At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
Designed to partner with the shorts from the same 'Blade' range, this short sleeve jersey from Northwave is a Spring/Summer option but heavier material density on the chest errs more on the side of insulation than breathability.
That isn't to say breathability is compromised: meshed arm, lower chest and back sections provide a good amount of airflow. The jersey is constructed from Northwave's 'Lightech' material. Not much explanation is given on this so I'll tell it in my own words. It is essentially a Coolmax affair - a polyester mesh that's light and provides a capillary, wicking action.
Jersey construction consists of three different material panels. A dense material is used on the wind exposed shoulder sections. Heavy weight meshing on the arms and chest and then a lighter, almost transparent, mesh under the armpits and upper back. All these panels are held together by some decent flat-lock stitching. In practice, this design worked well, keeping me cool when I had a sweat on but not giving me chills at other times. A full length zip also helps when the temperature really rises.
Fit was good. Being an Italian company it comes a lot smaller than you can expect from the chunkier Western countries. I had a large on test - I normally go for a small. The large was a good fit though, with no baggy or loose sections. The arms have a black cuff which ensure they are not going to flap in the wind. Length was a strong point too, plenty enough for my lanky 184cm build. The jersey isn't prone to bunching up, thanks to a silicone strip around the base.
You get the standard three rear pockets on the Blade, along with a zipped middle pocket not often found on short sleeves. Useful for items you don't want wriggling out during the pocket gel scrabble. The zip doesn't scream quality though; it can be hard to open and close.
Simple but decent short sleeve jersey that doesn't break the bank.
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Northwave Blade 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?
It's a short sleeve jersey for spring/summer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MAIN FABRIC: Lightech
ZIP: Full opening reversed with camlock
VENT INSERTS: Back
POCKETS: 3 + middle zippered
REFLEX INSERTS: Reflective front logo - Side reflective flap
Your standard cut short sleeve jersey.
Flat-lock seems and 3 different materials make for good breathability.
Colours stayed strong after a few washes. Can't see the jersey falling apart any time soon.
A good fit, as with most Italian makes though, you probably want a size larger than normal. Breathability was good whilst not being like wearing nothing.
A retail of ~£50 is about what I would expect for this quality of jersey.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As intended; a great choice for a basic short sleeve.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Well cut: fitted around the arms and had a good length to it.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cheap zip on rear pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes - if I wanted a basic short sleeve.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,