The Tip Top, from Kiwi kit company Ground Effect is great either as a base layer or a long sleeve jersey for cooler days.
I'll admit to being quite a fan of Ground Effect kit. It's well thought out, no-nonsense riding clothing that works well on the bike and blends in nicely when you're off it. It's certainly a little more restrained (and cheaper) than the YMX Winter Flower top that Leonie reviewed a while ago!
Although I was initially sceptical about wearing a long-sleeved top in warmer weather, the Tip Top's HyperActive fabric is extremely well vented and wicks well, keeping you cool and dry, particularly on humid days. The 3/4 length zip has an easily-gripped tab for further venting if you need it. You also get three well-placed rear pockets, a small but very reflective rear logo and a spare puncture repair patch sewn into the rear pocket, a Ground Effect trademark.
It works well in hot weather, but luckily for us UK riders, is also been ideal for summer evenings and makes a nice thin base layer under a gilet or rain jacket. The fabric is light and very comfortable to wear. The cut is fitted but not tight and it has plenty of stretch, which is ideal for those of us with curves; even riding on the drops with my aero-belly deployed to full advantage it didn't ride up.
As mentioned in the review of the Road Rage men's short-sleeved version, the fabric is prone to pulls, though I only managed to pick up one or two in over a month of testing including riding brambly lanes and stuffing it into saddle-packs. It also washes well and dries in a flash.
It comes in a limited range of colours, but the bright blue tested looked nice and stands out on the road. I expect the limelight would be even more visible, but it wouldn't be my first (or even last) choice of colour.
This is a really nice jersey, ideal for touring, audaxing, trundling to the pub. The only downside is that the exchange rate makes it looks pretty pricey at the moment (£56 at the time of writing).
This versatile long-sleeved top works well on its own or as a base layer
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ground Effect Tip Top
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?
Ground Effect say: "Solar protection for when the heat haze rolls off the tarmac and Rolf scares you with his wobble-board and stories of blistering heat. Long sleeves shade your forearms and HyperActive fabric dries fast to keep you oh so cool."
Dirty Uncle Rolf didn't wobble his didgeridoo at me, but the rest sounds about right.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made with HyperActive fabric.
"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."
Well made and finished.
Cool and airy on the move, stops you from getting cold when you stop.
Should keep its shape and colour for years but the fabric is prone to snagging.
Very soft, comfortable and cool.
The current exchange rate means this is relatively expensive, but if it's anything like my other Ground Effect jerseys it will last for years.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable fit and the fact it didn't ride up.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A great all round jersey with excellent wicking properties, great for a range of riding and blends in nicely when you're at the pub or strolling round town.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 163cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: Dawes Horizon My best bike is: Kona Haole
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, Audax