The dhb Blok Swirl short sleeve jersey is a great budget option, though it's one that is likely to divide opinion with its unusual design and colours.
- Pros: Excellent value, secure zip pocket, nice feeling material (if a little thick)
- Cons: Quite a loose cut, design/colourscheme won't work for all
dhb has aimed for 'expressive contemporary designs' with its Blok range – although there are some slightly less bright options if the Swirl is a little too much for you. I'm quite fond of the Geo and Crosses designs.
Looks aside, for a £45 jersey it certainly has some good features. As well as the standard three rear pockets, there's an external zipped one for keeping important bits like keys and cash safe, and the fabric is wicking and the jersey has mesh underarms and sides, so you don't overheat too much. The fabric is quite thick compared to some, and I did feel pretty warm for many of my test rides – though not excessively sweaty.
The fit is relaxed, and size-wise the small fitted me well, but the cut isn't the best. I found there was a bit of excess material around the stomach and it was a little baggy when riding, especially if in the drops or getting low in the hoods. There was also a little too much material around the shoulders, resulting in a slightly loose fit here. I am quite tall and slim, though, so bulkier riders might fill out the jersey better. (It's not me in the pics.)
I tested the Blok on rides up to about 100km and it felt comfortable throughout. The material, though a little thick, feels of a good quality, and is is testament to the value for money that the dhb brand delivers.
At £45 it sits well against some others we've tested at around this pricepoint. The vibrant Union Jack from Fat Lad At The Back is another £5, and the well-reviewed Northwave jersey is another £12. If you'd prefer a tighter fit, dhb's Aeron Speed is worth a look at £55, but if you like the looser fit you could go cheaper with Boardman's Relaxed Fit jersey at £30.
Overall, for £45 this jersey isn't bad at all – it'd certainly be a good choice for commuting or café rides. And if this particular design doesn't do it for you, there are another seven to choose from in the Blok range.
A good quality, great value jersey, provided you can handle the looks
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Blok Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
This is a good value jersey for those looking for a jersey aiming at making a statement on the road.
dbh says, "Make your mark on your next ride with the new Blok Swirl Jersey. Combining a fresh new graphic with the top performance you expect from dhb, this performance jersey is an expressive addition to your cycling wardrobe.
The dhb Blok Collection has built a reputation for expressive contemporary designs, and the Blok Swirl Jersey certainly doesn't compromise on an eye-catching finish. The distinctive print is designed to make a statement out on the road.
The graphics are new, but the performance is what you expect from dhb. Constructed from a naturally wicking fabric the jersey helps to draw excess moisture away from the skin to keep you dry. Anti-bacterial fabric treatment means your jersey will stay fresh between washes, maximising its life-cycle so you can wear it season after season.
With a fit designed to sit close to the skin without being too restrictive, this jersey is perfect for all day riding in comfort. Silicone grippers are strategically placed along the hemline to prevent the garment from riding up when in the road cycling position. A full-length YKK zip has been used to offer optional ventilation and ease of exit/entry. Three vertical drop pockets are situated at the back of the jersey for storing your ride essentials, with a further secure zip pocket as a safe place for your valuables."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric naturally wicks moisture away from the skin
Mesh underarm and side panels
Anti-bacterial control fabric treatment
3 vertical drop pockets at the rear
Secure zip pocket for storing valuables
Silicone hem grip to keep the back of the jersey from rising
Full-length YKK zip
The jersey is comfortable on a long ride, thanks to the relaxed fit and nice feeling fabric. The mesh side panels work reasonably well at keeping you cool, though overall the jersey does ride quite hot because of the thick fabric.
No undue signs of wear yet.
The jersey is a relaxed fit, so doesn't suit a leaner frame like mine that well – I found there was excessive material around the stomach when on the bike, and the shoulders were a little 'baggy', but I am used to tighter fitting 'aero' tops.
The jersey fitted as I'd expect of a size small, though the cut is quite loose.
Heavier weight fabric than some high-summer airy jerseys.
You'll be hard pressed to find a half-decent performing jersey much cheaper than this.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
After several washes on 30 degrees, the jersey is going strong.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Reasonably well, especially given the price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The design and colour scheme didn't really do it for me, though there are others in the Blok range I do like. The cut isn't great for me either.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was ok.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I'd say this is a 7 overall. It's great value, does a decent job and if the eye-catching colour works for you, it's well worth the money. Just check the fit if you're a very slim build.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding