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The dhb Sync cycling jacket is an impressive piece of kit; a full-on waterproof and windproof outer layer, giving excellent protection against the elements. In design, it's more like a jacket for hiking or hill-walking, so may well appeal to people looking for versatility - although it has a bit of an urban flava as well, so may be useful for commuters. It also looks similar to the understated jackets from brands such as Rohan aimed at stylish world travellers.
So the Sync is an all-rounder, but how does it perform on a bike? It's undeniably tough and keeps bad weather at bay, but it's a thick and relatively heavy garment too, so it's not ideal for training rides - let alone sportives or other events where you're likely to be spinning along at a fair old pace.
Where it will be more useful is for commuting, but only for the more relaxed rider that doesn't build up a sweat on the way to work, rather than the courier-wannabe that always track-stands then sprints away from the lights.
In the bike world, perhaps where this jacket really comes into its own is for steady cycle-touring in cold conditions. And should you start to perspire more than the breathable fabric can deal with, additional ventilation is provided by zipped openings under each armpit.
In both commuting and touring situations, as well as providing excellent protection, the Sync jacket looks pretty 'normal' so can be worn equally well on or off the bike. Its savvy-travel style would make it especially ideal for long-distance tours; again, its normal looks mean you could wear it with equal comfort crossing Alpine cols or strolling the streets of Berlin.
Looking at the features in more detail starting at the top, there's a peaked hood with elasticated draw-cord and adjusters - meaning you can pull it tight enough so it moves with your head - but it doesn't fold away into the collar, so if you're not using the hood it just flaps in the wind when you're cycling.
There are large pockets on each side at the lower part of the front of the jacket. These are useful for putting your hands in during that stroll around Berlin, but anything kept in these pockets when cycling bangs on the tops of your legs as you pedal.
There's no rear pocket but there is a small chest pocket with a vertical zip that's big enough to carry a wallet or phone, but that is too low (it's more of a stomach pocket than a chest pocket) to be not much use on a bike.
The jacket's main zip has flaps in front and behind for extra waterproofing, while the cuffs on the sleeves can be closed with Velcro on flexible plastic tabs that are easy to grip with gloves on. The hem is scalloped only very slightly, so you don't get the covering over the rear-end that you get with most cycling jackets.
The Sync is available in black and dark grey-green. Some riders may be disappointed that it's not available in brighter colours, especailly as it'll be used in bad weather (when the sky and surroundings also tend to be black or grey-green), but as this jacket is intended for use as much off the bike as on it, maybe these colour options are understandable.
This jacket retails at £79.99 on the Wiggle website (dhb is Wiggle's in-house brand) which is a good price compared to similar multi-purpose travel/activity garments from other manufacturers. But despite the price and quality, at the end of the day this isn't really a jacket that's suitable for most road riders.
Good quality, heavy-duty waterproof and windproof jacket. May appeal for expedition cycling or gentle commuting - as well as travel or general outdoor activities - but various features make it unsuitable for many road riders
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Make and model: dhb Sync Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: Green - M
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?
The Wiggle website says the Sync is a, "three-layer storm jacket with a generous cut that leaves space for your regular clothing; ideal for commuting and journeys on both bike and foot...
"It's the only jacket you need over the course off your day, ideal for both on and off the bike. The understated matt tones and reflective detailing fit perfectly into any travelling environment, providing an alternative to the classic styling of more conventional cycling jacket ...
"The cut is longer than a conventional cycling jacket to ensure you have effective waterproof coverage when you're off the bike and the fit accommodates thermal layers in cold conditions or your regular clothing on short trips.."
Nothing wrong with any of the above, but it does seem to be saying 'this isn't your normal kind of cycling jacket' - and whether that's a bad thing or a good thing depends on what you're looking for.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wiggle website goes on to say: "the Sync Jacket has a stealth aesthetic," which I think means it's available in dark colours.
Other technical features highlighted include:
* Full length zip with twin storm flap
* Peaked Hood
* Adjustable collar
* Adjustable Elastic cord waist
* Large pit zips for ventilation
* 2 zip front pockets
* 1 zip chest pocket
* Graphite reflective dhb front logo and rear tail print
* Relax fit
Construction seems very good indeed. The fabric is sturdy and the seams are all neat and sound, making the jacket waterproof.
As an outdoor jacket, performance is excellent. I've worn it a couple of times when walking on the hills in bad weather. However, various features and the sheer size of this jacket mean it won't be suitable for a lot of bike riders.
Based on construction qualities, durability is likely to be good, although of course it depends how you treat the jacket. If you use if for outdoor activities other than cycling, and it scuffs against rocks and trees, or you carry a rucksack, then it obviously won't last as long.
Very comfortable, but a point lopped off for the flapping hood.
Very good value. You could pay double this for a jacket of similar qualuty from one of the well-known travel/outdoor brands
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, when walking
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but not for cycling
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only with above proviso
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It's hard to give an overall score to this jacket, because while it's a great piece of kit for travel or outdoor activities, it's not so good for most types of cycling. So we've rated its features as they stand - which gives a very good score overall - but add the caveat that the Sync jacket won't actually be suitable for most road riders.
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,