Stolen Goat Epic women's cycling jersey review
A lightweight, close fit jersey made for QOM stalking and aero gains
Stolen Goat has combined the very on-trend fade print with the sort of material that (race) cyclist's dreams are made of: it's soft, stretchy and the close fit creates a QOM ready aero silhouette. Be warned: the delicate material does show up anything you're wearing underneath, and pocket space was not high on the agenda here.
Soft, stretchy material
Limited pocket space
Waistband rolled up a bit
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The Stolen Goat Epic women's cycling jersey was selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
Stolen Goat is one of a plethora of relatively new and trendy clothing brands that share a common talent for combining zany prints with an impressive ability to harness the power of social media. However, whilst on occasion the reality behind the well presented image and actual performance throws up a bit of a disconnect, in the case of Stolen Goat, what you see is what you get.
>>> Best women's summer jerseys
I've been waiting for some Stolen Goat kit to arrive in my office for some time, and when it did I was thrilled.
The Epic jersey (£95) is a race fit garment, it's designed with fast riding first and foremost. Available in Rise Blue and Rise Pink, it shares a fade design which looks a lot like the 'Bodyline' (£75) version, but has a few extra nods to performance not seen on the more entry level garment.
The primary material employed here is a four way stretch 'SpeedSilk'; this is a heat treated Lycra that has been engineered to create a tight but unrestricted fit, whilst also helping reduce wind resistance and give back a few watts on fast rides. The side panels are constructed from a lighter mesh, and the same treatment is given to the underarm area to aid ventilation.
Pulling the jersey on, the material felt extremely soft, and it conformed perfectly to my body. I'm pretty picky when it comes to jersey fit, but this material ticked all of my boxes, leaving me wondering why more brands don't go for something this high in stretch. The delicate nature of the fabric does mean that it shows up the outline of bib straps and any seams on a sports bra, so this isn't really a design suited to riders who might feel uncomfortable about that.
The sleeves are long, with raw cut edges and the neck fitted well, a common stumbling block in some jersey designs. Breathability in this lightweight beauty (it came in at 108g on our scales) was top notch and even on unseasonably warm spring rides, sweat was kept at bay.
At the bottom, Stolen Goat has used what it calls a 'powerband' - this highly elasticated strip sits flat against the body when standing and creates a great sillouette.
I did find that the 'powerband' curled up a little at the bottom on the bike which was a bit distracting. On Stolen Goat's sizing chart, I came in at a small on the chest and hips and an extra small at the waist (sizes range from XS-XXL). The brand sent an extra small, and I'm pretty sure the curling at the waist I experienced would be eliminated in a small, which is the size I usually opt for with most brands. I think in this case the deviation was unwise, given the aero nature of the kit.
Interestingly, at the back, Stolen Goat has gone with three rear pockets, and no zipped compartment - a downgrade on the cheaper 'Bodyline' option. This is presumably down to the 'aero day out' nature of this piece of kit, but I'd argue that (even if I was to race in non-team-kit), I still want a pocket to stash my car key - and if I'm out for a fast summer spin, I still don't want to lose my phone. I understand the ethos of keeping the pockets limited for the Epic jersey, but I'm not a fan of the decision.
Heading out for longer rides, with no intention of stopping for lunch, I did find space in the pockets was a bit limited. I could stuff my tuna roll in there alongside a pump, multitool and phone, but I got the feeling I wasn't meant to. On the plus side, the close fit meant nothing in the pockets jumped around when I was out the saddle.
The brand has opted for heat transfer labels, so there's no nasty scratchy sewn-in washing instructions, and after several washes this garment has held its (stunning colour) and shape.
The colour of course can't be ignored: I'm a bit in love with it.
Coming in at £95, this piece of kit is a bit of an investment, but it rubs shoulders in terms of performance with more expensive options such as the Castelli's Women's Aero Pro jersey (£115) and the Rapha Pro Team jersey (£120), yielding it a good value for money choice if you're after a race ready cut.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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