What a summer it has been so far for cycling, and what a perfect opportunity to test some great looking kit from new brand Saikel. With the brand only launching last year, I was unsure what to expect, but I have to say I was rather impressed with this Chevrons Jersey – although it could do with a few tweaks to help justify what is a pretty high price tag.
My first impressions of the jersey were fantastic. The simple but effective design puts it on par with brands such as Rapha and Morvelo for looks, in my opinion (it's also available in a subtle but equally pleasing to the eye, 'mint' colour). The fabric feels lightweight and very comfortable against your skin.
With the jersey manufactured in Italy, it was no surprise to find that I needed a medium rather than the small I would usually opt for. It's a slim fit without being skin tight and generally fitted me well, although I did find while in a riding position that there was some extra room in the front around the neck/chest.
Saikel says that the Chevrons is designed to be a three-season jersey worn throughout spring, summer and autumn, perhaps with a baselayer and arm warmers for cooler occasions. Mesh side panels help to keep you cool on hot days and the main body wicks away sweat effectively while also being lightweight and incredibly quick drying. However, it is not an out and out summer jersey, evident when riding in the recent 25+ degree weather we have been experiencing in the UK, when I was more comfortable in a summer-specific jersey such as the Rapha Souplesse Lightweight Jersey.
Without being able to test it in cooler weather currently, I do think that Saikel is right and I would happily pair this jersey with a baselayer or arm warmers and wear it most of the year round.
The raw cut sleeves are a nice touch and not only look good but feel extremely comfortable and reduce the possibility of chafing from seams and grippers.
The three rear pockets with a reflective trim are unusually deep for a women's jersey. Although great for carrying snacks and spares, it means they do sit quite high on the back of the jersey and are difficult to access while riding.
Having become frustrated by several test jerseys without zip pockets recently, I was pleased to find that Saikel's offering has one. It's a big one too, with plenty of space for a phone, small wallet and keys. Better still, the zip pocket is also waterproof, meaning its contents didn't get sweaty or soggy during my rides.
With its rrp of £95 – a price to rival Rapha – I was expecting big things of this jersey. While it could still use a few little tweaks to match Rapha in fit and performance, and to fully justify the price, I love the design and really enjoyed testing it and would definitely consider buying it myself. On the other hand, Rapha's Core range undercuts Saikel in price and offers great fit and performance, as does the Santini Women's Volo Short Sleeve Jersey I recently tested.
Overall, though, if you are looking for a good quality, stylish all-rounder of a jersey, the Saikel Chevrons is certainly worth considering.
An exciting first offering from a new brand and a great jersey for everyday use
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Saikel Chevrons Jersey (women's)
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
The chevron jersey gives a welcome burst of colour and pattern for cyclists everywhere. Available in two colours, it's up to you which one you take out for the day and there's no wrong choice!
Our jersey is the perfect 3-season jersey designed to be your go-to throughout the spring, summer and autumn. During fresher days, complete the kit with a sleeveless baselayer and arm warmers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The unique multi-panel design features soft-touch moisture wicking fabrics both front and back with mesh sides to allow your skin to breathe. The four-way stretch fabrics allow for aerodynamic excellence and raw cut sleeves give a clean look. A shorter front and Saikel signature gripper ensures the jersey is comfortable and stays in place all day long. The long, raw-cut sleeves continue the clean lines and add to the jersey's aesthetics.
Our jerseys and bib shorts have quick-drying fabric meaning the kit can be worn time and time again.
All our jerseys feature three deep pockets perfect for stashing fuel for the ride and a waterproof zip pocket for more precious cargo. The pockets are topped with a reflective strip to give that extra bling during those evening summer rides.
Comfortable, moisture wicking and very quick drying but not as good as a summer-specific jersey in the heat.
A nice fit, slim but not skin tight, with a little extra room around the front of the neck and chest.
Sizes up a little small, as Italian made kit often does, and a size medium fitted my size 8 frame well.
An rrp of £95 makes for a fairly pricey jersey and, although great, this could still use a few tweaks to make it better.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Absolutely no problems washing on a 30 degree cycle and dried so fast I could wear it day after day.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable as a jersey I would happily ride in most of the year.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The design and waterproof zipped pocket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pockets come up very high and are hard to reach while riding.
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 overall score
It's a very good jersey, but it's expensive and needs a couple of tweaks before I'd score it higher. It's definitely on its way to being exceptional.
About the tester
I usually ride: Planet X London Road My best bike is: Bowman Palace:R
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.