When asked by Girl Bike Love to check out a new cycling jersey, I was excited, but did not set high expectations. As a tall woman, finding clothes to wear when I’m not riding is difficult enough. Finding cycling apparel that fits well, is comfortable, suites my style, won’t fall apart and isn’t from the men’s side of the bike shop is next to impossible.
When I first opened the package my initial thought was…ok, this is different. The Club Ride Bandara has a western look that seems only fitting coming from a company based in the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho. My first instinct was to put on cowboy boots and a Stetson.
The powder blue jersey had an overall look that seemed to suite my style and I could tell immediately the cut and design would be flattering. The lightweight material made from quick drying, wicking and stretch polyester combined with mesh vents on the front, sides and back help make this a comfortable and breathable jersey on a hot summer ride. The relaxed waist and loose fit make this top just as wearable in town as it is on the trails. Its many features include a button-up front with pearl snaps (concealing a zipper beneath to help keep things in place), a collared top, a small snap pocket in front and two zip pockets on the back. Weighty items tend to pull the stretchy material and the zippered pockets require both hands to operate. But these spots are perfect for safely carrying smaller items such as an ID and credit card.
The true testament of the quality (and desirability) of the Club Ride Bandara came after my second ride on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. Having finished my own three hour tour and still dripping with sweat, my friend asked to try the top. The shirt literally came off my back as I exited the trail and on to hers as she took off for her ride! When I spoke with her a few days later (I needed it back before vacation) she told me she couldn’t believe how comfortable it was even with the heat and humidity, especially knowing the shirt had already seen a hard ride. We both noticed how the mesh side panels allowed for added air movement while the front and back wicking material helped pull the moisture away. Even when standing still the top did not cling as many others do under humid conditions. We never felt as though the shirt was drenched in sweat or not doing its job.
Being nearly 6 feet tall, most jerseys sit high around the waist making them unflattering as well as uncomfortable. The medium size Bandara was perfect in length for me, but a little long for me 5’4” friend. While she would probably be better off with a smaller size, we both agreed the medium fit comfortably across the chest and shoulders and the cut and style were flattering to a woman’s body.
The jersey has seen many long, hard rides in the hot, humid mid-western climate in which I live. Each time it’s pulled from the closet it looks and feels like first ride. The Club Ride Bandara has quickly become my go to jersey and I’ve been nothing but delighted with the addition to my cycling wardrobe. The Bandara comes in Powder (shown), Berry and Bone and retails for $90 online or at select locations across the U.S. www.clubrideapparel.com.
Article by Tania Juilllerat of Brownsburg, Indiana