There's a lot to like about the Blackmore Stripe jersey with its stylish design and breathable fabric, but unfortunately all of that is undermined by the poor fit that is just not what you'd expect from a race jersey.
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If you haven’t heard of Blackmore Apparel then you don’t need to feel ashamed. Only launched last year the Essex-based company has been slowly expanding its range during 2016, now offering its first “Race” range.
>>> Buyer's guide to summer cycling jerseys (opens in new tab)
One of the three jerseys at the top of the Blackmore tree is the Blackmore Stripe jersey which promises a race fit while still offering the style on show in the rest of the company’s clothing. The bad news is that the fit isn’t quite what you’d hope for from an out-and-out racing jersey.
The thing I like most about the Blackmore Stripe jersey is its design. There are a lot of black jerseys out there, but this manages to do just enough to stand out from the crowd without being overly eye-catching. The lime green stripes across the front and back of the jersey add a splash of colour, while the duck logo adds a bit of comedy value too. If you want more colour then the graduated blue of the Blackmore Block jersey might be better, while for more ducks seek out the Optic jersey.
Also impressive is the breathability of the Blackmore Stripe jersey. This isn’t really designed as a lightweight climber’s jersey but it’s nice to wear in hot weather, with a full length zip there just in case the temperature really rises.
Watch: how to dress for hot conditions
At the back there are three good-sized pockets. All too often with high-end jerseys this is a bit of an after-thought, but the guys at Blackmore realise the need for riders to have plenty of storage for supplies on long rides, and there’s also a centrally-positioned zipped security pocket too.
The bad news is that much of the good work that has gone into the Blackmore Stripe jersey is undermined by the poor fit.
When you first pull the Blackmore Stripe jersey on it doesn’t seem too bad, but once you get on the bike and lean over the bars it becomes clear that the front of the jersey is far too long. Normally you expect a nice tight fit from a Race jersey, but this isn’t the case here.
The front of the jersey is very loose, hanging down from my chest, while the neck is also loose and very high. Things are slightly better on the arms, which fit reasonably close, but this isn’t enough to make up for the poor fit elsewhere.
Perhaps I might not have had so much of an issue if I’d have worn a smaller sized jersey, but unfortunately the small that I tested is the smallest size on offer. Given that I’m six foot tall, smaller riders aren’t going to be able to find a jersey to fit them.
For more details visit the Blackmore website (opens in new tab).
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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