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Verdict: 
Well-priced and nicely made long-sleeve top with no question over quality but some issues with sizing
Weight: 
339g
Contact: 

As long as you go careful with sizing and fit, Isadore's X Kompot Polka Dot is a comfortable long-sleeve top that has the potential to become a firm favourite in your ride wardrobe.

  • Pros: Great value, nicely made, cyclist-friendly cut with extended rear
  • Cons: Slightly strange sizing especially if you're broad-chested, no reflective highlights

A few weeks back I tested Isadore's Urban Jeans and, I have to say, I gave them a bit of a kicking. They were too expensive and, in my opinion, not made to a high enough standard. So it's nice to be able to state from the outset that Isadore's X Kompot Polka Dot long-sleeve T-shirt is about as far removed from both those areas of criticism as it's possible to get.

> Buy this online here

At £40 this is a fine bit of urban, leisure or even mountain biking cycle wear. The shirt is made in Portugal from 100% organic cotton and feels soft and light, yet retains a sense of hardwearing longevity. Essentially, it treads the fine line between being too delicate or too over-engineered very well.

Isadore X Kompot detail.jpg

There is also a small selection of nice details, such as the outer button and inner tab for retaining rolled-up sleeves, or the (very) extended rear cut, with an abundance of material to keep your lower back covered while in the saddle. Sleeve length is very good, too.

Isadore X Kompot rear flap.jpg
Isadore X Kompot sleeve button.jpg

Indeed, in the saddle performance is top notch. It's airy and loose enough without flapping around to make you feel like a human spinnaker. It's also surprisingly adept at preventing too much chill from getting through. Now the weather has turned towards winter, I wouldn't suggest it be worn as anything more than 'just another layer'. But come spring and temperatures back in the mid-teens, you could quite happily get away with this and just a baselayer.

Isadore X Kompot on bike shot.jpg

Which brings us to a few minor negatives. The first is that the relaxed neckline will expose said undergarment, meaning you might appear more Rab C Nesbitt than stylish urban road warrior. The second issue is that there are no reflective highlights. The polka-dot design is fun and eye-catching without being luridly high-vis during the day, but it's not particularly effective as an outer layer in the dark.

> Buyer's Guide: The best casual clothing for cycle commuting

The third criticism regards fit. According to Isadore's own sizing guide, my manly 46in chest should very definitely require an XXL shirt. But that extended almost down to my knees and we had to send it back as the photos looked ridiculous. The replacement XL version you see here is a pretty good fit but sits just a little tight across the pecs. So definitely try before you buy, and ignore Isadore's sizing suggestions.

Isadore X Kompot side.jpg

Verdict

Well-priced and nicely made long-sleeve top with no question over quality but some issues with sizing

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Isadore X Kompot Polka Dot Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Size tested: X Large (weight is for XXL)

Tell us what the product is for

Isadore says: "We teamed with Kompot to create this t-shirt, combining our cycling expertise and their flair for solid streetwear.

"A simple, elegant repeating pattern brings a fresh aesthetic to the classic t-shirt. Feature shoulders in asphalt grey invoke the road beneath the wheels, while polka dots link to the heritage of cycle sport.

"The t-shirt is lengthened at the back, reflecting the longer cuts of cycling jerseys and enhancing wearability, both on and off the bike. It's made with 100% organic cotton and is produced in Portugal."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Isadore:

Extended rear cut, perfect for cycling.

Available in three colourways.

Made from 100% organic cotton.

Produced in Portugal.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very nicely made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Good performance considering the relatively simple construction.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

It won't last forever but looks durable enough.

Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

A bit tight across chest.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
5/10

Sizing guide is a bit misleading – if you have a big chest be careful!

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10

Quite lightweight considering the amount of material involved.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Very nice to wear.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Good value.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Machine wash at 30°C, do not tumble dry.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well – it's a comfortable long-sleeve T-shirt/jersey whose performance belies its light weight.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It was warmer and more wind-resistant than I expected.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Sizing is a bit of a minefield.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

There's not a huge amount to directly compare it with – merino tops tend to be more (quite a bit more) – but it's more than 'just' a cotton T-shirt... Rapha's Technical T-shirt is £55 (100% polyester), while Chapeau's bamboo Cafe Jersey is £49.99. Showers Pass' bamboo/merino Henley is £73.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, definitely.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

In terms of construction, performance and comfort, the X Kompot Polka Dot is very impressive. However, the slightly narrow chest and the potential to get the wrong size when buying online restrict the score to 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'0  Weight: 16 stone

I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29  My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure