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Kalf isn't a household name in the cycling apparel market, but the Flux Chevron jersey is a well-thought-out, high-performance piece of kit available exclusively from Evans Cycles for a great price.
It's not often I'm surprised by a new brand when it comes to product reviews in the cycling industry. Rarely does a smaller brand really rival the big guns – but here, it's definitely game on.
I'd not come across Kalf before testing this, the matching shorts, and mitts, but I'm glad I have. The Flux Chevron jersey is technically advanced and packed with attention to detail that makes wearing it a pleasure. It starts with the race-cut fit which moulds brilliantly to the body, and goes on from there.
The Lycra main body is stretchy so that the race cut never feels restrictive, whatever position you tend to ride in, while also keeping fabric bunching to a minimum. At the same time it's very soft with lightweight flat stitching on the inside that helps minimise rubbing, so comfort levels are impressive too.
That continues with the extremities, with a soft and slightly raised collar that sits flush to the skin, and a waist hem gripper that makes use of the chevron design to form gripper nodules in a minimalistic way, also helping with the slim aero fit while doing a superb job of retaining the jersey length at the rear.
Furthermore, the jersey uses the natural elasticity of the Lycra fabric to form the arm cuffs – no rubbing grippers, or grippers of any kind save for the comfort-improving tab on the inside of the arm, internal to the sleeve itself. Cooling is maximised in this usually extra-sweaty area with a thin laser-cut ventilation panel that stretches halfway down your flank, and while this may usually raise questions of delicacy, it's remarkably well constructed.
Aero and race-cut jerseys are often criticised by non-racers for their lack of practicality in the pocket area, but Kalf has included three decent-sized storage compartments with flat seams at the edges for a slim air of quality. Capacity is flexible thanks to the sheer elasticity of the Lycra material, while there's a central zipped security pocket for valuables too. It's not protected by a waterproof lining, but it's the tiniest of niggles, especially if you carry your cash or valuables in a plastic wallet anyway.
This makes the Flux Chevron jersey perfect for... well, whatever you like, to be honest. From turbo sessions to short aggressive training spins or chaingangs, to century sportives and long, hot days in the saddle, it's up to the task. It's a jersey that I'll certainly be using repeatedly this summer.
The rear pocket area also features reflective branding around the zipper and in the Kalf sign 'K' for extra visibility, over and above the distinctive and stylish chevron design. I liked it when I first tried it on, and I loved it when I caught a look of myself in a shop window (just by chance, you understand, I'm not vain, or anything...).
If anything, I think it's a shame that Kalf doesn't have a second colourway in the chevron design to choose from – perhaps a deep purple or redcurrant, or even a super-bright design inspired by the flashes of coral on the inside of the collar and in the 'K' logo on the underside of the left sleeve. You can have that idea for free, Kalf, as long as I find a test piece finding its way to me. (My address is...)
Back to the present: in addition to this lightweight racy design, you also get bags of quality too. Repeated washes aren't a problem, while the elasticity and slimline fit is maintained – something that occasionally goes awry in jerseys of this type after many uses. No such issues here.
All this, and it costs a mere £64.99 (at this point, direct from Evans Cycles only), hitting a really competitive price point for the style and quality. On such matters, and more importantly performance, it's up there with premium brands such as Rapha and Castelli, I'd say, and excellent value. Welcome to the top table, Kalf.
An excellent race cut jersey for an excellent price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kalf Flux Chevron Men's Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
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?
Evans says: "Designed to fit close to your body, the Kalf Flux Chevron Jersey uses a soft, compliant Lycra to ensure it doesn't feel restrictive. Detailing includes the use of different panels – including perforated under-arms – to transfer moisture away from the skin, reflective logo details and laser-cut sleeves. Across the back three standard pockets are complemented by a zipped valuables pocket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Evans lists these features:
Microfresh fabrics - Microfresh fabrics help sweat to disperse easily, thanks to the structure and the type of fibre they are made from. The result is improved breathability and quick drying, keeping the body fresh and the fabric from clinging to the skin.
Reflective details - Besides the obvious trend of fluro, Kalf designers have added reflective details, often very discreetly and within the brand logo on their apparel to add an element of visibility.
Considering its light weight, the solidity of the jersey is impressive.
I really can't fault its performance.
I'd be wary of wooden garden furniture, but then I would be in any kit.
Race cuts can be restrictive, this wasn't at all.
About right – a medium was racy, while a large would still have been tight with a little extra length.
...on 131g? Not really.
Very, very comfortable indeed.
For everything it offers, £64.99 feels like a snip to me.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The design, the fit, the comfort, the coolness.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes - I already have.
Use this box to explain your score
I think this jersey is very close to perfect.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding