I don’t know about you, but I usually have a favourite riding top – one that feels completely unobtrusive and totally comfortable every time I use it. Previously that spot was occupied by a Pearl Izumi technical T-shirt I’d had for years – but that was ruined in an arm-breaking crash at the Megavalanche back in 2013.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but as I made my way back from the Alps, nursing my broken wing, I already had my new favourite top stashed away in the back of the van.
We’d been wandering around Chatel in the pouring rain a couple of weeks before, miserable that the first week of our big trip had turned into a bit of a washout – and I’d impulse purchased this lovely green Dakine top in a nice bikeshop that we’d wandered into to kill a bit of time hoping the rain might let up.
The colour was a great match for the vibrant green Mondraker Dune I was riding at the time and the 35 Euro price tag wasn’t as outrageous as most stuff we’d seen in the Alps – so it became “treat yo self day”.
With a relatively roomy – but not baggy – fit, the medium was spot-on for me then – and still fits well now that I’ve lost a fair few pounds.
The construction is deceptively technical, with perforated panels down each side allowing the flavour to flood out – really helping to regulate body temperature.
There’s a glasses wipe sewn into the inside just above the hem and the rear is slightly longer to provide a better on-bike fit.
The jersey was spot-on for the heat of the Alps (once we sacked off Chatel for Pila and Alp D’Huez) – and it works just as well back in Blighty. I’ll happily wear it on its own, under a softshell when it’s raining or over a baselayer if it’s dry but chilly.
I liked it so much that, despite already having enough bike tops to clothe the Terracotta Army, I snapped up another one when SportPursuit were having a blowout of Dakine stuff.
That way even if I have to have one of them cut off me when I break an arm again, I’ll still have my favourite top.
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