Available in three colour options, the (deeeeep breath) Fat Lad At The Back Women's Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey (exhale) is a cosy thing made from a soft touch, super-stretchy fabric. While it comes in everything from 34in to 50in chest sizes and is reasonably priced – and wildly styled – the construction could be a little better.
While most of Fat Lad At The Back's kit starts around size 12, this particular top – based on chest and hip measurements rather than dress sizes – starts at a 34in chest (about a UK10) and goes up to a 50in (around a UK20-22). That's an impressive range!
The bold, overtly girly graphics and bright colours of the FLAB FFFMTLSCJ won't be to everyone's liking, but it's nice to have a quirky option; this is covered in graffiti-like motivational slogans and images. The other colours/patterns are a little more low key, but shrinking violets still might want to look at the solid colours of the heavyweight jerseys instead.
Black side panels enhance the figure-flattering qualities of the design. The jersey has a full-length YKK front zip, three generous rear pockets, a water resistant zipped pocket and a large reflective tab on one side. The cuffs are simple and the collar is fairly deep.
The fabric is light and stretchy, with the brushed finish giving it a cosy feel despite its modest thickness. It's definitely midweight, aimed at spring and autumn solo use or winter layering, and as such it's pretty versatile.
I found it the perfect weight and breathability beneath a waterproof on single-digit temperature days. It breathes and wicks moisture really well, though there's no windproofing or water repellency for those milder rides.
The fit is streamlined, and sizing is accurate when you follow FLAB's in-depth sizing chart. There's plenty of length in the torso and sleeves, too, making this ideal for taller riders as well as average, though short riders might find the fit on the rangy side. The hem gripper is secure, however.
The front zip is easy to use, but I'd have liked a garage at the top to stop it irritating your neck when fully done up, and a close look reveals some uneven edges and untidy threads that slightly disappoint.
At £69.99, the sits in the lower midrange (consider the full name and it's only 72p per letter – bargain!). It lacks the quality and overall finish of the likes of the dhb Classic Long Sleeve Jersey at £65 or even the Altura Women's Nightvision Long Sleeve Jersey at £59.99, but gains back some value with its a much broader range of sizes.
The FLAB FFFMTLSCJ (as probably nobody else calls it) is a well thought out, comfortable and effective lightweight jersey that's ideal for layering – though if you like the bold design it seems a shame to hide it away.
The slightly untidy construction and lack of details, such as a zip garage or windproofing for outer layer use, are disappointing, but even so it's a versatile and reasonably priced option that should last you well.
Light but warm with a good stretchy fit – it's a versatile top, if not quite the best finished
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fat Lad At The Back Women's Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey
Size tested: 38
Tell us what the product is for
FLAB says: "Packed full of inspiring phrases this graffiti style long sleeve cycling jersey celebrates the 'Bad Ass' Women who are 'Bossing It'. "Try To Keep Up" lads, 'Smart & Sassy', 'You Go Girl' 'Fearless', 'Fabulous' etc. In our signature curve friendly fit and a snuggly mid weight fabric. For best results see the size guide and get measured before ordering."
Aimed at female cyclists of chest sizes between 34" and 50" (roughly 10-22)
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% polyester lightweight thermal fabric
Full length front zip YKK
Silicone hem gripper
3 rear elasticated pouch pockets
1 size zipped pocket with water resistant lining
Reflective accent beside zipped pocket
Available in chest sizes 34" to 50"
Washable at 30
Nice quality fabric and good components, but some uneven edges, untidy threads and lacking in finishing features like a zip garage at the neck.
Very good, particularly when layered with a waterproof shell or windproof jacket.
Quality fabric that should last a good few seasons.
Good and stretchy, so ideal for a variety of body shapes, but quite long in the body. Best suited to average or tall riders.
Stretchy and accommodating, and size chart seems accurate. Available in a really excellent range of sizes.
Comfortable, warm and breathable fabric, but could do with a zip garage at the neck.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing instructions are on the inside of the collar to avoid a scratchy label, and it washes easily.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfortable and stays a good stable temperature.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cosy fabric, wide range of sizes, fun bold designs.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of zip garage at the neck.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It sits in the lower midrange.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your overall score
The weight of the fabric makes it very versatile and the huge variety of sizes will appeal to many struggling to find a top to suit. With a better finish and attention to detail it could be an eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.