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Cannondale’s new men’s Metro jacket provides an all year round outer layer for the avid short to mid distance commuter keen on battling through the elements come what may. If commuting in uniform or civvies is your bag, then this may just be the bag for you.
Fit on the Metro is far from pro-cut, tailored Italian style for the aerodynamic gent or the racing roadie, but its generous full-bodied shape does allow you wear, and hence transport, your normal working attire from home to work – you won’t need to don a competition-fit slick jersey under this parachute, and there’s no need to stuff your favourite blazer into a crumb-filled Tesco's bag to get it to work.
There is also a concealed flap at the back that folds down to give added ‘rear’ protection and, unlike the minimalist pro jackets on the market, the front panel has enough length to allow for wearing in an upright position without the embarrassment of showing off your navel piercing to all and sundry.
The material Cannondale have opted to use is a three-layer laminate which makes for a lighter weight piece – it’s not hugely waterproof, but that’s obviously not the aim. This Jacket opts for breathability over water repellency a sensible tactic for those shorter journeys when wearing less technical clothing underneath. It may not keep you dry in prolonged bouts of rain, but Cannondale don’t want you to boil in this bag, and the lightness of the laminate and inclusion of lengthy zip vents under each arm provide adequate air-conditioning any time of the year.
Cannondale’s attention to detail is refreshing, and a lot of thought has obviously gone in to the ergonomics of this jacket. Clever features include chunky rubber tabs on the Velcro adjustable cuffs to allow for easy opening and closing with full finger cycling gloves on, as well as on the two rear pockets and main zips. The draw string toggles at the base of the Jacket are conveniently positioned at the sides, rather than at the base of the main zipper, thus avoiding the somewhat annoying friction damage in the crotch area that resembles the remains of a vigourous bout of frottage (erm, well have to take your word for that – ed).
The real touch of genius lies hidden in the collar – the concealed hood is shaped and designed to fit over most cycle helmets, offering added protection from the elements without compromising your protection from the tarmac. An excellent innovation, but with the hood up and the Metro’s bright orange finish you will look like the Elephant Man after suffering the disgrace of being Tangoed.
Colour aside, this is an understated Jacket that aims to incorporate its function into a clean, minimal finish – the reflective bands are kept to a minimum for example – but they are strategically positioned for full effect (and for fans of the truly understated the Metro is also available in black).
You get plenty of material for your £140 here, and what’s particularly pleasing is the generous sleeve length. Add to this the plethora of panels, the firmly taped seams and the quality stitching holding it all together and you have an impressive technical Jacket. It’s not one for the diehard roadie or MTBer, but it’s ideal for the avid urban commuter looking to avoid any possible reason not to ride.
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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.