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The Women’s Synergy Jersey is a lightweight windproof and water-resistant jersey that’s intended to eliminate the need for a vest and arm warmers during cooler rides and shoulder season variability.
Basics: Long sleeve race-cut; windproof and water-resistant; highly breathable
Pros: Works as described
Cons: Sizing runs small and even after sizing up, the wrist cuff was too narrow to accommodate a watch
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The Synergy has been a great piece of kit for the tricky weather that comes with late fall. The front panels and top of the arms utilize Gore-Tex Infinium Softshell, which is essentially an updated version of Gore’s Windstopper technology. It’s windproof but relatively breathable and, while it isn’t waterproof, water beads off the material well.
Infinium also has significantly more stretch than older Windstopper items. 7Mesh increases the jersey’s water-repellency with an equally water-resistant YKK AquaGuard Vislon zipper, and as a thoughtful gesture, all the pull tabs are both unobtrusive and easy to grab with gloves.
The back panels and underarms are an equally thin but lightly fleeced knit material, which is where most the jersey’s breathability comes into play. Small reflective accents and branding on pockets and between the shoulders add visibility. Autumn commutes can be an extreme way to test product, as it’s often close to freezing in the mornings but climbs well into the 60s or 70s by 5 o’clock. The Synergy jersey has been quite comfortable in temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-50s, and, while it certainly isn’t intended for the warmer afternoon temperatures, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with its breathability. Don’t get me wrong—the jersey is hot at 65-degrees, but I haven’t found myself as sweaty and damp as I expected.
Even a 50-degree day can be miserable with a biting wind, but the Synergy has been a great option on blustery days. Leaving the vest and wind jacket at home, I was still as comfortable as one can be when riding into a headwind. And while the Synergy isn’t intended for rain, I did find myself reaching for this jersey rather than a jacket on damp, drizzly mornings because it offered just enough protection while maintaining breathability.
The back also features five well-designed pockets: three standard cargo pockets with two side-entry zippered pockets that are just big enough to stuff a phone into. If you insist on riding with (wired) headphones, 7Mesh has your cable routing needs covered with buttonhole passthroughs from the outer zip pocket through the standard cargo pocket and inside the jersey. They even provided right and left loops on the inside of the collar for further cable routing.
The Synergy has a close-to-skin cut with articulated shoulders and long, narrow sleeves, giving it a great on-the-bike fit. The narrow sleeves end in a thin, snug elastic wrist band that works very well to seal the cold out, but I find the wrist and sleeve to be so narrow that I can’t comfortably wear a watch with the jersey. While I like the snug fit and unobtrusive design of the wrist band, I wish it was paired with a slightly more forgiving forearm so that I don’t have to leave my watch at home.
We all like a svelte, flap-free fit, but smartwatches are commonplace enough that I’d like my cycling kit to accommodate them. I also find 7Mesh’s sizing to run small across the board. If you don’t have the ability to try it on before purchase, I recommend going up one size from what you typically wear.
In all, 7Mesh did a great job capitalizing on the improved Gore-Tex Infinium material and pairing it with (mostly) well-thought-out design to create a jersey that really does eliminate the need to carry a jacket or vest in many situations. I think it’s an ideal staple for late fall, spring, and even mild winter riding.