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Verdict: 
About as comfy as a casual riding jersey gets, assuming they make one that'll fit you
Weight: 
337g
Meccanica Stripe Casual Retro Cycling Jersey
8 10

Not so long ago I tested Meccanica's Marl short sleeve jersey which I liked, a lot. And since then, and the onset of Autumn, I've been having a go on their Stripe long-sleeve jersey, which I also like. A lot.

Meccanica kit is hand-made in England, and the Stripe is 100% made from your finest Merino wool. The striped design, they say, harks back to the simple strips of the Madison Square Garden track events, or possibly the hoops represent the 'Forcats de la Route' – convicts of the road, a phrase coined by Henri Pelissier at the 1924 Tour de France. You'd think they'd know, one way or the other. Anyway: it's stripy.

The construction of the main body of the jersey, and the arms, is seamless. There are three buttoned pockets at the back, a neck zip and springy merino cuffs and waistband. And that's your lot, pretty much.

It's fair to say I've lived in this over the past couple of months. It's such a very comfy top that it's the first thing I reach for of a morning. The merino does its clever thing of not getting smelly just about as well as any top I've ever tried; you can genuinely wear this top for weeks at a time with no problems. Once it does need washing it can go in the machine on a cool wash, and then it's good as new again.

On the bike it's a warm top underneath another, more windproof, layer. On its own you won't get that hot as the fairly loose weave lets a lot of air through. It works really well paired up with a softshell jacket; if you put a less permeable layer over the top it can start to get a bit damp. Even then, it dries out pretty quickly once it's out in the fresh air again. It's not designed for chaingang use but I've worn it on extended commutes and longer rides and been very happy with the performance. The pockets, being merino, aren't up to carrying anything heavy as they'll cause the back of the jersey to sag too much. A phone/banana/inner tube is fine though.

It's the kind of top that'd be invaluable on a tour, technical enough to cope with a day's riding (on a bike where you have other places to stow your stuff) and smart enough to wear down the pub of an evening, if it's that kind of tour. It's also dead handy for commuting and smart enough to wear about the office, assuming your employer doesn't run too tight a ship. Most of all it's a great top for just living in, and one that you don't need to change out of if you need to hop on the bike somewhere. I really like it.

Sizing is, erm, esoteric. The one I'm wearing in the pics is a medium and when it was shot I was over 100kg. Now I'm about 94kg and I reckon a small would probably fit me okay. If you're a traditional racing build, you're going to get swamped by this I'm afraid. If anything it's an even more generous top than the Marl short sleeve, and that was bordering on the ridiculous. An issue to sort out for the next run.

Assuming there is one that'll fit you, it's a lovely jersey to own. It's pretty much the most comfortable top I've ever tried. Whether it's worth the £130 that Meccanica are asking for it, well, that's up to you. It's handmade in England from top quality materials. You can pay (a lot) more than this for a synthetic top shipped in from where making them is (a lot) cheaper. As always, if you don't think it's worth it you don't have to buy it. It certainly is comfy though.

Verdict

About as comfy as a casual riding jersey gets, assuming they make one that'll fit you

road.cc test report

Make and model: Meccanica Stripe Casual Retro Cycling Jersey

Size tested: Medium - Blue stripes

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?

Classic British made retro cycling jersey made in England from 100% extra fine merino wool in an ageless design. The hooped design is believed to have come about due to the nick name 'Forcats de la Route' i.e. hoops mimicked the jailbirds' 'uniform'. Or from designs worn in the late 1800's Madison Sq Gardens 6 day events. Sizes up to 4XL mean people of all sizes can enjoy this beautiful instant classic.

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

100% highest quality Italian Merino Wool

Ladies & Gents

Designed and made in England

Quarter zip with Centurion detail

Three back pockets with buttons

Seamless construction - no rubbing

Machine washable

Long sleeves

Merino is naturally anti bacterial

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very nicely made from top quality fabric.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Supremely comfy, never gets smelly, great as a general use top.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Washing and wearing well.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Just about right for the kind of use it'll get.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

None comfier.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Not cheap but you're getting a nice quality jumper.

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

Really well: great for riding and not riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

SO comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Sizing is mental.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 190cm  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

4 comments

Avatar
truffy [650 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Seriously tempting. But I think I'll lose a few kilos first, and then buy one with longevity in mind.

Quote:

chaingang use

Is this whimsy at the style, or have I missed something?

Avatar
nwcyclist [12 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This is in their January Sale it's now £97.00!

Avatar
bike_food [179 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This looks like it came off a Top man clearance rail

Avatar
Oolon Colluphid [44 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
bike_food wrote:

This looks like it came off a Top man clearance rail

It doesn't look as good as that. £130? WTF? Are there people that will seriously spend such money on something as wank as this?