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Contrary to the foreign sounding nomenclature Schlamm are a UK based cycle-clothing company, unashamedly cyclo-cross biased and race heavy with a range of clothes designed by people in the Lake District that have a long history in competitive sport and riding in the crappest of conditions. The Wetzikon jacket could easily be described as the pinnacle of their art and ethos, designed as a garment to keep you pedalling through the foulest weather, no excuses.
The Wetzikon is constructed from a fleece lined membrane fabric making it both waterproof, breathable and warm. It works. When pedalling along you can feel an otherwise crisp sharp wind actually not going through the jacket, and it shrugs off those days of perma-drizzle without so much as a petulant whine.
It's long in the body and cut flatteringly tight, the medium jacket tested was just right for the 5’ 10” (and-a-bit) rider, the arms extend properly all the way to wrist (hooray!) and although the torso felt too long in front of the mirror once outside and facing the harsh cold truth of winter it was just perfect, with the waist gripper keeping everything taught and low.
The jacket is spattered with details that prove it's designed by people that actually cycle when the weather's doing it's best to put you off. The collar is a standout feature; significantly deeper than any other jacket we're tried it comes all the way up to the chin and we can't express how much we love this apart from saying if we could marry it we would. All Winter jackets need this. This thick high-neck is akin to wearing another layer, keeping the wind off and the heat in, negating the need to pack any type of neck buff-er, although if unzipped a bit for cooling the overly large, er, flaps do give you the look of Vegas-era Elvis, or Harry Hill, depending on how much hair you have. Uh-hu.
All the zip-pulls are nice and chunky easing use with fat winter gloves, while a strip of material is sewn behind the full-front zip as baffle to stop the chill fighting its way through the teeth which is a nice idea though the fabric is a bit flaccid and wants to get caught in the teeth, which can be annoying. And there is the on-trend zip-dock at the top so there's no chin chaffage. The ends of the arms are zipped with a gusset so you can take the jacket off quickly over gloves, on the start line after your pre-race warm-up for example, and you can leave them open to air your wrists if you get warm on a winter climb, whilst children of the Seventies will already be aware of the style value of a flared limb with a sewn-in insert.
The standard-issue three pockets are out back and they're wonderfully cavernous for winter snap and kipple and the right-hand pocket has an extra zipped outer weatherproof compartment for keys, money and your MP3 player, especially your MP3 player as there’s a de-rigeur hole in the back for its headphone lead. A front waterproof chest pocket, just the right size for any mobile-phone shaped object also has a headphone hole should you need more multi-media outlets.
It's stylishly under branded, no Belgian plumbing suppliers neon patternings here, just the Schlamm logo broad across the back, small down a rear pocket and on the front and neck with a Schlamm logo ‘S’ pattern running down the arms. The subtle grey detailing you see on this test jacket is also available in a more visible, red. Subtle reflective piping graces the rear.
The overtly white colour, whilst wonderfully 'pro' and noticeable on a grey tarmac day has started to show grubby signs of cyclo-cross mud and road grime to the point where it needs a good pre-soak and attacking with specialist washing products to keep it sparkly. But this is the only criticism we have of the jacket, oh, and that it is too warm, if that's possible. When the temperature starts to creeps away from zero and towards double-figures some pit-zips would could be useful, that or not coming out over-dressed.
The Wetzikon has been well tested in the recent chilly conditions. Weather that would normally have me either actively staying indoors with a blanket watching endless "Murder, She Wrote" repeats or multi-layering up so it was difficult to move I would happily crack the ice off the front door and head out in the comforting embrace of the Wetzikon. With only a winter thermal underneath, and if it was really cold a sleeveless jersey as well, I was kept warm and happy in weather that should have me shivering and whimpering for home, and not just for the duration of a quick spin but for several arctic hours on the trot. I would describe myself as a frail person that feels the cold and as is my way I would pack an extra layer in the middle rear pocket "just in case" for when it got even colder later in a ride. I never used it. And did I mention the bliss that is that high neck, especially when the wind-chill is freezing your eyelids off? For the enjoyment of otherwise hostile conditions and the peace of mind that I wasn't going to suddenly die of hypothermia, and for looking pro-rugged on the way back home through town this jacket is worth every single penny.
Oh, and because you gagging to know, Wetzikon is a cyclo-cross race venue in Switzerland, just east of Zurich, home to 43 international ‘cross races and a World Champs.
A fantastic winter riding jacket that dismisses harsh conditions with a stylish swagger. There's no such thing as bad weather, just not having a Wetzikon jacket.
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Make and model: Schlamm Wetzikon
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?
"A good winter jacket is the difference between a happy positive training experience and a miserable day out followed by an internet search for a new sport. The Wetzikon jacket has been developed after too many of the latter; we have suffered so you don’t have to!"
Dodgy hyperbole aside that sums up the jacket nicely. Designed by riders used to crappy weather for riders who want or need to go out in crappy weather. I concur wholeheartedly, this jacket has had me man-up to cold winter days when normally I'd have been inside hugging a radiator.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wetzikon jacket is a fleece lined membrane fabric so it's waterproof and breathable.
Snug warm 'race' fit, arms more than long enough for no annoying wrist gap, a long body and that high collar.
What's to say, it's make this Winter's perma-frost riding almost a pleasure.
It's holding up pretty well so far to some serious road and cyclo-cross use, but it's starting to get grubby.
For such a warm and effective barrier it's surprisingly un-bulky.
The fleece lining keeps it warm and snug and the membrane keeps the laziest of winds from cutting through you, and then there's that high collar.....
Cheaper and warmer than having to buy several thermal layers and considerably cheaper and more effective than a lot of other "Winter" jackets. Bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed impeccably and in fact totally changed my aspect on winter riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The warmth, the windproofness, the fit, the look, that high neck.....
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, the flappy zip-baffle and spotless cleaning regime were only minor annoyances.
Did you enjoy using the product? Completely, it totally rejuvenated my winter riding.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, and I have done, several times.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
You've just run out of excuses.
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.