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Claimed to be based on the gear the Wiggle-Honda pro team uses, the dhb ASV jersey is a decent enough top, but it's not a significant advance on dhb's best regular offerings.
Pairing up with a pro cycling team is a good way for any cycle clothing brand to raise its game. Pro riders are understandably pretty demanding of their gear, as they spend more time in the saddle than most. Plus there are obvious PR benefits to the arrangement, providing high profile exposure and extra desirability for the products.
At the expensive end of the market, almost all of the premium clothing brands sponsor World Tour teams (with the notable exception of Assos), and the halo effect from the pro-level products can increase sales across the range. More recently, we've seen more affordable brands such as Endura and dhb following suit. Team Wiggle Honda use kit from dhb and you can buy team kit replicas from the online giant, although these are advertised as being made from the same fabrics but with a simpler construction so you're not getting exactly the same stuff.
This summer Wiggle launched the ASV range of clothing, which it says is identical to the gear worn by the Wiggle Honda team, but with the team logos replaced by bold graphics which share an obvious influence with the Blok range that came out earlier in the year. It's available in two colourschemes, the blue you see here and a yellow option, and the sizes range from small to XXL.
Pricing is towards the higher end of dhb's range but still competitive, and this jersey is currently reduced to just over £50. The ASV range includes bibs (long and short), jerseys (long and short), socks and a gilet. Oddly, given that it's based upon what Team Wiggle Honda are wearing, it's only available in men's sizing at the moment.
This long sleeve jersey is a lightweight top made of a fine polyester fabric of a similar weight to a summer top. As far as I could tell, the whole jersey is made from a single type of fabric, but it's comfortable and pretty breathable. It's not that warm though, so as the winter draws in you'd certainly need more layers for insulation and wind-blocking. There is a warmer Roubaix version available for only a fiver more.
Wiggle say that the ASV range is designed for a "second-skin aerodynamic fit", and cautions buyers to size up if they are of a larger or muscular build. I am neither, and our large size is plenty big enough for me. The torso fits reasonably closely, but the sleeves are pretty loose on my skinny cyclist arms. Flappy sleeves are something you just don't see in pro races, so I think that dhb have missed the mark a bit here. Aerodynamically it's better to have a closer fit, obviously, but it also feels nicer on the bike in my opinion. The sleeves on the Alé jersey that I reviewed recently are much better fitted, for example. It's a much more expensive jersey, but it achieves rather better the aerodynamic fit that dhb say they are aiming for here.
The sleeves are amply long, finishing with a white and blue band and a simple, slightly elastic seam. I like the white band as it makes your turn signals more visible in fading light, and I like the good quality sewn-in reflective tabs at the back too. Other details are largely present and correct, including the standard-issue three pockets at the back, with those at the side angled to make for easier access. They're of a decent size and stay well in place when you've loaded them up. Bonus point too for a zipped water-resistant phone pocket that's actually big enough for a modern smartphone.
There's a nod to the pros with an eyelet in the right-hand pocket, allowing you to feed the cable for a race radio up to your ear, and there's also a small elasticated loop sewn into the inside of the collar to keep the cable in place. These details reinforce the idea that you're wearing the same gear as the pros, as does the "Derived from Pro Team Wear" slogan inside the collar. In reality, of course, if you're racing at any serious level you'll be wearing club or team kit, but the race radio accomodation does also allow the rest of us to use headphones if that's your thing.
Down the front is a decent full-length zip from YKK. It doesn't have a garage to stop it irritating your neck, but I found the fabric either side did just fine in that regard. Stitching inside is neat, although no flat-lock seams are used. At the bottom are two types of silicon grippers; a continuous strip on the front sections and blobby silicon dots round the back. They work just fine too.
The ASV is a decent lightweight long-sleeve jersey. It's comfortable and it wicks sweat away well. For me, though, the claims of a pro-level race-fit garment just don't quite match up with the reality. Around the £30-40 mark, dhb is increasingly hard to beat for this sort of gear, with a range of attractive and well-made jerseys that are cracking value for money. I couldn't really say that the extra money is getting you something significantly better here, though.
The dhb Goldline bibs and jersey that we reviewed in the summer represented a real step forward for dhb, with much more sophisticated multi-panel construction and a range of technical fabrics giving performance and fit which were both a clear cut above their cheaper options. I'd have liked to see a similar approach here, but for me this jersey misses the mark. I like the bold styling language that dhb has adopted this year, but if it wants to sell jerseys at this price level it needs clear technical differentiation from the rest of the range.
Decent jersey but not significantly better than dhb's cheaper alternatives; fit could be improved
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Make and model: dhb ASV Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Large
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?
Light and aerodynamic, the ASV Jersey combines branded, highly technical fabrics and refined striking graphics for the ultimate racing apparel.
The ASV kit is sure to get you noticed with its race ready construction, technical fabrics and sophisticated graphics. Identical in technical specification to the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team kit, it is the ultimate apparel for racing and elite level athletes. This is an athlete fitting jersey designed to shape tightly around a lean, cyclist build for maximum aerodynamics when racing.
dhb have used reputable, technical fabrics to ensure the ASV Jersey caters to the high demands of professional cycling. Designed using Hydrofit technology, which accelerates moisture movement, the ASV Jersey has excellent wicking properties to more efficiently transfer sweat away from the skin and provide superior temperature regulation. An antibacterial control treatment has been used on the fabric for extended freshness.
The lightweight construction has been designed specifically for race conditions - meaning no unnecessary bulk to slow you down. Three vertical drop pockets are at the lower rear of the jersey, one with internal radio routing. A further small, secure zipped pocket is located in the center of this arrangement.
A contrasting coloured, YKK full-length zip and 3M reflective detailing finishes the ASV jersey.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb Professional level kit
Aerodynamic, athlete form-fit designed to a lean build
Hydrofit technology to accelerate moisture movement
Anti bacterial control fabric treatment
Lightweight construction for race conditions
3 vertical drop pockets at the rear with an internal headphone port
Elasticated hem with custom dhb silicone gripper to prevent ride up
Contrast colour YKK full-length front zip for further ventilation
3M reflective detailing at the rear
Good, as is most of dhb's stuff. Not significantly better than jerseys which they sell for £30-40 though.
It isn't the most aerodynamic jersey I've used by a long chalk. Breathability and wicking are good, and it's perfectly pleasant for a warm evening's ride, but I think the talk of pros and racing are over-selling it.
Pretty lightweight - this is no winter jersey, after all.
The fabric used feels nice against the skin and works fine with other layers for when it's colder.
This is probably the lowest mark for value I've ever given dhb kit. Stacked up against other brands it's far from being a rip-off, but I just can't see what extra you're really getting over their jerseys at around £40.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's comfortable and reasonably close-fitting, and of course for most consumers the sub-optimal sleeve aerodynamics aren't really going to make a perceptible difference.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the more confident styling direction that dhb has taken this year, this jersey included.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The disparity between the claims of it being pro-level gear and the reality of it being quite similar to their cheaper kit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, reasonably.
Would you consider buying the product? I don't think so.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Doubtful.
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.