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The b-Twin range is Decathon's are no frills budget garments aimed at novices but there’s a fair bit of cheer for seasoned riders low on their dough or just looking for turbo trainer slavery or spinning class garb. Made from tight knit polyester based fabric it feels quite thin and extremely tactile-very similar to that of a mid weight base layer. Cut is a fraction looser than premium brands but none the worse for it and a choice of subtle but attractive colours suits all moods and most wardrobes.
As expected there’s some economies- the front zipper is quite short-although sufficient for additional climate control and there’s only one large rear pocket in place of the time honoured three. However, in fairness the zip closure prevents escaping tyre levers, tubes and other essentials and I was surprised at how much could be squirreled away (tyre levers, spare tube, multi tool, keys, mobile phone). At the exclusion of other kit, it will swallow a 750ml trade bottle horizontally.
Lacking the wicking prowess of technically superior fabrics, I remained comfortable despite riding at full pelt for two hours in the early summer sun- undoubtedly helped by the material’s texture. However, this means it’s best restricted to road and indoor duties, the thrills and thorny encounters of green lane and bridle path riding quickly resulted in some light damage. Similarly greater care e.g. machine washing at 30 instead of 40 should ensure a season or two’s service judging by our test model. The only other downside is they’re only available in store which could prove frustrating should you live a long way from a Decathlon.
Great value for money if you live close to a Decathlon store.
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Make and model: b'Twin Sport Basic jersey
Size tested: Large
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?
As the name suggests it's a basic no frills jersey but surprisingly cheerful nonetheless.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Relatively thin polyester based construction, shallow front zip but capacious zippered rear pockets.
Good given the price.
Not much different in the short-term to many premium bands.
Generally good but beware thorns and other foliage.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Basic jersey performs better than I had any right to expect. Good fit, reasonable levels of comfort in very warm weather coupled with rapid drying time and keen pricing mean it's a great option for expanding the wardrobe on a budget or for indoor training.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Subtle, understated styling, fit and reasonable comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the asking price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? All things being equal, yes.
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)