Ground Effect are a New Zealand company specialising primarily in MTB kit, but most of their stuff translates nicely to audaxing or touring and they have a bit of a cult following in the UK. None of it is flashy, it's not fancy or even fashionable, but it's ideal for leisure riders who don't fancy looking like a mobile bill-board or a badly stuffed sausage. If Ground Effect were a shop, they'd be Marks & Spencers, with all that implies about solid, reliable quality. Despite the day-glo colouring the Road Rage is as plain and understated as a jersey can be and the dark blue version flies even lower under the radar.
It's made from their HyperActive fabric, which has a fairly wide weave. It wicks brilliantly - airflow over the jersey cools the evaporating sweat and it feels like you're riding in a bubble of cool air. Nice. The cut and sizing are generous, to say the least. I'm a chunky chap, but a size M fitted well, with a leisure cut that doesn't cling unflatteringly to MAMIlian profiles. You get the standard three rear pockets with a security zip on the middle one and a built in p*ncture repair patch. It's a cute detail, carried across their entire range but I'd suggest you whip it out before the first wash. The reflective logo on the tail is more useful, as is the 3/4 length zip.
The big weakness is that the fabric is very prone to snagging and if you ride narrow lanes you'll almost certainly pick up a pull or two. The (very detailed) FAQ section on the website makes it clear that the Kiwis know all about this and says that the snagging is just cosmetic. Ground Effect tell me that the fabric has been improved to offer more snag resistance, but I've already picked up a few tell-tale loops from over-friendly brambles. Lots of my riding is on narrow lanes though, your experience may vary. It wouldn't put me off buying one (my winter wardrobe contains a lot of GE merino and most has the odd snag) but you do have to be careful.
Overall, this is a very nice jersey, well made and comfortable but exchange rate makes it pretty pricey at the moment (£54 at the time of writing). Ground Effect only sell direct, so you can't shop around for discounts.
Nice jersey, but a little fragile and the exchange rate makes them look pricey.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ground Effect Road Rage jersey
Size tested: M
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?
Blurb - "Race-ready garb without the sponsor's logo for caning the singletrack, nailing the bunch or privateers gracing the podium."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"HyperActive is a lightweight summer fabric from Italy packed with technology to keep you cool and dry as. The bi-component knit backs a sharp-looking polyester outer with a smooth layer of next-generation polypropylene microfibre against your skin. The polypropylene yarn absorbs almost no moisture, driving sweat away from your body. It even performs its magic in the wet under a rain jacket. The fabric dries at the speed of light - great when reduced to hand washing on tour."
Loads more detail on the www.groundeffect.nz website.
Well made, but prone to snags.
Excellent. Feels lightweight and keeps you cool.
Snags easily, but it's only cosmetic (say Ground Effect).
Light and silky feeling, superb wicking performance helps keep you cool.
It's a little pricey, although that's a function of the exchange rate.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfy, cool and understated.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly - if the NZ$ comes down against the £!
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Just right if you want to be comfy but not too bikey.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....85kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides