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The name's a mouthful, but dhb's Classic Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey Marl is stylish, comfortable and practical. And at £55 it's very good value too.
dhb's Classic collection is meant to bring practical, functional kit within the reach of every cycling budget, and this Thermal jersey is no exception. The combination of fabric, cut and features adds up to a package well worth the price tag.
The jersey is designed for colder weather, and when paired with a decent baselayer and jacket could do you down towards zero degrees, depending on how hot or cold you run. The fabric is a brushed polyester of very stretchy nature. The banding across the chest is printed so it's a seamless panel, with a flap behind the zip to keep chills out. The zip ends in a generous garage to keep chafing at bay, and the collar sits about mid-height – it could be higher and snugger given the use case, though, and on colder days you might want a neck tube.
Inside, the seams aren't flatlocked but the fabric is so soft this wasn't an issue when worn without a baselayer – which you'd likely be able to do into the low teens of temperature. At the rear are three generous pockets, with a zipped one on the right able to accommodate a reasonably large-ish phone (tested with an iPhone 5 in a waterproof case). The centre rear pocket has a reflective flash at its base, and around the inside of the hem is a silicone grip-strip.
Fit-wise it was perfect for me – particularly the arms, a rare find matched with the appropriate body dimensions. According to dhb's size guide I should be somewhere in medium, possibly erring towards small except for my height, which at 6ft is nearly a large. The stretchy fabric accommodates well, and with dhb retailers Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles' returns policy you can buy/try without worry.
But all this nonsense pales into insignificance beside the primary question: how does it look? Mrs Stead is long-resigned to my appearing in the kitchen en route to the bike shed, attired in all manner of bodyhugging neon-splattered get-up. She has a ready repertoire of comment to hand, should any sartorial aspect not meet her exacting world view – which is most of the time.
Upon seeing the dhb Classic, her remarks were most flattering (leaving aside the perennial 'would look better on Daniel Craig, though'). This can be ascribed to the slim fit matched by an almost-ruched-looking fabric, a slight fabric sheen atop the nice base colour, and well proportioned stripe detail. Of course beauty is in the eye of the spouse about to be left with three kids on their hands for a few hours, but I'll take that as a win.
Once free upon the open road, the jersey is at once enveloping and absent – no draughts penetrate when layered atop a decent merino baselayer, yet things never felt sweaty or constricted when opening both ventricles to their fullest extent. With a good-quality jacket over the top things ramped up in the warmth stakes, but never felt overly sweaty.
The extremely stretchy nature of the fabric allows you to pull up the sleeves, and the full-length zip affords maximum ventilation if desired. The slightly longer cut at the back meant things didn't get chilly, and loaded pocket contents stayed in place.
Overall, the dhb Classic deserves to become just that – a classic.
A great match of form, fit and function – and it looks sharp too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Classic Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey Marl
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's for anyone wanting to ride in cooler weathers and look good doing so.
dhb says: "dhb's Classic Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey is ideal for the cooler months of the year. Perfect to layer up with making it super versatile to suit a wide range of riding conditions. Make it the cornerstone of your winter wardrobe."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Warm breathable wicking polyester fleece fabric
Full length, lock down YKK zip
3 vertical pockets with secure YKK zip pocket
Internal zip guard
Internal elasticated silicone gripper on hem
Reflective dhb logo on front chest and upper back
Well put together.
Always felt very comfortable, riding fast or slow.
For me, it's perfect. A keeper.
Pretty much bang-on.
The fabric is lovely.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed up well. No signs of wear or fading.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed. No complaints.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit – nice long sleeves and snug body.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If the collar were a bit higher and snugger it would have garnered 4.5 stars.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.