The Montfoort jersey is one of Road Holland's original designs – designed by and made specifically for women. Road Holland describe their range of road cycle wear as 'serious and stylish' with clothes that that they claim perform well while still looking good enough to wear off the bike.
Road Holland produce The Montfoort jersey in the USA, in sizes XS to XXXL (equating roughly to sizes 8 to 20) - an impressive range of sizes, particularly in comparison to other road cycling brands.
This women's jersey is made from a 61% polyester / 39% Merino wool blend. As a result, the fabric is soft to the touch, and has a luxurious feel to it in comparison to a traditional Lycra jersey. The inclusion of polyester gives the fabric a noticeably smoother texture than 100% wool. Nothing itchy or scratchy about this garment.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock you will have read about the merits of Merino by now, but just by way of a reminder: it has excellent wicking properties to keep sweat away from the skin, it can help stop odours, it has natural elasticity, it is highly breathable, and lastly: it reacts to changes in body temperature so it helps you stay warm when the weather is cold, and cool when the weather is hot. All pretty useful things when riding a bike.
The inclusion of Merino means you'll need to cold machine-wash or hand wash the jersey. I have an ancient washing machine with no cold wash option, so I had to opt for the latter. Bit of a pain in the chamois, but that's the price you pay for Merino's helpful properties. All the washing information is printed on the fabric, so no cutting out of annoying labels is required.
The Montfoort has 3 large-ish rear pockets and one small zip pocket. The main pockets are big enough to fit everything you'll need for a day on the road: I packed mine with puncture repair bits, money, phone, keys, some food and a mini pump. The zip pocket isn't big enough for a phone, but ideal for keys/coins etc. The zip puller features a tiny Road Holland crown logo: a nice touch.
The back pockets boasts a reflective trim that runs the full width of the jersey. The dropped back avoids gaps when you're leaning over on the bike, and silicon grips run along the hem to keep it in place. Having said that, the generous size of the bottom half of the jersey made this particular feature redundant in my case.
The quarter length zip has a soft lining (in navy blue, which is a nice change from the All Black Everything trend) which protects your skin or baselayer from getting caught, and prevents it rubbing on your neck when done up fully. I wouldn't normally choose to buy a jersey without a full zip, and this principle was proven when I held up a couple of café stops on rides with friends. Taking off a jersey full of stuff over your head without dropping your inner tubes down the loo is quite time consuming... but maybe that's just me.
The Montfoort is designed for women, rather than being a 'women's version' of an existing product. The specially designed side panels create a flattering cut that tapers in at the waist, and the slightly narrower shoulders fit well. The colour scheme is refreshingly lacking in any trace of black or pink, and the double stripe to the left sleeve is a nice nod to classic designs. I tested the light blue jersey, but it is also available in a smart black and orange combo.
I'm a size 10 and tested a Medium (10-12), which fitted well around the top but was very loose fitting around the hem. I may have smaller hips than an 'average' size 10, but there did seem to be quite an excess of fabric around this area. So much so that I can't imagine this being solved by sizing down. The sleeves are a comfortable fit, but not tight enough to hold up arm warmers. It's safe to say that the sizing chart reflects a 'comfort fit' rather than a 'race fit', which is fair enough for a weekend style jersey like this one. Road Holland do say on their size guide that 'if you fall in between [sizes], order up or down depending upon how tight / loose you want the jersey.'
Despite the slightly odd sizing, I felt comfortable wearing this jersey once I was off the bike and in the pub. The odour eating merino fabric avoided Cyclist's Stink and the classic design didn't attract the same "what the hell are you wearing" looks that some Lycra numbers seem to. In this respect The Monfoort lives up to it's claims.
In summary, the Montfoort is a stylish and comfortable jersey at a pretty reasonable price compared to its counterparts. It's available in an impressive range of sizes, but the shape of the bottom half of the jersey doesn't seem to line up with the rest of the garment. This might mean it would suit women with larger hips well. It feels like a good quality garment, the fabric is very soft, and you won't feel silly wearing off the bike.
Classic looking and comfortable jersey which doesn't look out of place off the bike.
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Make and model: Road Holland Montfoort Womens Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey
Size tested: Medium, 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?
The Montfoort jersey is designed for women, and best suited to Spring/Summer weather.
This is what Road Holland say about the Montfoort jersey:
The Montfoort is one of our original designs and features a 1/4 zip collar. The cut was designed by and made exclusively for women. Our unique princess seams form side panels which make for a slightly narrow silhouette that is comfortable and flattering on and off the bike. The cap sleeve gives just enough room for tucking in a pair of arm warmers during colder days but will not bunch up and make you look like you're wearing a man's t-shirt.
The fabric is a super-soft and highly breathable 61% polyester / 39% Merino wool blend. The inclusion of fine Merino does wonders for the fabric. Wool's exceptional wicking properties keep you dryer and cooler even in the most demanding of conditions.
There are multiple back pockets including one especially designed for money and other personal essentials.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
39% merino, 61% polyester fabric
4 back pockets (1 with zip)
Reflective trim to back pockets
1/4 zip with zip garage to prevent rubbing
Silicone grip to back hem
Not 'cheap' as such, but good value when compared to some big brands that produce similar products (cof Rapha cof).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It generally performed very well - it is casual enough to be worn off the bike, without missing out on technical features which make it good for riding in. It's comfortable and well made.
The oversized hem meant slightly annoying excess fabric, which meant the silicon grippers were redundant. This would possibly be solved by going down a size, but the rest of the jersey fits well and doesn't warrant a smaller size.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The classic design and colour scheme. The soft fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The loose hem. The 1/4 zip.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Road Holland's Montfoot jersey has an attractive design and is made from a really comfortable fabric. It performs well, although personally I would stick to Lycra jerseys for long rides. It represents good value, but I wouldn't buy it because the oversized hem doesn't fit me well.
Age: 24 Height: 175cm Weight: 62kg
I usually ride: TI-Raleigh Singlespeed hack My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD5
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, fixed/singlespeed, Road riding, Group social rides