Like this site? Help us to make it better.

NorthWave Sonic Jersey



Comfortably fitting, good looking jersey – but the arms may feel too short

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The mid-range Northwave Sonic is a snug-fitting jersey for warm days, with a minimalist look. The construction is good, but not high-end, with the side panel seams noticeably not flatlocked. Construction is mostly Lycra, with side and underarm panels of a wider mesh for ventilation. The zip is reasonably robust, and is do-up-able with one hand to the garage at the collar.

At the back, three pockets are deep enough for a gilet/armwarmers, with the centre pocket sporting a hidden-zip pocket for mobile/cash. There's a small reflective patch too. Below the rear hem is the obligatory silicone gripper strip.

Find your nearest dealer here 

Buy this online here 

It's a little detail, but I do like Northwave's nod to their Italian origin with the little green, white and red tab, also forming the hanging loop inside the collar. The Northwave logo on the front is raised rubber lettering - it seems well-attached, and hasn't shifted in a few months of use/washing.

On the bike the fit is good, the rear being just right and the front not bunching up around the tum. The fabrics admit a decent breeze, and the full-length zip is always there for serious hillwork.

My only gripe is the arm length. At 94cm chest/84cm waist I'm a Small according to Northwave's fit chart, the tested garment was a Medium, yet the arms were easily an inch or two too short for my liking. The sleeve ends in a 6cm-wide double layer of Lycra, which, according to Northwave, 'adapts to the body with constricting the muscles. The double layer is extremely elastic so always fits perfectly around the leg'.

Unless you've got things drastically wrong Northwave obviously mean arms and the fit certainly is snug, bordering on compression-tight. That would be fine, but as it's a bit short the sleeve tends to ride up over the bicep, almost turning the jersey into a vest in look. Pulling the arms down to keep tan lines razor-sharp throughout a sunny ride is not a great use of time better spent eyeing componentry or dodging errant wildlife/road users.

Over a few months the Sonic jersey was a pleasant bit of kit to pull on, paired in spring/early summer with a short-sleeved baselayer or windblock T-shirt depending on conditions (and the Sonic bib shorts). The fabric isn't ultra-light/breathable, but should serve you well for most UK conditions. Pockets are perfectly functional and the look is minimalist chic with a nod to contrast/visibility.

If only the arms were a tad longer.


Comfortably fitting, good looking jersey – but the arms may feel too short

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: NorthWave SS15 Sonic Jersey Short Sleeves

Size tested: Black/White Med

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?

It's for people on a budget, looking for a summer jersey with minimalist styling.

Northwave says: "The Sonic jersey's distinctive design features six large breathable mesh inserts positioned in high-sweat areas and lots of tech for cyclists who demand a high performance."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Highly breathable Lightech fabric.

YKK full opening zip with camlock puller.

Mesh inserts on back on sides on sleeves.

3 rear pockets with the middle having an invisible zip.

6cm Double Lycra arm ends for good grip without constriction or any feeling of tightness.

Double Lycra waist on the front silicon grip on back.

Reflective Logo 5cm reflective strip on the back.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Well-put-together, but not premium. But then it's £55 RRP.

Rate the product for performance:

The arms really let down what would otherwise be a good jersey.

Rate the product for durability:

It still looks like new, two months later.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

At 166g it's not light, but not heavy either.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

The side panel seams are noticeable, and the arms, again.

Rate the product for value:

At full RRP, I wouldn't say it's great value. Maybe at a clearance price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

In terms of keeping you cool on warm days going quickly, it's not bad. And can be paired with a gilet/armwarmers perfectly well. But don't count on it to keep those tanlines sharp.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The small details of Italian tabs, minimalist design, and the rubber logo. nice.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The arms, and to a lesser extent the seams.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes. But not at RRP.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but with the caveats on arm length. If the arms fitted, sure.

Use this box to explain your score

If Northwave lengthened the arms it would be a much more attractive proposition. Probably a 7.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 183cm  Weight: 71kg

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking and Dutch bike pootling


Latest Comments