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The Craft Active Basic jersey has been a real hit with me thanks to a blend of flattering fit and classic design with contemporary twists.
There are several colours on offer but our 'Olympia/Silver' (vibrant blue with silver detailing by another name) would've been my first choice anyhow.
Fabric-wise we're talking 100% polyester, which may sound a little low rent but rather like a good frame, the way it's constructed is just as significant as the materials used. Craft employ a 'waffle weave'; a popular means of enhancing moisture trafficking and odour management.
Flatlocked seams go unnoticed against the skin. Full-length zippers continue this theme with optimal, tuneable airflow whether showing off your medallion in August's blistering summer sun or slaving through December on the indoor trainer.
A diagonal change pocket adds a useful modern twist to the time honoured elasticated three and will even manage smaller smart phones.
Silicone hems keep the jersey snugly in situ when hunkered low on the drops.
Pulling ours on, I was smitten by the flattering cut that flows gracefully over one's contours without highlighting those regions we'd wish were more Adonis-like. Sleeves have a more relaxed tenure but I consider this a blessing, overcoming tell tale elastic branding come time to hit the shower. They are also more conducive to long sleeve base layers, thus extending service through winter.
Having taken to dead of night sessions, lanes and B roads deserted save for foxes, rabbits and the odd badger; I was quickly impressed by its ability to sustain a temperate inner climate when sandwiched between man-made technical fibres.
Common to all polyesters, they need to reach a certain temperature before the waffle system comes on full stream but even on the trainer, with my new oil-fired heating system turned to tropical, we're talking ten to twelve as opposed to twenty minutes, so soggy patches don't develop or linger so readily. Dropping the zipper to half mast or so for instantaneous air conditioning is a single handed affair in thin full finger gloves and the jersey's ready to wear within twenty minutes of doing a tour de washing machine.
Flattering jersey with nice detailing and good moisture management.
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Make and model: Craft Active Basic jersey
Size tested: Large, Blue and Silver
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?
"Ergonomic construction for freedom of movement
- Shaped collar construction
- Mesh inserts for enhanced ventilation and moisture transport
- Reflective logo
- Four back pockets (one zippered)".
Craft are another brand who clearly feel their garments speak for themselves. Essentially the basic is a very flattering take on the classic road jersey with excellent climate control and detailing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% waffle weave polyester, silicone hem grippers, full length zipper, flat lock seams.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall Craft's Active Basic is a comfortable and moreover, very flattering jersey. Slightly relaxed sleeves and flat seams prevent tell tale branding when its time to hit the showers and better accomodates winter weight base layers, extending its horizons beyond spring, summer and turbo training.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pretty much everything.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 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)