wasn’t the coolest jersey to wear on super-hot days. The 8-inch zipper didn’t help that much. Those who habitually unzip their jerseys should not buy this garment. On cooler days and during early morning rides, though, I loved the jersey.
The cuff and collar on the Solo jersey is a heavy knit fabric that is a bit more restrictive than more modern designs. The look, though, can’t be beat.
At $139, the Heuvel jersey is less expensive than most Rapha or Assos offerings, but still quite a bit more than Pearl Izumi’s classic Quest jersey ($50). Of course, the Quest jersey doesn’t evoke Belgian cycling from the Seventies.
Solo Cycle Clothing has done a great job of bringing modern fabrics and features to classics designs. Sure, they’re a bit pricey, but looking good isn’t cheap. If you don’t dig the yellow-and-black theme, check Solo’s website. They have other great designs, all with the same features and at the same price.