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Saikel Chevrons jersey & bibshorts review

9 Aug 2018
Verdict:

Graphically striking, comfy, and feature-rich warm-weather gear

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
Jersey - £95, Bibshorts - £145
For 
• Nicely made • Well fitting

Against 
• Likely to sell on the strength of its graphics 


This is the first offerings from new company Saikel, a jersey and bibs, catering to both men and women. Available in four separate colourways and with matching warmers, caps, and socks, they make up a compact range that’s likely to expand in the near future.

Chevrons Bib Shorts

Bottoms first. Billed as being designed for endurance, we won’t disagree with its makers’ claims. That said it’s not as thick as some long distance chamois. Made for Saikel by Italian Chamois specialist Elastic Interface using three different foam densities, it’s good for pretty much all types of riding, while remaining low-profile and pleasingly flexible.

High waisted the entire way around, the back panel of the shorts extends upwards. At about belly button level this is replaced by a mesh panel that sits between the straps and runs all the way to above the shoulder blades.

The broad straps flex vertically, but not horizontally. With no chance of bunching or twisting, they’re pretty much guaranteed to sit flat and spread their load without cutting into your skin. Similarly, the grippers on the legs feature a wide sticky silicone section to hold them in place.

Cut without a traditional hem, this means there’s no excess pressure pinching or squishing, ensuring a seamless silhouette where your legs pop out of the shorts. The overall effect is one of security and a close fit, yet without feeling like you’re being constricted in any way.

The fabric itself is medium weight. Tending towards hot-weather wear, they’re not so light or fragile that they couldn't be paired with warmers. 

Chevrons Jersey

Now the top half.

Lighter feeling than the shorts, the main jersey fabric itself is quite light.  Perhaps a little more summer-weight feeling than the shorts, it does an excellent job of keeping you cool and dries in double quick time. This is boosted by side panels made from mesh.

The slightly extended sleeves feature a raw cuff without grippers. At the bottom, a band of the same silicone print material found on the shorts holds everything in place. With plenty of stretch in all the materials, the jersey sits close to the body, with next to nothing catching the air.

Not requiring much structure to keep its shape, the collar is also comfy, while the full-length zip slides smoothly and doesn't appear likely to stick. With the regulation three pockets on the back, there’s also an additional zipped compartment. Not waterproof, but made of slightly more robust fabric, it’s ideal for storing a phone.

Across the back, a wide reflective strip and two tabs add visibility and delineate the rider’s widest points. 

Cut a little shorter in the front than the back, the overall fit is on the racier side, however, a decent amount of stretch means neither jersey or bibs are too unforgiving. My 5ft 9in body and 31-inch waist fitted a size small in both pretty well. 

Conclusion 

Saying something is easy to wear sets a pretty low bar for its users’ competencies. Still, our first impression of both garments is that they are indeed just that.

Unlike some cycling gear that’s either a wrench to pull on, or feels as if it wants to contort you into some unduly athletic stress position, both halves manage to look racy, yet remain flexible and light feeling.


So, all things considered, good hot-weather kit from a new brand on the scene. The quality is there, but then it about matches what you’d expect from the price-point. It’s all nicely put together, with good features, like chamois and flat straps on the shorts, and reflectivity and raw cut sleeves on the jersey.

There’s nothing to startle the horses design-wise. Still, in all likelihood, it’ll be the styling that pries your wallet out of your pocket. A difficult one to quantify, for those too timid to make their own sartorial choices I can report that I received four separate enquiries as to the maker of this kit during testing.

None with apparent sarcasm, although two were in mainland Europe. Overall I’m giving both items a stylistic thumbs up.    

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