Sugio’s new jacket is part of their H.O.V. (Human Operated Vehicle) range designed for the fashion conscious commuter certainly fulfils what they set out to do: design a top with “technical performance with casual city style, a more leisurely, every-day look that easily switches from cycling trail to street cafe”
As a cycling jacket it works well, the tailored cut means it's close fitting without being tight or restrictive. The rear could do with being dropped slightly lower as the jacket can tend to ride up your back a bit and get a bit draughty when you’re on the drops. Reinforced shoulder panels are also a welcome idea: after a small altercation with a bus on my commute which resulted in me hitting the tarmac with my shoulder, it didn’t leave a mark (I wish the same could be said for my bar tape).
Thankfully, considering the soggy August we’ve had this year, the fabric is treated with a water repellent finish which does work reasonably well in all but the heaviest downpours. When you do happen to get caught out in a storm though, even when wet the H.O.V. jacket keeps you warm and dries very quickly once the rain stops. It's not the most breathable of jackets though and things can soon get warm when climbing or sprinting through the traffic. Early Spring and Autumn are probably where the jacket would be most comfortable, when there is a fresh chill in the air.
I ride with lights on my commute all year round so the fact that the jacket is black doesn’t bother me but I think visibility could be an issue even on sunny days especially in traffic. There are Scotchlite reflective highlights which should make you stand out when the nights draw in.
At £90 the jacket does offer good value for money, it does the job of a cycling jacket well but also looks great off of the bike and with sizes ranging from S-XXL there should be no problem with getting one to fit. I actually wore it more off of the bike than on it for popping down the pub or out for a meal. There are a few compromises due to the jacket having to fulfil its dual roles but they don’t detract from what is essentially a great jacket.
All in all a great jacket. Great build quality and design all for a sensible price tag.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi HOV mens jacket
Size tested: M
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, a great jacket on or off the bike
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Schwinn Fastback Pro My best bike is: Dolan Chrono TT Custom
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: 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.