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Etxeondo Sasoi jersey review

17 May 2018
Verdict:

A nice jersey for long, hot Summer days but the price will make you feel the pinch

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£119
For 
• Stretch makes for good comfort • Light and very breathable
Against 
• Pretty expensive for just a jersey

I can hear you already, 'Fluro? Is it 2009?'. A bright yellow accent on your jersey or shorts may seem more suited to last decade but I'm telling you, fluro is Euro and Euro is cool.

It reminds me of time when cycling was almost mythical*. From the bright shoulders of Greg LeMond and ADR in the late 1980s to Jan Ullrich's Team Telekom boys in pink and who can forget the eye-burning orange of Euskatel Euskadi. 

When done well, like the trio of examples above, fluorescent cyclewear is as stylish as any other kit and the Etxeondo Sasoi jersey is testament to that.

Buy the Exteondo Sasoi jersey from Wiggle here

Basque beauty

First things first, while I am personally a fan of Etxeondo's yellow offering this jersey does come in a superior finish, orange.

A Basque brand, Etxeondo provided the kit to the aforementioned Euskatel Euskadi for many seasons helping keep the team's ethos of everything Euskal.

In a distinctive orange, it was one of the most loved cycling kits of the 1990s and 2000s until it disappeared in 2013.

Five years on from their departure, the peloton has been lacking its merry band of Basque riders so capable in the high mountains yet so invisible in the Spring Classics and cycling is just not the same without them.

Therefore, if Etxeondo kit is available in orange, take it.

Unfortunately, the Exteondo kit I tested, while usually available in orange, was not in the sizes I desired. Instead, I donned the particularly bright yellow which was a good enough alternative.

That said, the fluro yellow Sasoi jersey will only work in two circumstances. Either with plain black shorts and plain black socks or with matching bibshorts and socks.

I went for the latter and with some bright shoes and a matte black helmet think I just about pulled it off.

The Sasoi is more than just style however. The UK's recent good weather gave me a chance to put it through its paces and it really did perform.

Firstly, no matter how hard I went and how high the temperature rose, I felt that my body could breath in the Sasoi jersey.

The quick-dry microsystem fabric kept the sweat from sitting on my chest but also allowed enough air through to keep my core cool. This same fabric keeps the weight of the jersey to a minimum too. 

If anything, with the jersey keeping me so cool and feeling so light I felt obliged to push harder uphill much to the disagreement of my legs and lungs. It did get me a couple of Strava PBs though.

While lightweight and breathable, the Etxeondo Sasoi jersey is also aerodynamic. If worn in the right size, the extremely malleable jersey will form around your figure tightly allowing no flapping, even in the shoulders or at the jersey's base.

Being an aerodynamic, lightweight jersey, I was initially worried that the cut would be small. Spanish cyclists, particularly the Basque, tend to be slight climbers no taller than 172cm and comfortably within the 65kg range. I on the over hand sit a stocky 90kg and 182cm. 

However, moving up a size to XL was actually pretty bang on the money and fitted just as well as other narrow-fitting brands such as Castelli.

My only criticism, and it's only one, is that Etxeondo retail this jersey at £119 which is expensive in anybody's world.

That price puts it in the world of Rapha and Assos and while its performance is just as good if not better, I feel like Etxeondo would struggle to compete against these established power houses of cyclewear.

Fighting to be heard

At the end of the day, the Etxeondo Sasoi jersey is truly a very impressive piece of kit. It ticked every box I needed it to from keeping me cool to staying aero while keeping me comfortable. 

It looked good when matched to the correct bibshorts and socks and, paired with my own Orbea Orca, got me reminiscing about the good old Euskatel days. 

But at £119, it's going to struggle to fight of the Rapha/Assos/Castelli noise who offer similar products at similar prices.

Buy the Etxeondo Sasoi jersey from Wiggle here

*By mythical, I mean a time when cycling had a serious problem with performance enhancing drugs

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