Road Holland takes inspiration from the jerseys worn by the likes of Bartali and Coppi for their European retro style Den Haag top and what a looker it is.
With the danger of every ride becoming a training ride it's nice to just kick back and go out for a spin sometimes. The Den Haag puts you in that kind of mood.
The polo shirt styling and neat buttoned rear pockets don't shout 'racer' or even 'cyclist' so it looks just as good off the bike as on. The three-button neck adds to the casualness and provides a decent amount of venting should things get a bit warm.
It's a quality garment, you can feel that straight away. The Merino and polyester mix is super soft against the skin while the detailing and neat stitching go some way to justifying that £73.00 price tag. The embroidered chest motif and Road Holland logo on the rear pockets adds a certain touch of class.
There is a range of four colours (the lilac is my personal fave) and sizing from XS to XXL so there's plenty of choice. For reference the medium fitted me spot on with a 32in waist and 38in chest.
Merino is a brilliant material and even though it only makes up 39% of the blend you do still get a lot of the benefits. The insulating properties of the wool means you stay warm in the cold and cool when the sun comes out. It's fast wicking to so should you put the hammer down and get a bit sweaty you and the jersey will both dry quickly. Add that to the fact Merino is anti-bacterial and you won't need to be washing it after every ride; I managed to get a week of commuting out of it before it needed a freshen up.
The pockets are deep and strong enough to take a phone, keys, couple of tubes etc. and thanks to the button closure everything is secure. You don't get any sag either although things can tend to bounce about a bit if you're really spinning the pedals.
On the bike it's best suited to a more upright position because the rear isn't dropped like most cycling jerseys but the rest of the cut is tailored, keeping excess material from flapping about. It's still a relaxed fit though.
It's not just a commuter or café run jersey, though. The Den Haag can be used for sportive riding or fast placed club runs. It's quite thick so I'd say it's best suited to spring, autumn or cool summer days if you're really going to ramp the effort up. Things can get a little toasty at max effort.
Overall the Road Holland jersey is a beautiful bit of kit that makes you feel good when you slip it on. The fabric is soft enough to be worn directly next to the skin and you don't get any of the scratchiness associated with some (typically cheaper) Merino garments. The quality is really top notch and so far seems to be very hardwearing after about 300 miles of riding with a heavy rucksack in places. All the buttons are easy to do up and undo while on the fly and are still as secure as when the top was new.
Looks, styling, comfort and quality are all at there in abundance, I can't see much to find fault with.
The perfect top for those sunny café spins and back lane meanders. Performance with a bit of class.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Road Holland Den Haag 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?
It's a more relaxed jersey for the non racer for those easy days commuting or just spinning round the lanes. Road Holland say it's about old school style with new school materials which I think is pretty much spot on.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Merino (39%) polyseter (61%) mix
Two rear button down pockets
Three button polo style neck
Sizes - XS,S,M,L,XL,XXL
Colours - Racing Green, Midnight Blue, Road Black, Rochester Lilac
Made in Miami, Florida
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Its a lovely jersey to wear on and off the bike
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The styling and the feel of the fabric
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd llike a slightly dropped tail
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
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,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.