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dhb's Women's Short Sleeve Jersey is a great choice if you like a casual fit and don't tend to load up pockets, and the £30 price is excellent, belying the quality finish, decent performance and comfort on offer here.
The understated design and relaxed fit make this jersey a really versatile bit of kit; it'll appeal to commuters, gravel riders, tourers or trail riders, not just roadies. There are also three colour options – teal, navy and dark red – whih should cover most tastes, and it's available in sizes 8 to 16.
The casual fit will be a big hit with many. If you stay true to size, you'll find it's loose and accommodating, with no clinging or compression. There's also plenty of length in the body and the sleeve length is well-judged.
The sleeve hems are simply folded-over fabric, with no pinching or squeezing going on. They can be prone to sliding up, particularly when combined with arm warmers, though not excessively so and it didn't both me.
The waistband doesn't offer a huge amount of elasticity, and the silicone gripper is pretty ineffective, especially if the pockets are loaded. But not everyone heads out with bulging pockets, so this won't be an issue for all.
I found the fabric sufficiently breathable for rides of a slightly higher intensity. It's not designed to be a high-performance, race-orientated piece of kit so it's not surprising that it doesn't match up to something that is, like 7mesh's £200 Skyline Jersey. If you do sweat excessively, it tends to retain moisture longer than some lightweight jerseys.
The polyester has a plush, delicate feel to it, and feels great against bare skin. It isn't as warm as the soft-to-touch fabric might suggest; it's almost merino-like to feel and look at but doesn't offer merino-protection in chillier weather.
The finishing is impressive for a jersey at this price: overlocked, neatly stitched seams, a tidily taped collar, and not a loose thread in sight.
My one and only gripe is with the pockets. I try to load pockets evenly with loose-fit jerseys to prevent them from swinging around, but this is impossible with the dhb jersey. Rather than the conventional three-pocket arrangement, there are two asymmetrical pockets here. Also, the elastic topper is stitched to the main body on the larger pocket to create a pump holder, which I found to be poorly placed, right on the spine, and would inevitably slide to one side.
I know not everyone feels the need to roll out of the door with a load of cargo, but if you like to load your pockets, this design might irritate you.
The quality finish and versatility of the jersey is seriously impressive for £30, ideal for those entering the sport, or indeed any seasoned rider who has no interest in overly technical, aero fabrics or a race-orientated fit. Gore's Curve and CHPT3's Most Days jerseys are both designed to be more casual, and are £89.99 and £95 respectively. And Rapha's 'casual fit' offering will set you back £110.
Altura's Airstream is the next closest in price in the 2021 jerseys that we've tested; it's still a tenner more and its pockets weren't ideally designed either. Lusso's Plum Merino SS Jersey that Sarah tested a couple of years ago is £69.99.
It's perhaps worth noting that dhb makes no claims about this jersey being at all eco-friendly. Many manufacturers are moving forward here – including some of those mentioned above.
Overall, though, dhb has produced an excellent, versatile jersey for not a lot of money. It's difficult to get too critical about the pockets, since this won't be a sticking point for everyone, and there's little else to find fault with.
Comfort and versatility at a great price, with pockets to suit those who 'ride light'
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Women's Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: 10
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: 'The dhb Women's Short Sleeve Jersey has been brought up to date for 2021. New fabric technology makes this entry-level summer top more lightweight, high-wicking and breathable than ever before.
'The dhb Women's Short Sleeve Jersey is a superbly comfortable summer top. Whether you're just getting into cycling or have a little more experience in the saddle, you'll be thrilled with its lightweight feel and impressive performance.
'An updated body fabric, featuring a high-wicking inner face and super soft marl outer, ensures this jersey transfers sweat away from your body better than ever before, keeping you dry and comfortable on every ride.
'Two generous rear pockets offer plenty of room for your snacks, spares and an extra layer in case it gets cold. The larger pocket has a strategically placed bar tack towards the centre, which provides a great place to hold essentials such as a pump.
'dhb have replaced the quarter-length zip with a full-length alternative, while the finishing touches include reflective inserts on the sleeve cuff and rear pocket to ensure you always catch the eye of motorists, a silicone hem gripper and reflective logo.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Super soft summer jersey
Two large rear pockets
Reflective inserts on cuffs and pocket
Very good for the price.
It's too early to say how well the fabric and pocket seams will wear in the long term; all good so far, but the fabric is thin and loaded pockets could put a lot of strain at the seams and joints.
Casual fit; stay true to size if you want that. Otherwise, size down.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfect for casual riding, provided you don't load the pockets.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and the casual, understated design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Excellent. Altura's Airstream is the next closest in price in the 2021 jerseys that we've tested. It's still a tenner more and its pockets weren't ideally designed either. Gore's Curve Jersey and CHPT3's Most Days Jersey are both designed to be more casual, and are £89.99 and £95 respectively.
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 overall score
It's very good: a comfy jersey that works well for a variety of riding at a great price, though the pocket design isn't that practical.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…