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This short-sleeve cycling jersey from dhb is a no-frills budget option designed for summer riding, with a subdued design and relaxed fit. It's perfect for gentle tootling, interspersed with cafe stops, although the fabric struggles to cope with very hot conditions.
The Mono jersey is the entry level option in dhb's large range of cycling kit for summer 2013. Although the range is aimed specifically at 'performance' and sportive riders, this jersey may appeal to the more leisurely end of the cycling spectrum.
Our test model is the male version, size Medium. The fit around the torso and across the shoulders is relaxed, meaning it's a bit loose, rather than body-hugging, but not over-baggy, which is all totally fine for leisurely cyclists (as opposed to those seeking the aero edge).
The front of the jersey is cut shorter than the back, so the fabric doesn't ruck up around your waist when bent forward in a cycling position. The back of the jersey isn't too long though, which is great, so stuff in the rear pockets stays on the small of your back, rather than dangling down over your rear end.
There are three pockets at the back of the jersey, in the classic cycling style, which dhb describe as 'vertical drop'.
Other features include some reflective patches on the sleeves and... well, not much else. There's no silicone gripper round the sleeves or base of the jersey, no mesh panels, and no additional small zipped pocket, as found on some other dhb garments. But this jersey is a budget option. If you want those features you can spend a bit more cash and find them on other jerseys from dhb or another brand.
The collar is slightly low cut, ending in a V above the zip. Some cyclists may prefer a slightly higher zip. It's probably a matter of personal choice. The zip itself is half-length - big enough to pull the jersey on while wearing a helmet (should you ever need to) or to undo for extra ventilation on long ascents.
The Mono jersey is available in single colours. The options for men are: red, black, blue and 'fluoro' (extra bright) green. For ladies: it's just red, black and fluoro green.
The fabric is breathable, and fine for most summer conditions, but during some test rides in very hot weather this jersey felt clammy and not as breathable as some other summer kit in the road.cc wardrobe. To be fair, these more breathable items cost at least double the price of the Mono, which is unashamedly a budget option, so it's a clear case of getting what you pay for, and in most UK weather conditions the Mono will be fine anyway.
Which brings us to the price. The Mono's full retail price is a penny under 25 quid on the Wiggle website (dhb is Wiggle's in-house brand), currently reduced to £22.49 which is a very fair offer.
No-frills budget option with a subdued colour and relaxed fit, perfect for summer tootling, although a bit clammy in very hot conditions.
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Make and model: dhb Mono Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Large red
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?
This product is a budget cycling jersey designed for leisurely cycling in warm conditions. The Wiggle website says
'A great value jersey for ambitious cyclists. The Mono Jersey combines technical fabric characteristics with low key styling and a relaxed fit. With the perfect blend of performance and casual looks, the Mono has all you need to get out and enjoy cycling.... Relax fit... Clean, low key styling... High wicking fabric treatment for dryness and comfort.... 16cm neck zip for temperature control'
I'd disagree slightly on the 'High wicking fabric for dryness and comfort' claim. While it's fine for warm conditions, this jersey didn't cope with hot conditions as well as some other more breathable (and more expensive) cycling jerseys
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wiggle website goes on to say:
The Mono Jersey offers cycle specific performance and features at a brilliantly accessible price point. It features a polyester fabric construction with a softening agent for pure comfort next to the skin. The fabric is lightweight, flexible and high wicking; it draws moisture away from the skin to the surface for evaporation, keeping you cool and fresh in hot conditions.
The fit is designed to be relaxed rather than skin tight, the relaxed cut provides cooling airflow and accommodates larger builds, it also gives the jersey a casual look making it equally at home in the beer garden after your ride.
A high quality, 16cm locking YKK zipper is included on the front panel for optional ventilation and a soft, embossed neck tape is used to cover the seam and eliminate abrasion on the neck line. There is no shortage of durable 3M reflective features; presented in front and rear dhb logos and printed sleeve detail, the reflectives help increase your visibility on the road while maintaining the low-key aesthetic. The back panel is home to the classic arrangement of 3 vertical drop pockets, giving you enough space to carry your cycling essentials including a spare inner tube, tire levers, mini pump, and an energy bar.
Construction seems up to dhb's usual standards which are very good. All seams were neat and tidy with no loose threads.
Performance was very good in warm conditions, but the fabric isn't as breathable as some riders might like in very hot conditions.
Too early to say, but durability is likely to be fair for a garment of this type and price band. Not all seams are flat-locked, although this is less of an issue on garments with a relaxed fit.
Comfort is very good, thanks to the relaxed fit.
£22.49 for a jersey of this type is a very good value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a no-frills budget cycling jersey, this garment performed very well. The only niggle was the limited breathability of the fabric in very hot conditions, but we don't get many days like that in the UK, so it's not going to be a deal-breaker for most cyclists.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple design, fair price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Limited breathability of the fabric.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This Mono jersey may lack the features of some jerseys from other manufactures, but it costs half as much (or in some cases about a tenth as much) and as a no-frills budget option it's excellent, and deserves a score of 9. Just the limited breathability of the fabric in very hot conditions docks a point, giving an overall score of 8.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,