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Road Cycling Clothing

Hincapie 2013 Women’s Arenberg Zero Jacket review

Although the Hincapie Arenberg Zero is marketed as offering “maximum protection from the elements,” the fabric of the jacket felt rather thin and a little synthetic to touch.

Admittedly, I was doubtful about how it might perform, however, I knew I within minutes of leaving the house the fleeced thermal layer of the Arenberg Zero was going to do its job. And more importantly it kept on doing its job for a 5 hour ride in 4 degrees, combined with a little extra wind chill.

Riding in this jacket left me feeling toasty and protected against the wind, there’s a special “micro mesh” fibre that does this. Fitted, yet comfortable to cycle in and looks great too.

The Arenberg Zero three-layer fabric is designed using “highly visible safety material” making it flexible, breathable, warm and comfortable. The reflector strips and logo’s of the jacket, and durable nature of the fabric mean that you could also use this jacket for winter commutes. It didn’t even tear when I slipped on a muddy road mid-ride.

First impressions of the medium size jacket I tested, is that it looks great, nice and sleek on. I would say that this medium comes in at around a size 10-12. Although the jacket seemed to be a good size on me, I have a wide back and big shoulders; there was still a little extra room around the armpits, that if I were being fussy I might want to fit a little snugger for the £139.99 price tag. However, this means that for the ladies with a bigger bust this jacket will fit very well.

Weather protective hem, cuffs and collar seal out the elements

The “weather protective hem”; is like all great fitting cycling jerseys, the front of the jacket is slightly shorter than the rear, and has an elasticated waistband; this means that the jacket sits well against the body and holds in place while riding.

The cuffs; in the photographs of the jacket the model rolls the sleeves up, and I agree the sleeves are a little on the long side. The functionality of these sleeves comes into play in the riding. Another plus point for me is that the sleeves cover the wrist and gloves affording a little added warmth-essential for winter riding. The sleeves are tapered, fit well and can easily be rolled up if needed. They are also adorned with reflective stitching, subtle and effective.

The collar; is a little wide, although this didn’t change the function of the jacket for the rides that I have done. It also has a really useful reflector patch on the rear of the collar. This is stylish, yet functional too.

The back of the jacket has been well designed, with several reflector strips, to keep you seen during any commute, dreary day, or if you are riding at dusk or dawn.

I usually feel the cold, so getting layering right on the bike is a rather hit and miss affair, I often over dress and de-layer as I go. It was nice to see that the jacket had deep and roomy pockets, with lots of room for my extra layers; arm warmers, wool glove liners, and neck scarf that I had worn, yet didn’t actually need. The pockets are roomy and easy to use mid ride too.

Another feature I noticed when I tried the jacket on, was the functionality of the zip. It’s a good quality zipper backed by a storm flap, which opens both from the top and bottom, means that you can easily adjust the zipper mid ride, which if you’re like me and can’t multi task, is a god-send. It came in very handy to ventilate when I got a little hot working on those hills.

The Textured, 4-way stretch MTX Wind Repel™ fabric feels a little synthetic to begin with, however when you put the Hincapie Arenberg on, its fleece lining helps the jacket take on a whole different feel. The jacket moves so well when you ride, no rustling, I forgot that I had it on. It was light yet protective.  I wore a base layer and a jersey underneath, and I was toasty. If you’re a rider who likes to ride in all conditions you could easily stick a rain jacket in one of the ample pockets, should you find yourself caught out in torrential rain*.

*I’m not one to complain that there has been a lack of rain recently, however because we’ve seen some rather lovely autumnal weather, I have not tested the jacket in extreme wet weather; the website says that the Arenberg Zero Jacket has a “Water resistant coating repels water in adverse conditions”.

This is a good soft shell jacket that although expensive, I would suggest is reasonably priced, I urge you to go check out the Hincapie range ladies.

VERDICT

This jacket was a pleasure to wear, it’s both functional and looks great. A superb multipurpose warm winter jacket, that is suitable for both long rides and commuting. It does what it says on the tin and would be a welcome addition to a mid-winter wardrobe.

PROS

– Comfortable and keeps you warm
– Deep, functional pockets
– Bright, visible zip and reflector strips
– The love is in the fabric.

CONS

– A little roomy around the armpits/upper chest, maybe in between sizes.
– A bit on the pricey side.

Sizes available: XS – XL
Colour options: Black
Price: RRP £139.99 (we’ve found it for £118.99)
More information: Hincapie

What Hincapie says about the Arenberg Zero Women’s Jacket

  • Textured, 4-way stretch MTX Wind Repel™ fabric provides a conforming fit and insulation for cold temperatures
  • HyperOptic Roubaix™ reflective treatment for superior visibility
  • Super Roubaix™ back panel for added warmth and breathability
  • Weather protective center front zipper with internal storm placket
  • Three generous back pockets
  • Weather protective hem, cuffs & collar seal out the elements

HyperOptic Roubaix™ Advanced three layer fabric combines performance stretch elastane, high visibility reflective safety material and a soft, warm fleece backing. The top elastane layer is constructed with a micro eyelet pattern. The reflective material is then bonded below the elastane. In daylight, the dyed elastane colors are visible, while in dusk or night conditions the micro eyelets allow vehicle lights to reflect off hidden high visibility material, illuminating the fabric. The fleeced thermal layer is added next to skin for comfort and warmth.

MTX Wind Repel™ 
Textured, 4-way stretch face with micro mesh backing offers conforming cold weather wind protection. Water resistant coating repels water in adverse conditions, while stretch laminate blocks out unwanted wind and cold.

SuperRoubaix® 
SuperRoubaix is a 245 gsm fast-drying, super-stretchy, air-permeable fabric that couples a fine, soft polyester fleece to a hardy Lycra/nylon outer surface for the ultimate cold-weather covering.

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