In the last few years, dhb's clothing range has been keeping 'on trend' with more vibrant and vivid colour schemes, and more performance and racy lines. The dhb Blok Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey epitomises that – in performance as well as looks – and is typically good value for money.
The Blok jersey's design won't be to everyone's taste (there are others available), but I quite like it. It may fall from favour in a few years, but for now, I think it ticks the box quite nicely.
The jersey isn't all style though; the substance is certainly there. The Blok is marketed as a cool weather garment 'ideal for training and sportives through cooler months or a chilly spring or summer morning'. The warmth of the jersey comes from the fleecy Roubaix fabric that lines it, trapping a pocket of warm air inside the top while also being wicking and breathable. It provides warmth, but not that hideous 'boil in the bag' warmth that comes from unventilated clothing.
Out on the road, that Roubaix fabric is noticeable, providing a nice toasty snug warmth – sort of like being inside your duvet. On a few rides in the late winter/early spring, it did a great job of keeping the cold out in conditions of around 7-12 degrees when worn with just a mid-weight baselayer beneath.
However, the main pitfall of the jersey is that it is not all that windproof. On seriously breezy days you can feel the gusts rattling through the material and it certainly makes a difference to your body temperature. Although this is something that can easily be dealt with by donning another layer such as a gilet or packable jacket, it does mean you cannot view the Blok jersey as a one stop shop. (dhb does make a windproof softshell version for £70, if you think you might want the extra protection.)
Likewise in the wet – the jersey isn't designed to be waterproof or water resistant. But while the jersey isn't the lightest and thinnest of garments out there, it is certainly thin enough to function as a mid-layer, making layering items over the top easily possible.
For a brand at the lower end of the price market, dhb does a good job with the finishing touches: there is a zipped and waterproof pocket in the centre for your essentials, allowing you to keep your keys and cash separate and safe from all the other junk that goes with you on a ride. The three main pockets are a generous size and provide a good element of stretch, meaning you can cram them full of snacks, tools, and that extra layer that you may need... The cuffs are elasticated, meaning they stay in place relatively well around the wrist, preventing that annoying gap that can occur in so many other long-sleeve items.
The cut is labelled as 'performance' and the jersey is generally nice and close fitting, even on a climber type like me, although there is some excess material and bunching around the stomach when lower on the hoods or in the drops. It's a bit of a shame but not a huge issue. A typical problem with long-sleeve jerseys for gangly types like me is the sleeves being too short, but the Blok jersey is just about right, with the arms ending neatly just above my wrist when on the bike.
At £55, the jersey represents great value for money in a market where prices seem to be escalating by the day. It sits firmly alongside the also well-rated and similarly priced Altura Nightvision 2 Thermo Long Sleeve Jersey, offering the same thermal features and value for money. If you've got a touch more to spend, investing another £15 could get you the highly rated Pearl Izumi thermal jersey for £69.99.
So, all in all, it's a great bit of kit and it's not going to sting your wallet. If you need a jersey to keep you warm and fit well, it certainly does the job. There are a few downsides, such as the lack of windproofing and slight excess of fabric around the stomach, but unless you're planning on using this for your 'A' race or sportive, I can't see that being a huge issue.
A striking looking jersey to keep the cool at bay without breaking the bank in the process
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Blok Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey
Size tested: Small
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 dhb Blok long sleeve jersey is designed to be your cool weather workhorse; as the manufacturer says, "It is ideal for training and sportives through cooler months or a chilly spring or summer morning."
It is ideal for colder days and is certainly very warm, though the lack of windproofing lets it down slightly. However, this feels acceptable given the bargain price point, and it's not marketed as being wind resistant.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The jersey's key feature is a soft, fleecy Roubaix fabric lining which traps warm air inside the garment. The fabric is also breathable and wicking so that sweat doesn't build up during hard efforts. The jersey is a full zip design, with the usual three rear pockets and one bonus zipped pocket as well.
Warm breathable wicking polyester fleece fabric
Full length, lock down YKK zip with chin guard
3 vertical pockets
Water resistant centre YKK zip pocket
Internal elasticated silicone gripper on hem
Reflective insert on back pocket
It is certainly warm, but doesn't keep cold wind out.
Despite being marketed as a 'performance' fit, there is some bunching and excess material around the stomach when you're on the bike. This is only a minor gripe as the other areas of the jersey fit nice and closely.
Not the lightest garment out there, but fine for everyday commutes and training.
For £55 it's a very good balance of form, fit and function.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The jersey has been through numerous washes and has not had any problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jersey is very warm when worn on its own down to around 7 degrees, but isn't too good at keeping cold wind out.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The jersey is unique in its styling without being overstated. It is warm and has plenty of storage space, making it great for longer winter training rides or everyday commutes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
An element of windproofing and waterproofing would increase the value of the jersey immensely, although it's not marketed as including these technical elements. It could be improved slightly around the stomach to be truly 'performance' fit.
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
A toasty, stylish and functional jersey at a very good price. The fit around the stomach could be improved slightly, and some windproofing and waterproofing added. But if considered purely as a warm and reliable jersey, it's great.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding