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The Craft Cadence Recycled Performance Jersey Classic is a flattering design with most of the features and detailing we've come to expect from modern jerseys. It's also made from recycled polyester, which is becoming increasingly popular. I love the cut and the colour, it wicks well, and most of the detailing is top notch. However, though very comfortable, the fabric does feel more synthetic than some.
Compared with other recycled jerseys, including Scimitar's Eco1, the fabric feels slightly thicker, which isn't a bad thing (not that the Scimitar is showing any signs of premature ageing, a good year or so down the line) and bodes well for gravel, touring and similar rides on the wilder side.
It feels slightly synthetic to touch than a more traditional polyester jersey, but this isn't something I've noticed when wearing it, even directly against the skin.
I'm told the polyester yarn complies with the Global Recycling Standard, which means it will have met a strict criterion – not only concerning the sustainability of the materials, but good working conditions and environmental/chemical impacts are maintained and minimised throughout.
If teal isn't your thing, black or orange are alternatives, or there's the KOM in a two-tone teal/black design.
On me the fit is snug but not racing snakes, so a bit more compassionate to those areas we may feel a little self-conscious about. Medium is bang on for my 181cm, 70 kilo frame, with scope for thicker baselayers and arm warmers, which is good for later summer rides when temperatures can fluctuate.
A quick word about the seams. I hadn't noticed them on the bike, so no comfort issues, but I was a little surprised by the subtle imprints left on my skin after a few hours.
One-piece Raglan sleeves coupled with the stretchy material ensure unrestricted movement around the shoulders.
Shifting position, reaching for mid ride snacks or switching between hoods, drops and tops is effortless, while 2cm-deep silicone grippers around the sleeves and hem keep them from riding up.
I've been testing ours through a changeable August and feel it hits most notes really well. The slightly heavier weight hasn't been an issue when it's been 25 degrees and quite humid – some slight misting around the lower back, chest and armpits, but for instant cooling relief you can just drop the zipper a few inches. The tag, though not as large as I'd prefer, is still easily operated at speed and there's a 'garage' to prevent chafing when it's all the way up.
When temperatures climb to the high 20s, I use a back bottle filled with frozen water for several hours cool comfort – which the pockets cope with very well.
At the other end of the scale, I'm often out before sunrise and I've been pleasantly surprised by how well the jersey retains some welcome warmth at 12-13 degrees and a chill breeze.
Round the back, the three deep rear pockets are better reinforced around the base than some, offering excellent support to heavier loads. I often carry an 800ml bottle and a super zoom compact camera in my pockets – and sometimes a bottle of frozen water – and there have been no problems with bounce or ejection when belting along the bridleways and unmade roads.
At the end of the terrace there's a zippered annex for change, keys and other valuables (or sticky energy bar wrappers), but it's tricky to operate – it's not specific to the Craft Cadence, and threading a cable tie or something similar through it solves the problem.
I've subjected ours to my usual riding diet of road riding and mixed terrain exploration, with speedy, spirited singletrack fun. So far, no hint of bobbling or similar superficial damage. The zippers are still doing their thing very reliably, so there's nothing, save for a big spill, to suggest it won't have a long and productive life.
There's been the odd trace of oily patina along the front that hasn't completely shifted, even pre-washed using a neat bike wash degreaser, but you'd struggle to see it. Otherwise, no surprises after it's been in the wash at 30 degrees. It's also gone on the odd accidental household run at 40 degrees with no ill effect.
At £64.99 this is good value compared with some – Pactimo's Summit Aero, which is also made from recycled fabric, is £100 (though it does feel more like a traditional high-quality polyester jersey) and Lusso's Dunsop Short Sleeve Jersey, which I've also been testing (full review imminent), is £70; it has a racing snakes cut and excellent detailing, but it isn't made from recycled materials.
But the Scimitar Eco1 I mentioned earlier is cheaper at £55, and if you're seeking something lighter, say for the height of (next) summer, Galiber's Regale Ultralight is a very thin but seemingly durable model offering factor 30 SPF sun protection, again not made from recycled polyester, but a good bit cheaper at £46.88.
Some minor points aside, the Craft Cadence is a solidly made jersey, with the added appeal of using recycled fabrics, and some great touches. Though I'm a little so-so on the slightly synthetic feel, it's never been uncomfortable or detracted from my riding pleasure.
Nicely executed jersey for general riding, if a little more synthetic feeling than some recycled competition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft Cadence Recycled Performance Classic Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Craft Cadence says, "This jersey is the one for you if you are looking to combine sustainability, responsible sourcing and performance all in one package for your cycling adventures.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Craft Cadence lists these key features:
Zip guard to prevent zipper discomfort while riding
Comfortable fit that is suitable for casual riding and club runs
Reflective trims on the back for night time visibility
High-quality full-length SBS zipper
Three easy-to-access rear pockets with additional zipped pocket
Extra thick 2cm silicone hem gripper for tight fit and improved stability
High-quality fabrics, zippers and seems well made, which bodes well for the long term.
Performs well across the board.
Looks fresh (save for some trace oily patina, which is very hard to spot) after several weeks of regular wearing and washing. No hint of bobbling or similar deterioration to date.
Nice cut for general riding, and medium was bang on for me.
Heavier than some but reassuringly so, and goes completely unnoticed on the bike.
The fabric feels more synthetic to the touch than some recycled yarns, but this isn't apparent, let alone intrusive, on the bike.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward. Machine wash at 30 degrees, line dry. Some oily patina crept in around the front and hasn't completely vanished, but it's incredibly faint. It's also done the odd 40-degree household wash without issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall performance has been impressive. The cut, though snug, is slightly more relaxed than some, and comfortable for general riding. The fabric has ample stretch, allowing complete freedom of movement, and the pockets are very supportive of heavier cargo. The fourth, zippered one is a little tricky to access, especially while riding along – adding a cable tie through the tag helps.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Colour, cut, fit and pocket depth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Minor points but the zipped pocket's tag is tricky to access, though easily rectified. The fabric feels more synthetic to the touch than some, but doesn't detract from comfort.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's pretty good: Pactimo's Summit Aero is £100, while Lusso's Dunsop Short Sleeve Jersey is £70 and has excellent detailing but isn't made from recycled materials. But the Scimitar Eco1 Recycled Cycling Jersey is cheaper at £55, and if you're seeking something lighter, say for the height of (next) summer, Galiber's Regale Ultralight Jersey is very thin but seemingly durable, and offers 30 SPF sun protection; again, it's not made from recycled polyester, but it is a good bit cheaper at £46.88.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? For the most part, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a very good jersey for the price, with some nice touches and a solid all-round performance.
About the tester
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)