Gear Closet: Solo Equipe Cycling Jersey

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I love autumn. The cool weather and crisp air are such a refreshing change from the often oppressive heat of summer that you can’t help but feel lighter and more energized. But as the temperature dips, one of my favorite outdoor activities – cycling – becomes a decidedly chillier endeavor. For dedicated cyclists, that doesn’t mean hanging up your bike until spring however, it just means you break out the warmer gear. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to try out an Equipe cycling jersey from Solo and found that it is not only comfortable and warm, but great looking too.

The first thing that will strike you about the Equipe jersey is it’s appearance. This piece of riding apparel looks like something you would have found on cyclists from a classic bygone era. It has a classic throw-back look to it that fans of the sport will appreciate greatly. Some of the retro details include knitted cuffs and collars and the wonderful use of buttons on the back bottle pockets. Everything from the fit to the fabrics are wonderfully crafted to create a garment that feels like it will last you a lifetime.

Sticking to their retro approach, Solo gave this jersey a design that is both tasteful and understated. Aside from their own logo across the chest and back, the rest of the top is a simple two-tone affair that looks equally as good while riding as it does around town. Not many cycling jerseys can claim to pull that off, as most come in garish colors and look like moving billboards.

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The Equipe jersey uses MerinoPerform fabrics which, as the name implies, incorporate merino wools into the blend. The result is a shirt that is soft and incredibly comfortable to wear, while providing breathable and wicking properties to help keep the rider dry and cool while out on the road. Those properties come in handy on autumn rides during which we can work up a good sweat but the cool air can still deliver the shivers. The long sleeves aid in this temperature regulation on those brisk rides and the fact that the jersey is both water and wind resistant provides nice protection when the weather takes an unexpected turn.

As great as this jersey looks, it turns out that it performs even better. I took it out for an early morning ride just this past weekend, and when I set out the temperatures were on the chilly side. Once I put a couple of miles under my belt however, I found the Equipe was keeping me toasty despite the cool air. After riding for a time, the mercury began to rise and I started to work up a good sweat. That’s when the shirt’s wicking properties kicked in, preventing me from becoming uncomfortable across the entire length of the 30-mile ride.

One of the best perks that comes from wearing this jersey is that you aren’t likely to run into anyone else who is as well. It is distinctive, beautiful and incredibly functional as well. It is the kind of jersey that other riders will admire and it not only looks like it comes from cycling’s golden era and it is built like it did as well. They simply don’t make clothes like the Equipe jersey any more and you’ll probably look for excuses to wear it.

It even comes with a comfortable price tag. Solo sells this jersey for $149.25, which is surprisingly good for a garment of this quality. I’ve paid nearly that much for jerseys in the past and most didn’t perform nearly as well as this one. Add one of these jerseys to your gear closet and you’ll be happy you have it there when you need it. It’ll also make a great gift for other cyclists in your life.

Kraig Becker