dhb is a brand based in Hampshire, which is sold exclusively through the on-line retailer Wiggle. I have heard good things about it – both in terms of quality and pricing – although until now hadn’t actually tried any out, so I was keen to see how it would perform.
My first impressions of the MTB-styled Dare long-sleeved jersey were good. It had a neat, slim fit cut which wasn’t overly tight and a long body and sleeves which made it easy to keep drafts at bay. The inside was a nice cosy fleece which has held up well over a number of washes. Personally I liked the colour-scheme, although I’m not convinced white on an MTB top is a good idea, and the cuffs are already becoming a bit dingy. It looks pretty good off the bike too, and I’ve been wearing it a fair bit with jeans and trainers.
Sizing seems to be true and what I thought would fit me did, although if you’re in doubt I’d go for the smaller size as the material has plenty of stretch.
I have found that you need to be pretty careful with the material though, and it’s easy to snag it on bag straps and Velcro. There are subtle silicon lines on the shoulders to protect the material if you are using a rucksack but not around the waist or other key areas. Although this doesn’t affect the function of the jersey it does affect the looks and I worry that it’s going to look a bit tatty by the end of the winter. For £55 I’d expect the jersey to be a bit more robust.
dhb market this jacket as either a mid- or outer-layer for autumn riding (I tried it with the Sync jacket) and I certainly was plenty warm enough wearing this jersey at the start of rides – but only at the start.
The top seemed to hold quite a lot of moisture, which meant as soon as the wind picked up or I stopped I cooled straight back down. This seemed to be the case whether I wore it with or without an outer layer and regardless of the base-layer I used. To counteract this I found myself doing a lot of zipping and unzipping to keep myself from getting overly hot or cold.
The jersey isn’t windproof either and I really noticed this when I wore it without an outer-layer – a damp jersey with the air coming through it can make you chilly pretty quickly. dhb use this particular material for its flexibility and to allow a close fit; it certainly does this but it has its disadvantages too. Of course, if you are more lady-like than me and gently glow rather than sweat, then you may get on with it better.
The Dare jersey has three pockets with zipped side-openings on the outer two. I don’t usually ride with a rucksack but shove all my worldly goods in my back pockets, and I found I was really limited on what I could fit into these. The stretch of the material also made it difficult to get stuff in and out – I needed someone to hold down the back of my top so I could unzip and pull the contents out.
dhb have told me that they realise the side-opening pockets aren’t ideal and are redesigning these for next year – it’s nice to know that customers’ feedback makes a difference and I’m looking forward to seeing the redesign.
I really like the look and fit of this jacket but was a bit disappointed that it fell short when on the bike by holding moisture and having small and fiddly pockets. I’ll keep wearing it but off the bike not on.
– Smart styling and nice slim-fit cut
– Long body and sleeves to keep drafts out
– Tended to hold moisture and not windproof which meant it was easy to get cold
– Material tended to snag
Price: RRP £69.99, currently £55.99
Sizes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16
Colours: Green/White, Grey/White (pictured)
More info/available from: Wiggle
What dhb say about the Dare long sleeve thermal jersey:
A warm, fleece lined women’s jersey perfect for early spring or late autumn mountain bike rides. The body length is cut slightly longer than dhb road jerseys so you don’t get a gap between your baggy shorts and jersey when on and off the bike.
The Dare jersey is semi-form fitting and designed to move with the body as you ride. The slight drop tail has a silicone elastic gripper that helps keep the back of the jersey in place, maintaining warmth to the lower back region. Made from performance Italian Roubaix Lycra fabric with an excellent hand feel. Silky-soft brushed Nylon fibers trap air next to the skin for excellent insulation without compromising breathability. A full-length YKK zip provides temperature control if you get a little warm.
The anatomically fitting sleeves with shaped cuffs are designed to be slightly longer on the top of the hand and shorter on the palm to avoid material getting in the way of the handlebars. Silicone prints on the shoulders help resist abrasion when wearing a backpack.
Two zipped pockets on the back of the jersey for storing valuables, with an added center drop pocket. The vertical zips are on the outer sides of the pockets making them more accessible when riding.
When temperatures drop, layer up with a dhb Merino or Corefit base layer to further increase the warmth.