A bit out of shape to join Team Sky? Custom clothing manufacturer VO2 could have just the kit for you with their Team Pie strip.
Loaded with satire towards the love 'em or hate 'em top flight pro team, the Team Pie long sleeve jersey mimics the colourways of the Rapha kit with tweaks to the branding. Piearello riders for once will have a top to wear with their logo on it.
Underneath all the jest though is a serious bit of kit, made from the same material used in the rest of their custom kit range. The fabric is exclusive to VO2 who say it has superior comfort and moisture management for wicking sweat away from the skin. The material is very thin, thinner than I've ever known a long sleeve jersey, but it is surprisingly warm even on days when the temperatures are hanging around single figures.
Push the effort and you don't seem to get overly hot in it though. Any heat that does build up quickly dissipates and the fabric is dry again within minutes.
You get a dropped tail that's long enough for a proper racing tuck. It also stays in place thanks to the pressure from the elasticated hem. Up above that are three pockets that will take pretty much all you'll need for a training ride. They are a good depth and things like a mini pump will stay put even when you're crouched right over.
The full-length YKK zip makes controlling your temperature easy and didn't snag or stick over the test period. This ends at a decent height neck that'll stop the drafts without digging into your throat.
On the whole it's a well made jersey with tidy stitching and so far it's certainly shrugging off any scuffs or daily wear and tear.
Sizing covers a broader range than most going from XS to 4XL and the cut is rather relaxed. I'm a medium in most brands but a switch to small would have fit me slightly snugger.
Overall the Team Pie range of kit is about having a bit of fun but VO2 haven't scrimped on the quality or performance because of that. It's good quality and as part of a layering system will easily get you through three seasons of the year.
First impressions were that it was overpriced going on how thin the material was. I didn't think it would be warm enough or strong enough but it's proven me wrong on both counts.
Fun take on the world of cycling but with impressive enough performance to not be classed as a joke.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: VO2 Sportswear Team Pie Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Black/Blue
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?
Custom club kit aimed at people who don't want to take things to seriously but that's not to say the kit isn't a top performer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Exclusive VO2 moisture management fabric for superior comfort and wicking sweat away from the skin
100% permanent UV protection yarn
Three rear pockets
Separate side panels
No annoying label tags at the neck
Elasticated Rear Waste-line to stop the jersey riding up
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good, its a lot warmer and harder wearing than I expected.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing is a bit generous.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.