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Hackney GT don't waste time with understated or discreet kit; the Trackster jersey, with its bold, bright red and white polka dots, is a classic example of their aesthetic creativity. With a competitive price you will be getting a British made, versatile, functional garment that is perfect for warmer weather.
The striking design is the first thing that you will notice about the jersey; it is somewhat retro with a bold 'Made in England' across the rear (one might wonder whether this was design pre or post Brexit vote).
The second thing you'll notice, as you put it on, is what Hackney GT mean by 'a UK fit which represents a true body size'. Our size 12 sample was very generous, certainly not the tight lycra fit that you get with most road jerseys conform to. There was very little in the way of a female cut and the jersey hung loose to create a more casual look, perhaps a fit more suitable for off-roading or touring.
In fact I tested it out for both those situations and it was spot on. Minimal tapering around the waist means that the jersey would be ideal for a fuller-figured rider, or just someone who does not feel comfortable in skin tight lycra. The side panels and sleeves are the only parts constructed of lycra, so if stretch is necessary this provides necessary give.
The jersey felt great when riding; the loose fit promoted good airflow and ventilation. There was no sense of restriction anywhere. The interior boasts a 'golf ball' weave. The fabric resembles the dimpling of a golf ball, which is claimed to assist with breathability and wicking away sweat. These two features certainly resulted in effective cooling while riding in warmer weather. If that doesn't get you cool enough, the smooth-running zip is sturdy enough to hold itself in a partially open position.
Three generous rear pockets were perfectly placed to enable easy access and Hackney's claim that the trendily lined rear zip pocket fits an iPhone 6 is valid. A small reflective strip has been incorporated should you find yourself riding in the dark.
The only drawback of the loose fit was a tendency for the jersey to swing round if the pockets were unevenly loaded. The interior silicone strip at the rear hem worked against this a little but its effectiveness depended heavily on the material that it was sitting against. The answer of loading your pockets evenly is simple and obvious, though not always possible if you consume half of your food mid-ride.
The final detail that can only be loved is the washing instructions being printed directly on to the interior collar. No large labels, no irritation or potential sticking out. Simple but ingenious.
You may struggle to understand how this qualifies as a female garment but if you like a looser fit, a striking design and want a jersey that will keep you cool then this is certainly a must-have and won't break your bank. Indeed with Brexit round the corner the price might soon be even more appealing.
Good quality, high-performance women's jersey in a looser fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hackney GT Womens Trackster Red Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Size 12, Red
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 Hackney GT Women's Trackster short sleeve cycling jersey is an aesthetically unique garment with a cut that claims to fit 'a true body size.' Hackney pride themselves on kit that is built to last with designs that 'are influenced by many aspects both inside and outside of cycling, creating a vibrant alternative to traditional cycling clothing.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
~ Lycra side and arm panels for extra comfort and good fit
~ Golf ball weave polyester wicking performance fabric for the main body
~ Full length heavy duty zip
~ Three large and angled back pockets
~ Rubber gripper to rear
~ Reflective rear tab
~ Hidden zipped 4th back pocket large enough for iPhone 6
The garment is well constructed, the best part is that this has been done in England!
The lightweight fabric promoted excellent ventilation. The loose fit meant that there was no feelings of movement being inhibited but if you unevenly loaded the pockets the jersey was prone to swinging to one side due to it's loose fit. The pockets are generous so lend themselves to being loaded up which is great. The jersey was best suited to warmer weather, a couple of thin base layers were required as the temperatures dropped.
I wore the jersey on and off-road, and for touring; it stood up well throughout. It has certainly not faded or lost shape through washing and wear.
The jersey is really not cut for a feminine figure. I found it loose, particularly around the midriff, much more of a jersey that would suit an off-roader, tourer, or a fuller female figure. That said, it felt comfortable with no restriction, pulling or gathering. If you like to know that kit flatters your shape then this probably isn't for you.
These are generous sizes. Make sure that you check the sizing chart on the website. They are certainly not like the majority of other manufacturers.
Lightweight and a weightless feel when on the torso.
If the tight fitting, figure hugging road kit that many manufacturers produce is not your cup of tea then you will love this looser design. If you like to feel rather more 'secure' in your kit or know that it flatters your shape then this probably isn't for you.
A price that is certainly competitive. With potential economic change around the corner this company is worth supporting and will hopefully thrive in post-Brexit U.K.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The limited amount of lycra means that the jersey doesn't lose it's shape through washing and wear like some jerseys can. You'll love that the instructions are printed on the interior of the collar: no labels!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jersey does perform well on the bike if the pockets are evenly loaded, maybe not a necessity if your figure is generous enough to fill the midriff area of the garment.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I personally liked the jersey for off-roading and touring. I like to have a snug fitting jersey on the road. It was nice that the jersey held it's shape with washing and wear. The pockets were a great size and easily accessible.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It really wasn't a flattering cut for me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but not for Hackney's intended road purpose.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The garment is super value and performs well but is not really tapered for a feminine figure. The statement by Hackney does clearly defend this 'fuller figure' cut. Their sizing chart needs to be checked carefully too. A great jersey but not one that I would personally be selecting to use on the road in a rush.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
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: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…