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Wiggle in-house brand Dhb's Blok Meso Neck Tube is a simple polyester/elastane sleeve designed to protect the neck and chest areas from chills. 'One size fits all' is often a euphemism for 'no good to man nor beast', but the Blok Meso, at 48x24cm, can also be worn as a bandana or beneath a helmet as conditions and preferences dictate.
Playing devil's advocate, these garments are easily whipped up from an old jersey or leg warmer that's seen one too many tangles with terra firma. Then again, unless you happen to be handy with a sewing machine, or on very good terms with a seamstress/tailor, handing over a tenner is probably a more cost-effective solution.
There's a choice of two bold fluoro colours – yellow or pink – both of which are emblazoned with crosses. This polarised opinion, with some of us liking the contrast and others suggesting plain colours would be more effective in murky, overcast conditions. Either way, Wiggle states these are not intended as high visibility 'safety' apparel, but there's no doubt fluorescent splashes come in handy, especially for those of us partial to black, or similarly subtle training kit.
Being of comparable density to arm/leg warmers, it folds easily and conveniently into a typical jersey/jacket pocket when not required.
Worn around the neck, there's sufficient length to form an effective seal with jersey collars. It can be folded over without feeling restrictive, and even with it left loose I wasn't conscious of annoying flutter or that ominous trickle of rain sneaking inside. Flat seams rule out unsightly 'branding' of your skin too.
In the comfort stakes, having been wearing and testing merino and some micro-fibre polyesters, this relatively bog standard weave feels distinctly synthetic. This was most apparent when drawn over the nose and mouth, bandit fashion, during a hail storm. In this context, rider-generated clamminess chimed in around the 20-minute mark and tended to linger, but when you're not being hailed on moisture eviction is fairly proficient.
Beneath a lid, it offers excellent protection from 'ice cream' headaches, especially when descending at full pelt, but I wasn't surprised to find my hair matted and sweaty given an hour or so at a steady 20mph, especially when temperatures reached double figures.
Odour control is similarly good, rather than great. Left airing after each ride, ours remained socially acceptable for four days in succession, but beyond that a good machine washing was definitely in order.
Summing up, personally, I'm a merino man, but the Meso has performed well enough in most contexts and could be a godsend when the gritting lorries come out to play.
Useful protection from cold, wintry weather, but synthetic texture and moderate wicking prowess
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Make and model: Dhb Blok Meso Neck Tube
Size tested: One Size , Fluro Yellow
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?
Wiggle says: "Complete your dhb Blok look with this eye-catching Neck Tube. Finished in the dhb Blok Meso print, it has been constructed from a soft, bi-elastic micro brushed jersey for additional warmth and comfort."
Certainly eye-catching and competent, but the synthetic texture limits the appeal beyond really chilly rides.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
o 83% Polyester
o 17% Elastane(Spandex)
Nicely made with flat seams and uniform stitching.
On par with similar synthetics.
Rugged, practical and washes well.
Good when temperatures tumble but distinctly average when they creep beyond 10°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, it's a versatile and inexpensive means of protecting the neck, face and head from cold, wintry weather. However, wicking isn't particularly fast, which leads to clamminess when temperatures fluctuate during the course of a ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the fact that it's versatile and can be worn in several ways; colours and detailing also balance fun with practicality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Feels decidedly synthetic against the skin.
Did you enjoy using the product? Pleasantly indifferent.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth considering if they were on a tight budget and/or susceptible to chill.
Use this box to explain your score
By no means a bad product and potentially a godsend during really bitter weather, but I'd sooner pay that bit extra for natural fibres.
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking