Cyclite men's hardshell jacket brings electroluminescent technology to the more performance end of the spectrum while still being a great commuting, touring, or riding round town jacket.
Two things in particular set the Cyclite jacket apart first, it's made from a highly breathable fabric that banishes the elements while retaining a consistently arid internal climate; and second those electroluminescent strips are removable so you can bung it in the washing machine when it starts looking and smelling the wrong side of lived-in. That sets it apart from the other electroluminescent jacket we've tested from Proviz which has to be sponged down to protect the inbuilt electrics. Aside from making it easier to keep things from getting grubby - being able to machine wash the jacket also helps maintain its breathability which is not far off the levels you might expect from a jacket made of eVent or something similarly exotic and which along with all the othe features - and especially the in-built lighting, goes a long way to justifying the jacket's higher end price tag..
Anyway, let's have a closer look at the jacket's construction. The Cyclite is made from a relatively sophisticated polyester/nylon mix with taped seams, fleece lined collar, draw chord bottoms and tapered cuffs. Selectively positioned Scotchlite is not only functional but in my opinion, succeeds in being sympathetic to the civilian colours that speak, rather than shout 'technical'.
The electrics live in their own diagonal channels just below the collarbone with extended canopies shrouding the switch and battery packs. These are about the size of your average car smart key and engaging/toggling between the two flashing modes couldn't be easier on the go, pricking driver attention from around 250 yards. However, their incessant beeping is more intrusive than other designs-especially along deserted sections of road/trail. Speaking of which, road and bridle path 'bombing missions' failed to foil the fabric's climate control-even with the pit-zips drawn shut while cuffs, tail and collar keep gusty winds and unforgiving cloudburst firmly outside.
Our lime green sample looked sharp on and off the bike-not as subtle as the dhb Southsea or some from the Shower's Pass range perhaps but worn with messenger knickers or mtb specific trews won't give the game away round town or at café' stops - and anyway this is a jacket that's designed to be seen in the dark. And seen you will be. Carefully located breast and forearm pockets lack the convenient lugging capacity of the deep-fill poacher type breast pocket but I managed to get in wallet, compact camera, smart phone, keys and spare batteries without feeling over burdened.
My one small note of caution concerns the sizing-it's the most generous I've ever come across - despite the cut being performance oriented. Putting this into perspective, with two layers on, I still had room to spare even so, there's nothing bell-tent about the cut or fit - it's cut to be worn fitted. I went down one size from normal, I could easily have gone down two - The grey verson Mat is wearing in the gallery is a medium - he's usually somewhere between medium or large, Dave in the pics of it lit up usually takes an XL - that's the same medium he's wearing. So try before you buy.
Really good technical jacket for training, touring, commuting and even mountain biking. Easily the best of the electro luminescent type but super-generous sizing means try before you buy
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cyclite Men's Hardshell jacket
Size tested: Charcoal, Medium
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?
"CycLite jackets are gear for serious cyclists, whether they be racers or commuters. Each jacket features two 24-micron-thin Electro-luminescent Lamps that are completely flexible, virtually weightless and highly durable. Fabric is a robust, supple and stretch barrier (breathable) for the daily commute yet lightweight enough for high mileage riders". Couldn't agree more.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
300+ hrs before changing 2 'AAA' Batteries (Managed 293hrs from those supplied)
3M™ Scotchlite™ Protective Accents
Lightweight + Activity-specific Tailoring
Durable + Weatherproof Battery Casings
Hidrocell 2.5 Layer Breathable Stretch Fabric
Breathable Hidrocell 2.5 Layer
100% wind + waterproof
PE with functional property10,000/6,000 (mm/gr)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Combining high end materials with removable electro-luminescent The combination of material and lighting technology used on the Cyclite equates to a super dependable jacket for most types of riding. Rough enough for the trail, yet smart enough of the bike its pretty much a winner on evey level. Factory-fitted AAA cells managed 293hrs before expiring-seven odd shy of the 300 quoted but I'm confident their premium replacements will exceed this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Waterproof, breathable fabrics, subtle colours and removable electrics permitting machine washed when it starts looking and smelling the wrong side of lived-in which is on it's own is a major advantage over the Provis jacket I tested recently
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although sizing has only passing affinity with reality if our test sample is anthing to go by you might want to go not one but two sizes down from your usual.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)