The FWE LTR Long Sleeve jersey is ideal for those chillier rides in spring, summer or autumn when you don't want to faff with a short sleeve top and arm warmers. With its lightweight fabric and well positioned mesh panels, you can keep cool and warm at the same time.
FWE is the in-house brand of high street and online retailer Evans Cycles, with LTR being the abbreviation of Lunchtime Ride – which is when the Evans design staff are said to go out and test the kit. It's grown into quite a decent range and when looking at the details and quality of this long sleeve jersey, you can see why.
The LTR uses a thin polyester material for both the solid and mesh parts of the outer, which really keeps the weight down. You barely notice it on when you're wearing it.
The mesh sections cover the back, upper arms and shoulders to transfer body heat away on sections of your torso not likely to be chilled by the wind. This is helped by the use of a recycled polypropylene mesh on the inside of the jersey, which is designed to absorb body moisture and pass it to the outside.
It works well, as even when temperatures are mid-teens centigrade and you're working hard the jersey never really gets overwhelmed. That mid-teens is about the upper limit for when you would want to wear the FWE with a mesh baselayer underneath and I felt comfortable down to about 8 or 9°C with the same setup.
The fit of the LTR is more relaxed than racy, though it is still shaped enough to offer a performance fit and reduce fabric flapping about in the wind. You get a sensible height neck to stop draughts, where you'll also find a zip garage to prevent irritation, and a dropped tail for when you're in the riding position.
The sleeves and cuffs are the only parts I found a little odd, as they are really snug compared to the rest of the jersey. It does stop any cool breeze getting up the arm, though, and there is no bunching of fabric at the elbow.
The cuffs are made from a material that looks black during daylight but is reflective in the dark when light hits it. You also get a stripe of the same at the rear, and up each forearm, which makes for a neat touch when indicating to following car drivers in the dark.
For storage you get three decent sized pockets that'll swallow the majority of your cycling essentials without sagging. The right hand one also has a separate zipped pocket for cash or keys.
For £39.99 the FWE LTR is very good value – I'd happily pay for it to fill that little gap in your wardrobe between short sleeve and thermal jerseys. It is really well made, performs as you'd expect, and offers a great fit. Most of the long-sleeve jerseys we've tested on road.cc have been thermal or heavier weight, and the closest one to compare it with is probably the dhb Blok, although it's still a little more heavy gauge. The Blok is £50 RRP, and the Wiggle brand is renowned for good value for money, so the fact that the Evans' offering comes in at a tenner less is favourable.
The FWE LTR is available in this orange, which is great for low light conditions, or black, with both getting the reflective trim.
Very good option for those cool summer evening rides in a vibrant colour
road.cc test report
Make and model: FWE LTR Long 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: "After some rigorous testing by our in-house product team and wider-staff here at Evans Cycles HQ, we couldn't think of a more apt name for this jersey -they've sacrificed countless sarnies to make our Lunchtime Ride (LTR) top-notch! The FWE LTR Long Sleeve Jersey benefits from a classic fit designed to be slightly more relaxed and flattering than some of the pure 'race' jerseys out there. Reflective detailing, a zippered security pocket and full length zip guard are just a few of the highlights of this feature rich jersey. Carefully sourced fabrics make this a quick drying, fast wicking performance jersey for maximum comfort on the bike.
"The FWE Clothing range has been tirelessly worked on by our in-house clothing team here at Evans Cycles HQ and has been avidly tested by our cycling mad staff on the roads and trails of West Sussex and Surrey. Each garment is designed completely from scratch born from a simple hand-drawn sketch. All our fabrics, chamois pads and manufacturing partners have been carefully sourced to ensure the best possible garment is made to allow you to Enjoy The Ride. The FWE brand promises to deliver great classic-fitting garments produced using high performance fabrics and strong designs, all at wallet-friendly prices."
It's a great top for cooler days.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Evans lists these features:
Quick dry and fast wicking
Overlock seams and silicone hem gripper
Full length front zip with underflap
Triple rear pocket with additional concealed pocket with zipper
Reflective trim on rear and sleeves
The sleeves are quite snug but everywhere else the fit is spot on.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Oil and mud came out without issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
One of those jerseys that fills a gap in your wardrobe.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Mesh material aids breathability.
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
Use this box to explain your score
The FWE LTR has scored 8 across the board, so it's an 8 overall. Very good build quality, fit, comfort and performance at a very good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.