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If you're looking for a top that combines bike performance with a bit of retro and off-the-bike chic then you could do a lot worse than the beautifully crafted Wallaroo long sleeve jersey from Canadian cloth-meisters Sugoi. It's much too warm for sunny Summer days but perfect for those evening pub rides, and one of the comfiest tops I've tried in ages.
The Wallaroo jersey is cut simply and stylishly, and the sizing is spot on. There's no dropped rear but you do get a discreet zipped rear pocket for your cash and a 10" collar zip for a bit of ventilation. The plain weave Merino fabric (with ribbed cuffs and collar) is fairly thick and really warm; 100% Merino fabrics sometimes suffer from stretching but I've had no such problems here, possbily because there's no pocket big enough to put anything heavy in.
The coloured band and flock script logo aren't exactly pushing the boundaries of fashion but there's two reasons why everyone's doing them: they look cool, and, erm, everyone else is doing them. Sugoi have added their own touches in the form of a vertical rear striped panel in the contrast colour and epaulets on the shoulders, and there's a discreet reflective logo by the zip. The result is a jersey that looks and feels good on and off the bike.
Merino varies in its feel, but of all the wool tops I've tried this has to be one of the softest, it's just like an old jumper. Since it arrived I've worn it most evenings, it's a super top for the pub run whether you're going by bike or not. Performance-wise the jersey wicks pretty effectively (a bit less so than thinner tops but still good) and it certainly doesn't pick up odours: I wore it pretty much full time over a camping weekend and it was still fresh come Sunday, unlike me. When it does need a wash the instructions are very specific (cold wash inside out) but I only read them after it'd already been through on the 40° cycle with no ill effects. There's a little bit of bobbling on the inside of the arms but overall it's wearing very well and the colours haven't faded over a few washes.
Overall I've got only good things to say about the Wallaroo. It's well made and comfortable, it looks good, it performs well on the bike and wears well too. You should get a good few years out of it, and at £80 it's pretty good value given the quality.
Well made, comfortable and good-looking top for on the bike and off
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Make and model: Sugoi Wallaroo jersey
Size tested: XL
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? absolutely
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: Schwinn Moab, urbanised with 700cs My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with upgrades
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.