That being said, it is one of the more eye-catching kits we’ve had in lately – up there with Morvélo’s Pois kit – and this design will certainly appeal to anyone looking to stand out on the bike, as counter-intuitive as that may seem given that it’s ostensibly camouflage.
While Stolen Goat are a British brand, based in Surrey, their kit is manufactured over in Belgium by Bioracer, a company with a solid history in technical cycling gear including being the current kit makers for the Belgian national team. And if it’s good enough for Tom Boonen…
Stolen Goat describe the fabric as ‘4-way stretch’ which presumably translates as meaning that it stretches any way you need it to. The main panels on the front and back are nominally stretchy which lends itself to comfort but also helps the jersey maintain its shape. The sleeves, side panels and shoulders are made from a different, highly stretchy fabric which lets the jersey move with you as you shift around on the bike and get in and out of the saddle. All that combines to make an overall fit which is a definite race cut but by no means constricting, so you should be able to achieve a comfortable fit no matter what your body shape. As a bonus, the fabric also offers UV protection, which is a very important element for any jersey you’ll be wearing in the summer.
One of the other key elements of the fit is the half-length sleeves which, instead of ending halfway down your upper arms, end just above the elbow. The sleeves are a very close fit (as long as you get the sizing right, of course), and there’s absolutely no irritating flapping around in the wind. And if you’re worried about how comfortable half-length sleeves might be, don’t, because the fabric is so stretchy and light you barely notice they’re there. The ends of the sleeves are laser cut and left raw and that, combined with the length, means that there’s no need for grippers.
The rear of the jersey is the same perforated, almost closely woven, open mesh style fabric as the front, and it wicks very well indeed. The first really hot ride I did in this I was slightly sceptical as to how cool it would be but it was very comfortable, even after three hours in the saddle in 25-degree heat. It’s certainly not on a breathability par with some of the dedicated summer jerseys like Rapha’s Climber’s Jersey, for example, but you certainly wont find yourself boiling in the proverbial bag on hot days out.
The bottom is also gripperless, instead using an elasticated band to grip the waist, rather than using friction between a silicone band and the fabric of the shorts. It works perfectly well, and I had no instances of the jersey riding up and anyway, when you have a few things in your pockets the added help from gravity keeps things in order no matter what jersey you’re wearing.
Speaking of pockets, this one has three. Or, rather, four including the hidden ‘waterproof’ pocket – although our jersey was an early test sample and didn’t have the fourth pocket added so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of that. The three rear pockets are good though, and the central pocket is slightly wider than the two on the sides, with a higher capacity as a result. Even filling them up doesn’t cause noticeable sag as the elasticated openings at the top – the same style as the elasticated hem – do a good job of making sure they maintain their shape.
For £60, Stolen Goat’s Bodyline jersey is a real bargain. There are a whole range of different designs available and performance is right up there with jerseys whose price tags are in three rather than two digits.
– Half length, laser cut sleeves are amazingly comfortable
– Excellent fit, but roomy/stretchy enough that it should cater for most body types
– For £60, there’s nothing to complain about at all. Even at £90 it’d be good value.