The Isadore Apparel Signature jersey has proved a fine introduction to the firm’s range: it’s a stylish, luxurious piece, with superb attention to detail.
We gave you an overview of Isadore in our ‘first look’ at the Signature jersey and the men’s bib shorts but, in case you missed it, it’s a Slovakian company founded by professional cyclist Martin Velits, who is about to start the Vuelta a Espana for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
It’s a chance for Velits to express his experience of thousands of miles on the road away from the confines of team kit and the Isadore collection is bounded by the ethos that ‘road is the way of life’.
First things first, the Signature jersey is undoubtedly a stylish piece. It’s a ‘Sunday best’ jersey, for the weekend café run, and one which is offered in five understated colours, including our red and black sample (‘Rio Red/Jet Black’ to give it its official name).
The jersey is made from a 45 per cent merino and 55 per cent polyester blend – a mix of fibres popular on modern, ‘knitted’ jerseys as it’s said to offer the best of both worlds: the softness, style and odour-reducing qualities of merino, and the the wicking properties of polyester.
The reality, as you’d expect, is that it does borrow many of the qualities of the two fabrics, but inevitably there is some compromise. The Signature jersey is very comfortable next to the skin and, as we said at the top, it ‘feels’ a luxurious piece to wear. It hasn’t kicked up a stink after successive rides without going through the washing machine and it does a decent job at moving sweat away from your skin/base layer.
The jersey is also fairly light (a lighter fabric is used on the arms and side panels – the black panels in our photos), and as a result it’s proved a good option for the relatively tepid British summer – we haven’t have a chance to test the Signature in really hot conditions. That said, a merino/polyester mix isn’t as breathable as a lightweight summer jersey, nor does it dry as quickly, so the fabric retains a little moisture and dampness for longer if you get a sweat on, and that can cause a chill after stopping, or after a particularly hard effort. It’s why we’d call this a jersey for the Sunday club run or café run, where the benefits of the polyester/merino mix are most keenly felt, rather than hard, fast training or racing.
Isadore describe the jersey as having a ‘slim fit cut’. We selected our regular size, a medium, with no problems, though it is undoubtedly more generous that the race-bred clothing we’re used to, and we could have moved down a size to get a closer fit.
The attention to detail is excellent and a reflection of the brand values of a young company. The finish of the detail is superb, from the bespoke label stitched into the inside of the rear of the jersey, to the metal tab in the shape of the Isadore logo on the collar. Isadore also strive to use local factories and sustainably-sourced fabrics where possible and our jersey is made in Velits’ home nation of Slovakia.
Out back there are three well-sized pockets, plus an additional water resistant pocket for valuables. As we’ve found with other merino jerseys, the pockets are prone to sagging a little when significantly loaded, and we’d like a little more compression in the fabric to address that.
Martin Velits may be a professional cyclist but the Isadore Apparel Signature jersey is designed with the amateur cyclist in mind (one riding their bike for fun, fitness, with friends and for exploration), rather than the WorldTour peloton. It’s stylish, luxurious and the finish is excellent. One for when you want your Sunday best.
Colours: Rio Red/Jet Black, Harbor Blue/Bright White, Tarmac Grey/Jet Black, Atlantic Blue/Jet Black, Anthracite Black/Bright White
Website: Isadore Apparel