Made by Polaris for Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, the Revolution Esk short-sleeve jersey raises the bar for budget jerseys and makes you wonder, why pay more?
Stealth Lockheed bomber black with red panelling and Scotchlite detailing works really well in my book, complementing the entire wardrobe while having slightly menacing undertones. I was really impressed by the tapered cut and generous shoulder sections - sleek, yet facilitating movement when alternating between tops, drops or indeed tri bars.
The pockets are another brilliant deviation from the traditional script. Two fairly conventional pockets with elasticated cuffs keep bottles, bananas, CO2 cartridges, spare tubes and so on safe, and double as useful blinky mounts. The right pockets incorporates a zippered compartment that's perfect for phones, slimline compact cameras, bank cards and right hand dominant riders.
The mid length front zip provides easily regulated airflow without leaving one feeling overly exposed. Staying with detailing for a moment, 3M retro-reflectives barely merit mention nowadays but these are intelligently positioned. More noteworthy are the reflective silicone logos that sit silent by day, yet burst into life come dusk when hit by vehicle or street lighting. It's definitely more attention grabbing when it's on a moving item, like Revolution's longs, but from 50 to 80 metres out, it's pretty good.
Some polyesters work better than others and the Airbase fabric has a curious, silky texture that feels very similar to nylon against the skin. Wearing it is something of a Marmite experience. I found it slightly alien compared with plaited types intially, though this passed with successive machine washings. Line dry in twenty minutes, performance is generally pretty good once body heat triggers the fibres.
After 25 minutes at 90rpm with the mercury hovering around 26 degrees, I was stating to feel decidedly clammy between thoracic and lumber regions, wondering when the magic would begin. Moments later, I physically felt perspiration being sucked outwards through the spinal mesh. Successive outings confirmed this as a recurrent quirk. Things generally remain pretty arid then onward, although it takes some getting used to and odour control lagged very slightly behind two-layer fabrics. That said; it's well within socially acceptable limits and only apparent following a day's warm weather service.
Really nice jersey with remarkably intelligent design. However, fibres react slower than more sophisticated polyesters
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Make and model: Revolution Short Sleeve Road 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?
"The Esk Top's streamlined silhouette makes it especially fit for road cycling.
· Subdued good looks means the Revolution Esk looks right on any ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
· "Machine washable at 30 degrees C.
· Very fast drying.
· 100% polyester AirBase silky soft-touch fabric.
· The soft-mesh spinal panel accelerates moisture transfer.
· The long (28cm) zip delivers on-the-move air conditioning.
· 2 deep rear pockets keep essentials safe and accessible.
· Each pocket is elastic at the top to reduce the risk of anything slipping out.
· A third zipped RH hip pocket is perfect placed for accessing a phone or an energy bar on the move."
Reassuringly hardy thus far and with religious observance of low temperature(30 degree)machine wash cycles.
Takes a little while longer than more prestigious blends to come on stream but wicking prowess is pretty good then onward.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative have really thought about the design and come up with something that fits better than I'd any right to expect. Pockets and reflectives are similarly well executed, though initially, the fabric's wicking prowess feels pedestrian compared with two layer plaited types.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stealth looks, excellent fit, especially around the shoulders, keen pricing and intelligent detailing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Wicking prowess slightly ponderous compared with some fibres but hardly a deal-breaker.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Quite Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, generally speaking.
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)