This jersey from New Zealand company Soigneur, arrived just in time for us to test it through winter and early spring. Many people often see merino jerseys as a winter only option, but you now, a long time ago this is what everyone wore on the bike. That said, this jersey is quite a heavy variety, not your lightweight, undershirt style merino at all. The 2XL size that I tested weighs 360g.
Made from 100% 19 micron merino, this jersey is one of a growing range. All the designs are retro in style. There’s two dedicated to Fausto Coppi, one to Hinault, Anquetil, Charly Gaul and Tom Simpson.
It proved to be just the job as the temperature began to fall. On fine days it was extremely comfortable with a pair of arm warmers and the occasional gilet. Merino feels interesting on your torso. You can still feel the cold air a bit, but it doesn’t make you cold because it insulates. It also insulates when you’re wet making it perfect if you get caught in a sudden shower, something that’s been very important this year with the return of regular wet weather.
Looking through the range it’s obvious that Soigneur Jerseys are aimed at the (forgive the pun) dyed in the wool cycling nut. One very nice touch is the packaging, a heavy-ish cardboard box with the jersey nicely folded and wrapped in tissue paper. Top marks for presentation, especially if anyone is thinking of purchasing one as a gift.
The jersey itself has three rear pockets in the colours of the Italian flag, which I thought was a nice touch. It has ribbed collar and arms and a short zipper. The tops of the pockets are also elasticated to hold their shape. I did think a waterproof zip pocket for your phone would be nice, maybe the middle one.
It was very comfortable, not prickly, though people trying merino for the first time may take a while to get used to the weight. You could quite easily wear this jersey in a non cycling setting, particularly if you’re after that sixties look. In fact it wouldn’t be out of place reclining on a modular chaise lounge, scotch on the rocks and Astrud Gilberto on the record player.
The fitting was fine, though it may have been just a tad longer for my six foot one body. But it does sit nicely on your torso. The four way stretch moves with your body as you change position on the bike so there’s not dangly or baggy bits. This is a very comfortable and stylish jersey, which would also benefit from the addition of a matching cycle cap.
Check out the designs at www.soigneur.co.nz
Available from www.soigneur.co.nz