November 4, 2010
As winter draws closer, Jon reviews a long sleeved and warm jersey from Polaris...
From: Polaris Apparel
With the nights drawing in and the weather gradually turning colder, my colder temperature gear has started to see regular use once again rather than languishing at the bottom of my bag for stops or emergencies. I’ve always been keen on using a woolen base layer plus a synthetic jersey over the top but this Niteride jersey has started to sway me in favour of a single, thicker layer for my cold weather riding.
The jersey is made from Therma-Stretch material, a rather thick, soft brush-backed lycra which feels strangely comforting against the skin. It does a good job of regulating temperature, although on mild days the full length zip is useful to counter my tendency to run quite hot. The cut fit my skinny build well, silicone grippers stopped it riding up or bunching too much and the long back works well on the bike – although the very ‘cyclist’ cut does limit what would otherwise be an excellent multi-sport top. I’m not generally a fan of thumbloops on mountain biking tops but they did work well once I’d got my head round the feeling of something between glove and grips. Along with the elasticated cuffs, they did a good job of stopping draughty sleeves. The zipped pocket at the rear could sometimes be felt when wearing a hydration pack but as I ended up mostly using the jersey for shorter rides, where I could shove a spare tube and some jelly babies in the other pockets and zip in my car keys and a bit of change, that wasn’t an issue.
However, the NiteRide 2 is really well suited to cold temperature riding at a constant, high pace. If you tend to take long rests when riding then the disadvantages of a single thicker layer start to become apparent, but the windproof front keeps the worst of the wind off during short stops. The reflective panels mean it’s suitable for a bit of commuting (and night riding, obviously) and there is a ‘beard guard’ at the top of the zipper, which as well as protecting the hirsute, also prevents the hairless from any zip abrasion. It’s also available in black…
Overall: Keenly priced, comfy and warm, it’s well worth adding to your winter wardrobe for quick, cold weather blasts or evening sorties.