New Zealand brand Solo has been around for a few years now but it has recently got improved distribution in the UK so you're likely to see more of their products, such as this St Neith jersey, than previously.
There are several screen-printed Solo Classique jerseys to choose from and, living up to their name, each has a classic look. Call it retro if you like, there's a kind of 1950s or 60s vibe here with enough going on to make the jersey look interesting but not so much that it's cluttered. It's going to come down to personal taste, of course, but I reckon the Classique tops look stylish across the board.
Their St Neith jersey is made from Nuovotech polyester which is a mid-weight summer fabric. It's not as light and airy as a mesh but it does a good job of wicking sweat away from your body to keep you feeling comfortable, doesn't get waterlogged easily, and dries pretty fast while you're riding. You might want something lighter for mega-hot rides, but for typical UK summer temperatures it's a good choice.
The collar and cuffs are polycotton/Lycra although they feel soft and natural. They're ribbed and stretchy so you get a snug but not too tight fit. The other details are top quality too. You get a silicone gripper around the inside of the waistband that helps prevent any riding up and the neck zipper is a high-end option. 18cm long, it has a sturdy feel and it locks at whatever height you position it rather than creeping down.
The usual three pockets in the lower back come with elasticated tops to help keep your stuff from jumping out, and there's a little zipped compartment on the outside of the right-hand one that's ideal for stashing your phone and a bit of cash safely.
Sizing is about average but go to the size chart on Solo's website http://www.solocc.com/product.cfm?cid=14&pid=1 to be on the safe side. The cut is traditionally slim and there's enough give in the fabric that a close fit doesn't feel at all restrictive.
You can buy a jersey for much less money than this... but you can pay a lot more too. This top doesn't break any new ground in terms of technical innovation, but it's an attractive design and it does its job well.
Stylish summer jersey with high-quality features
road.cc test report
Make and model: Solo St Neith Jersey
Size tested: Blue/black
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?
Highly breathable and wickable polyester fabric keeps you cool and dry
18cm front zip with over-size zipper pull designed for using with gloved fingers
Customised silicon elastic waist band
Small rear zipped rear pocket (in addition to the standard 3 rear pockets) for safe storage of phone, keys, cash etc
Unique knitted polycotton/lycra arm and neck bands for the real 'retro' look
Superb quality screen-printed (not digitally printed) design means brighter and more vivid colours
Very good build quality
I've no reason to doubt it'll last well. The zip, hem gripper and collar/cuffs are all high quality.
It's not a bad price for a well-designed and well-made jersey.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, largely because I think it looks neat
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yep
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.