Ignore the Scandinavian name. TØRM is a small British company run from a bike shop in Broadstairs by two ex-corporate scientists, Paul and Al, with an appreciation of classic cycling style. The Torm T7 Jersey is an excellent example, almost perfect apart from the pockets...
We last reviewed Torm products in 2010. The copyright implications of hoops and wool, in relation to a certain other British brand, were chewed over thoroughly by the road.cc sages in the comments section. However, both the sages and both manufacturers themselves quickly reached an agreement based on the definition of the word 'retro': that no one manufacturer owns the copyright of the sort of hoops, zip pockets and materials sported for much of the 20th century by past cycle clubs.
That's the hoops jumped through. Let's crack on with the review. First of all – materials.
Being a mash-up between pure wool and a synthetic, Sportwool is never going to be the first choice for the hottest days. That said, living in the UK, and especially combined with Torm's own good quality arm warmers, what you are paying for is a pretty versatile three-season jersey. Sportwool shifts sweat pretty well and you'd need to work very hard to get this jersey heavy with moisture. It doesn't dry as fast as 100 per cent polyester, but it's not especially cold or unpleasant when a bit damp – it still feels okay next to your skin. More importantly, the merino is naturally anti-bacterial and resistant to odours so you won't be left sitting on your own in the cafe after flogging the country lanes on the way.
How's the fit? Like all Torm's jerseys the T7 sits and somewhere between race and club fit. Laying it down flat, pockets up, against a typical club jersey it gives the impression that it is more svelte than it actually is – an optical illusion of the cut, which luckily gets passed on to the wearer.
The Sportwool weave runs in vertical bars that complement the snuggish fit. I'm a mighty 42in chest, Classics build rider (at least in my mind) so the XL was the correct fit for me. The jersey holds you where it counts, in the sleeves and torso, yet is long in the back – it comes with a gripper on the waist – and with a high enough collar to protect the longest neck. It's a well fitting, seriously comfortable and flattering jersey.
Being broad across the shoulder blades, my constant bugbear with tighter summer jerseys is the way the sleeves ride up over the biceps as you stretch in the saddle. Torm has left a generous length on the sleeve and the overlapping double cuffs help to keep them in place. Personally I'd like another inch on the sleeves but aero length sleeves aren't to everyone's taste.
What about the details? The YKK zip is silky smooth with a well-made chin guard.
The classic three pocket configeration comes with a couple of twists. Torm's own pocket configuration comprises a ring-pull zip valuables pocket on each side, with vertical reflective stripes for dark days and a narrower centre pocket. If, like me, you have condensed your essentials down to zen-level purity and you are used to cramming a very compact toolkit into the centre pocket and then slapping a rain jacket or gilet wrapped around a pump on top, you will find the centre pocket just a little narrow.
As with earlier jerseys, the rim of the outer pockets is cut at an angle. Combined with the narrower inner pocket, they still create a very neat and slim profile to the rear of the jersey while retaining enough pocket capacity for most rides. Torm states that 'the left and right cargo pockets are reinforced to maintain the integrity of the fabric'. Useful if you're the kind of rider who likes to pack their pockets like a squirrel packs cheeks on the last day of autumn.
Because Torm is a two-man operation with small garment runs, it's very responsive to customer feedback and now its jerseys all feature pockets an inch deeper than previously, to meet the demands of larger phones on the market and those extra nuts...
Torm jerseys seem to be striking a chord with many cyclists and it's easy to understand why. Its signature jersey features twin arm hoops but the whole range looks great and they come in a wide range of styles and colours: no 1980s contrasting colour panels, string vest technology or tacky logos here. Just elegant classic style. Performance on the bike is great and, more importantly, they're a fraction of the cost of competitors' jerseys made from the same materials. They even wash well. I ride with someone who has owned a T7 since 2013, and they report no signs of bobbling or colour fading after repeated washes.
Paul at Torm reiterates the company's ongoing philosophy. "We hope our jerseys have a timeless feel to them which means they don't go out of fashion and they are durable so you don't have to replace them often." Not the usual marketing approach to making a profit, but Torm is content to keep it simple and small – it's just jerseys, arm warmers and now caps. In 2015, Torm introduced a women's range that's been doing as well as the men's. So well in fact that it's had demands from men wanting men's jerseys in the women's colours.
A fine jersey that really delivers luxury quality and performance as well as value for money
road.cc test report
Make and model: Torm T7 Jersey
Size tested: XL
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?
This is a good quality Sportwool jersey aimed at riders who want to sport a classic retro style at a cheaper price than some other manufacturers offer on the market.
Torm is a two-man team – Paul and Al are ex-'commercial scientists' who now run a bike shop in Broadstairs. They state that 'practicality' is their overriding concern and the desire to offer 'simple and clean' designs 'so you can look good on and off the bike'.
I think they've succeeded.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Main fabric: Merino Wool / Polyester SportWool™ (165gsm)
100% silicone gripper on 100% Polyester elastic
YKK 3C Zip - the best zip available
Flat locked seams and reinforced pockets
Side panels for improved fit
2 rear zipped pockets for left/right handers
3 cargo pockets with reflective strips
Drop tail with silicone waist gripper
Naturally itch free and odour resistant
Machine washable can be tumble dried
The Sportwool weave runs in vertical bars, which complements the fit. The YKK zip is silky smooth with a well-made chin guard. The rear pocket zip with the ring is strong and slick too.
Torm states that 'the left and right cargo pockets are reinforced to maintain the integrity of the fabric'.
I found the centre pocket just a little narrow.
I ride with someone who's owned a T7 since 2013 and reports no signs of bobbling or colour fading after repeated washes. The added thickness of the material stops the stretch stress weakening at the pockets.
I'm a 42in chest and the XL was the correct fit for me. The jersey is snug were it counts, in the sleeves and torso, yet long in the back and with a high enough collar.
Torm advises buyers to select one size smaller in the full-zip T7, but I found my normal size across jerseys was spot on.
Being broad across the shoulder blades, my constant bugbear with tighter summer jerseys is the way the sleeves ride up over the biceps as you stretch in the saddle. Torm has left a generous length on the sleeve and the overlapping double cuffs help to keep them in place. Personally I'd like another inch on the sleeves.
The bottom gripper works well and the length of the back gives comfortable cover over the haunches.
If you're contemplating riding a TT then this isn't the jersey to do it in. Aero considerations aside, the Torm comes in around 100g heavier than an average polyester mix summer jersey, but bearing in mind the durability and the versatility of use for colder days, it's 100g that weighs very lightly.
I remember the bad old days of woollen jerseys and they were itchy and cloying. I was expecting to feel a little claustrophobic to be back in wool, but this jersey hugs without squeezing – psychologically as well as physically. I wouldn't wear it on days above 25°C but I'd wear it for any other UK day, so that's 340 days of the year...
Apparently the Sportwool comes from the only supplier in Europe, also used by other more prestigious brands. At half the cost with no discernible difference in materials and durability, this is a real bargain.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A light sports wash with the rest of the kit, and it comes up fresh as a daisy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The build quality: this really feels as if you should be paying more for it.
The classic simple understated good looks help. No 1980s contrast side panels or ersatz netting materials here. Torm produces a small range of colour combinations and hoops across the range.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The tight middle pocket is a small irritant. Something that could be easily fixed along with reducing the valuables pocket to one.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely
Use this box to explain your score
It's lost marks purely on pocket configuration for me. Everything else about the jersey is nigh-on perfect and the score reflects that. I like it so much I've just bought another jersey in my club colours which is looking mighty fine.
About the tester
I usually ride: A 20 year old Condor Italia on the school run. My best bike is: Condor Moda Ti - summer bike
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding