Northwave's Sonic is a mid-range jersey designed for Spring/Summer rides using lightweight fabrics and a full length zip. Its part of the Sport range which means the cut isn't quite as snug and tailored as the Race kit but is a bit more shaped than the recreational Active range.
The main body is made from Lightech fabric which is a thin, highly elastic Lycra-like material with a smooth finish like that seen on so many performance jerseys these days. Northwave claim it's highly breathable - it's certainly breathable enough and if it does get damp it dries rapidly.
The side panels use more of a mesh knit that covers a large area taking in part of the chest, the underarm and up over the rear of the shoulders letting a lot of air pass through controlling body temperature pretty well.
A thicker knit is used on the shoulders for a bit of added abrasion resistance should you end up decking it - also useful should you find yourself riding with a back pack.
The fit is quite relaxed, especially around the stomach and chest area though I wouldn't go so far as to call it baggy. I also find that Northwave's sizing is larger than the other Italian manufacturers being a bit more like dhb's.
Silicone grippers on the arms and waist keep the jersey in place and you also get a slightly dropped tail. The traditional three rear pockets now seems to becoming four on most jerseys as it is here on the Sonic, the zipped pocket is part of the main middle one and is ideal for valuables like your mobile and bank cards. Both the middle and zipped pocket are made from the heavier knit material used on the shoulders so these are best used for your heavier items as there is very little sag. The other two offer plenty of room for energy kit and tubes.
The build quality looks impressive and the materials are certainly proving to be hardwearing. Northwave have left the branding pretty minimal which makes for a clean looking top.
The short sleeve model here is part of a set which includes a light jacket, gilet, long sleeve jersey, sleeveless and a short sleeved option with a hidden zip and its all good looking kit. This short sleeve comes in white, red or black or there is a bright orange or green versions which are part of Northwave's Be Visible Be Safe range. All of them get a small amount of reflective material though.
Overall the Sonic is a good bit of kit especially for the £55 asking price with plenty of quality and stylish looks. Its comfortable to wear especially on warmer days as the breathability is very effective and its quick drying to should you get caught out in the rain. The fit is much more relaxed than the likes of Castelli's offerings but should suit fine if you ride at a slightly more relaxed pace than weekend racer types.
Smart looking cycling jersey with bags of Italian style for those who want to ride but not race on warmer days
road.cc test report
Make and model: Northwave Sonic Short Sleeve 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?
The Sonic is part of the Sport range, a slightly more relaxed fit to their race range. Its designed for Spring/Summer use and thanks to the lightweight materials its a good performer on warmer days
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MAIN FABRIC: Lightech
ZIP: YKK full opening
POCKET: 3+1 middle with invisible zip
WAIST ELASTIC: Silicon
REFLEX INSERTS: Reflective logo on back + reflective flags
SIZE: S- 4XL
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well in the warmer temperatures its designed for
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smart looks and great value for money
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit isn't close enough for my tastes
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, purely because I prefer a closer fit
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.