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Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey



A classy looking UK-manufactured jersey with the performance to match

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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With the weather like it is at the moment, where we're seeing three seasons in one day, you can't go far wrong with a garment like the Heritage Long Sleeve Jersey from London-based Svelte. Warm when you want it, cool when you don't, it's a versatile top that you're going to get a lot of use out of. Exactly what you want from a jersey that costs north of 100 quid.

Don't be fooled by the simplistic design and classic looks, the Heritage is bang up to date in terms of features and materials – it's not a jersey just designed to look great at the urban coffee shop, it's a serious piece of race wear.

> Buy this online here

Back in June 2015 ran a piece (see here) about a fledgling cycle clothing company called Svelte, which was looking for £10,000 worth of investment via Kickstarter to create this, its flagship jersey, the Heritage (okay, the first product was the short sleeve version, but you get the idea).

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - logo.jpg

Merino wool makes up 36% of the blend alongside polyester and a small amount of elastane for stretch. Merino is highly regarded for its ability to regulate body heat and also having anti-bacterial properties which kill odour, both of which the Heritage benefits from.

My first test ride wearing the Svelte could have been a complete disaster in terms of wardrobe choice, but it certainly highlighted the versatility of the Heritage. I left the house in 12°C sunshine in bib shorts, mesh baselayer and the Svelte over the top. I was out for a three-hour training ride so the effort was pretty high, but the Heritage's breathability did the job of removing excessive body heat without issue. Even on some of the steeper climbs with the increased effort, it never felt overwhelmed and I remained dry.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - riding.jpg

Twenty miles from home, the rain started and the temperature plummeted. In the space of five miles it went from about 8°C to around 0.5°C, while the rain continued to get heavier.

I was thoroughly soaked, but although I was really starting to suffer with the cold, the Heritage trapped and kept hold of the small amount of body heat I had left, and I could make it home (where, admittedly, I spent the next 30 minutes on the kitchen floor in agony as the feeling came back to my fingers and toes).

An extreme test, I know, and not something the Heritage is really designed to cover, but it highlights the range of temperatures it can deal with. On drier days with the same thin baselayer beneath, I could comfortably ride at temperatures of around 8°C.

The athletic cut, as Svelte calls it, means the Heritage sits close to the body without any fabric flapping about in the wind. Great for aerodynamics, plus being fitted means you don't get any gaps for draughts to rattle through.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - back.jpg

The tail is dropped for a racing tuck, plus the long sleeves keep your wrists covered at full stretch. The cuffs are also cut longer on the top than the bottom to suit the angle of your arms when holding the handlebar.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - cuff.jpg

Storage is plentiful with three deep pockets at the rear, the two side ones being angled for easier access when on the bike – little details, see.

You also get a zipped pocket on the side of the three main ones, plus an extra buttoned one for keys and the like. They can sag a little bit if you really overload them, but they are so deep nothing will bounce out of them.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - pocket 2.jpg

The neck is a sensible height too – tall enough to keep you covered without digging into your throat. You get a zip garage as well to stop any irritation.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - collar.jpg

While I'm on the zip... this is probably my only criticism here. The test model didn't feel as if it ran very smoothly, not quite as plush feeling a motion as I would expect on a £110 jersey. I really am being picky here though.

> What to wear now spring has arrived

So, that price. Is it justifiable? Comparing it against its most obvious long-sleeved merino competitors from the likes of Rapha, Vulpine and Shutt VR, I'd say the Heritage holds its own very well. UK manufacture is rarely cheap, but it's something Svelte is very proud of, along with the fact that all materials are sourced from within Europe.

Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey - button.jpg

The overall quality definitely feels great, so you are getting what you pay for in that respect. It feels like it's going to last – a jersey that you're going to get plenty of wear out of over the coming years. Which certainly helps.


A classy looking UK-manufactured jersey with the performance to match test report

Make and model: Svelte Long Sleeve Navy Heritage Jersey

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?

Svelte says: "Following the style and fit of the Short Sleeved Heritage Jersey our Long Sleeved variant is constructed from the same functional fabrics in the same East London factory. The addition of long arms transforms the Heritage jersey into a versatile, 3-season jersey, perfect for cool Winter and early Spring rides. Developed for comfort and style on and off the bike."

Offering plenty of warmth while remaining breathable the Heritage Jersey certainly is ideal for those rides when the temperature is a bit on the nippy side.

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

Manufactured in London

Danish Merino wool based

Merino Perform Fabric

Athletic fit

Concealed pocket in seam

Button down key pocket

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The Heritage looks and feels very well made, with neat stitching and brilliantly finished details.

Rate the product for performance:

Handles a wide range of temperatures and with the inclusion of five pockets you'll never struggle for storage.

Rate the product for durability:

The material seems pretty scuff-resistant and the strong stitching certainly looks like it'll hold up to plenty of wear and tear.

Rate the product for fit:

The athletic cut fits well on a race bike with the dropped tail and long sleeves leaving no skin open to draughts.

Rate the product for sizing:

The sizing is pretty much spot on all over. It is a slim fit jersey, mind, so if you want a bit of room go up a size.

Rate the product for weight:

Heavier than a traditional polyester/Lycra jersey but not by much.

Rate the product for comfort:

The material feels soft against the skin plus it has enough stretch in it to move with you without being restrictive.

Rate the product for value:

It stacks up pretty well against the likes of Rapha and Shutt VR's long-sleeve merino jerseys.

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

The washing instructions are pretty easy to follow – 40 degree wash and no tumble drying. Came up clean every time and no shrinkage.

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

It's a great three-season jersey.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The overall finish.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The zip doesn't feel the smoothest.

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 score

The Heritage is a really nice piece of kit, well made with subtle styling. There are plenty of excellent little features but it's not just been designed to look good, the performance is impressive and will suit your riding whether you're putting the power down on a spring training ride or just out for a bimble.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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