Going Solo - Race Bred Cycling Clothing
Ben Lyon puts the retro Kiwi brand Cycling Jerseys... through the paces in a
product review to see if something retro is really something new.
By Ben lyon
Half a world away from the mountains of Italy, cobbles of Belgium,
French clubs, and American super stars, Solo Cycle Clothing Company in New Zealand is
making a go at the road market with a small but stylish collection of cycling
The collection currently has four classically styled Jerseys each paying
tribute to some aspect of cycling history; although more will be added in the
future. The accessories include a
cap, merino wool (nice stuff)
t-shirts each as handsome and appealing as the jerseys.
The popular St Neith Jersey
Recently Daily Peloton received a sample of Solo jersey to see just how they
measure up, function on road and quality. I have to say, it's a classy
change from some of the novelty jerseys available on the market.
Stage One - Aesthetic Appeal:
Opening up the Solo package at my shop and showing a few good
customers was the prologue, they eyed it with pretty good first review. Each of
them liked what they saw in the New Zealand gear, so we were off to the races
with a winner. With stage one done: the "aesthetic appeal factor" completed with excellent
reviews, it was on to stage two.
Stage Two - Construction:
Stage two was an eyeing over of the jersey; since so often what looks nice
can lack the quality of good stitching; or what has good seams, lacks in good
material. It’s a frustrating trade-off when you want the perfect fit.
So here is the result, the material is smooth, almost silk like (but thicker
than your boxers). The stitching could be a little tighter in the shoulders, but
I wouldn’t fret over it; while the retro elastic/cotton cuffs and collar may
over stretch over time it was also of little concern, all in all, an excellent
package on construction.
Hercule by Solo Cycle Clothing
Stage Three - Road Test:
In about 14 degrees Celsius with a warm sun I set out for stage three, a
Sunday ride of a little over 100km, the performance test. The jersey’s weight
was perfect for the weather when layered with a long sleeve base; and what I feel
is an important factor it had no riding up on the waist.
Two cool features stood out while I wheeled down the road: the small zippered
pocket on the left and an open pocket on the back and the smart front zip with a
lock. The zippered pockets meant secured coffee money, and we all can appreciate
that. With the front zip I flicked the tab up and could pull the zipper open
with one hand. Leave it down and it acts like any normal pocket.
Going Solo - Race Bred Cyclewear
Stage 4 - Style:
Riding by a few shop windows for stage four, the final assessment I glanced
at my reflection, and beyond the embarrassing pale early season legs, I liked the
classic style of the top.
So here is G.C. result for the final assessment, the low down you I may:
Solo’s Jerseys are unique, stylish and easily matched up in quality with the big
brands top stuff. The weight of the jersey is fair and though you would no doubt
love to train in it or show it off on the club ride, when the hot race days come
you will likely opt for a slimmer lighter jersey. The other cool factor is it
comes from New Zealand, and the prestige factor in having something from a well
made über classy design collection.
At home I have a small selection of my favorite kits, there are my favorite
bibs, socks, and now I've added a Solo jersey to the elite part of the
Most brands seem to have a ‘line’ while Solo seems to have created small
‘collection’. Two thumbs up on this kit; though the cost may be a bit pricey,
you have to admit to get high quality gear and great design you can always
expect to pay more and in the end it proves worthwhile in the long run. The
other great thing about the jerseys is the the retro look and great looks have
a unique panache and you're likely to have your bike mates asking where they can
For more information checkout www.solocc.com.
Update: This month starting today (June 7) Solo Jerseys
has a special 15% discount on Jerseys for Daily Peloton readers, the offer is
good until July 1.
Solo Fremont (click for larger image)
A with Paul Mason
What one thing would you say sets you apart from the typical clothing companies
making jerseys around the world?
Paul Mason: Probably our respect for cycling culture
and history. We think this feeling actually translates into our jerseys. The
reason for Phil and I starting the company was that we wanted to make cycling
clothes that we ourselves wanted to wear and thought there would be other
cyclists who felt the same. This is where our main slogan of
‘You are not Alone’ grew
What fabric are the jerseys made of any notes on the technology involved or
particular attention to details?
Solo jerseys are made from Sport-X Dry fabric – a
sports specific fabric designed with superior breath-ability and wicking
features; both Phil and I wear Klimatech polyprop undershirts as well. The
jerseys wick away sweat really well. Additionally cuffs and collars have a 5 per
cent Lycra content which means they retain their shape extremely well.
The jerseys have 3 conventional elasticized rear
pockets without zips. A small zippered pocket sits on the outside of the right
hand pocket – it is not stitched on, but concealed internally so you still have
a neat ‘seamless’ appearance. It's a small detail but it adds to the overall
look and style of the jerseys.
It’s the best of both worlds. Retro styles using
modern fabric. We pay great attention to the finer details that separate Solo
jerseys from the bunch: An 18cm front zip with an over-size zipper pull for
gloved fingers, customized silicon elastic waist band, additional rear zipped
pocket (safe storage for phones & keys etc) and our unique polycotton/lycra arm
and neck bands.
Starting today Solo Jersey has a Special 15%
discount on their Jerseys for Daily Peloton Readers.
The one I bought in November makes me smile everytime I wear it."
FB Düsseldorf, Germany
"This jersey is awesome! The fabrics are easily the best I've seen or
worn. I was impressed with the detailing around the cuffs and neck and the
RW Auckland, New Zealand
"I belong to 2 cycling clubs in the Atlanta area. I'm sure when a lot of
my cycling buddies see this jersey they will want to know where I got it.
SB Marietta, USA
"I’ve just received my jerseys – they are beautiful. Just the fit I
wanted, great colours and styling and very comfortable. As soon as I opened the
package I threw on the Leone jersey with the black cap and paraded it around the
house in anticipation of my next ride – I can’t wait.
Beautiful product. Thank you."
AK Vancouver, Canada
"I received my jerseys yesterday. They look fantastic and the quality is
very high. Now I just have to get out on the road with them. Another reason to
look forward to the weekend. Thank you."
PP Hong Kong
"My jersey arrived yesterday, it looks just great and is inspiring to
wear. Thanks for the free socks - and your suggestions to use S size was right.
You are doing a great job with the jerseys, continue combining high-tech with
the style of the old days."
KH Hessen, Germany