//INRNG Supporter Jersey
For some time now I'm reading the //INRNG blog about pro cycling. One mark of how well done this blog is, is that from time to time people think it is a comercial cycling press website, and they demand more of this or more of that. Instead it's one man's hobby blog, with a bit of extra income by sponsors and... the sale of supporter jerseys, caps, and socks. So after my usual hesitating and back-and-forth, I decided to finally order a jersey and some caps. So here is what happened and how I like the jersey so far...
The first step was to go to the website of Prendas and check out the size guide there. This works by taking some jerseys that you already have and doing some measures on them. I find this much more reassuring than the usual height/chest/waist measurements, where I usually end up with a blank stare, thinking "my waist and chest suggest I get an XS, but my height says an L, wtf?".
You also give them your weight/height/chest on the order form, so they re-check against mistakes. I had a like boubou with ordering (problem on my side), so I called Prendas to sort out a stuck order. Which was nice, as the guy on the phone saw the measures and my note saying "I wear an M in Castelli" and suggested an M. After discussing it a bit, he reluctantly agreed that a size S could be ok. Which it turns out it really is.
The fit of size S works really well for me. When standing upright, I can close the zip all the way, but given my bent neck, when riding I have the zip a tiny bit open. The only fit issue is that due to the small size, the pockets are a bit high up on my back. Luckily my arms are quite bendable, so I can reach the pocket contents anyway. My first ride with the jersey was relatively short, an easy ride in not that hot weather (relatively speaking, this is Greece, and I'm well acclimatiesd to the weeather). On Sunday we were expecting more heat, and I was going out for a longer ride, with more climbing. In the end it wasn't full heat-wave temperatures.
So on Sunday I did an 80km ride, with 1400m of climbing, and an average temperature of 31°C, with a peak of 40°C (as reported by the garmin, which nota bene is not measuring in the shade, so this is not comparable to what the weather report says about temperature). I kept the intensity mostly low, at "heart rate zone 3", a pace that one should be able to keep for a very long time. I would say the jersey was doing fine. I did feel the need to open the zip a bit while climbing some of the time. Towards the end of the ride, I was joined by a friend, and he constantly challenged me to sprint as soon as the road went up... he was going for the mountain points... so a bit more intensity and sweat there. We had lots of fun and laughing though.
The other jersey that I got a while ago is the "Climber's Jersey" from Castelli. I like that one a lot, and I wore it when the temperatures were a bit higher a few weeks ago. There the average temperature was reported by the garmin at 37°C and the peak at 44°C. Also I was going pretty hard at one of my favorite climbs (pure stupidity, I know, but at least I didn't go all-out hard). Still, the "Climber's Jersey" appears to be in a different league, I never felt the urge to open the zip to get more ventilation. I haven't tested the Santini jersey at those conditions yet, though I suppose in days like those I'll go for the "climber's jersey" straight away.
How do the two compare, a bit of an apple/oranges deal, since these are different products? Starting with the Castelli "climber's jersey": It's more flimsy, I feel the need to wash it by hand. The pockets seem to hold shape well, but I always try not to overload them. I do like the longer sleeves on the "climber's" more, still the Santini sleeves fit well. The downside for many people with the "climber's jersey" is that it's almost see-through, which definitely doesn't happen with the black jersey. There is also the need to wear sun-screen under the jersey, while the black one probably protects the skin much better. I got the Castelli in last year's colors (which fit my bike better), there is a selection of colors this year which is a bit strange according to my taste, but there is a simple white/red variety too.
The Santini inrng-Jersey is more sturdy, a jersey to wear everyday for some time to come. My washing machine will get to see it again and again. The inrng-Jersey also has a zipped pocket, not that I fear so much to lose keys etc., but it helps to keep things organized. One point I don't like so much about the inrng-Jersey is that I'm not so fond of black jerseys. Don't get me wrong, it looks stunning. But I just don't think jerseys should hide the cyclist any further, and then a black jersey in the heat is just always a bit warmer than a light color - and I already discussed the heat problematic here a bit.
Do I recommend the inrng-Jersey from Prendas/Santini? Definitely, if you're a reader of the //INRNG blog, it's a sharp jersey to wear and support your favorite pro-cycling blog.