Winter kit that makes you feel like the absolute business is winter kit that will get you out on the bike, even when it’s miserable outside – and Zappi’s women’s set didn’t fail to tick that box for me.
The brand say they speak in a “language [that] comes straight from the heart of Italian road racing heritage”. Unfortunately, that does bring with it a bit of a boys-first mentality, and the women’s range currently consists of just one pair of bib shorts, one long bib set, and a long and short sleeved jersey each. This said, the kit that is there really impressed with its fit, style and performance.
Zappi Women’s Classico Long Sleeve Jersey
Designed in Britain, and manufactured in Italy, this jersey is a winter option with a brushed lining that makes it perfect for wearing on its own on cold to mild days, but could be layered with a windproof or waterproof in the depths of winter.
Zappi have affectionally added in some lovely little details which set this jersey apart – silky smooth cuffs printed with the stripes of the Italian flag, a wide silicone gripper along the bottom to keep the jersey in place and a reflective logo roundel at the right rear pocket (next to the zipped valuables compartment).
On the left rear pocket, stitched in black, is the phrase: “passione senza contratto” – which according to Google Translate means “passion without contract”. Read that as you will – we decided to take it to mean we could be passionate about cycling, but didn’t have to be contracted to completing every long ride we had planned… (we’re not sure the guys at Zappi will agree!)
All these details certainly add up to a high end garment that makes us feel it warrants the £105 price tag. But how does the jersey perform?
Made from a mixture of polyester and elastane (85 per cent to 15 per cent) you know you’re getting the quick drying, wicking capabilities of polyester and the added stretch of its partner. Designed for ‘club rides and racing’ I tested this on outings when I knew there would be efforts and hills – and I certainly felt it was breathable enough to work hard in and didn’t collect sweat. On a slower jaunt, you might want another layer handy up until around February, unless you’re quite a warm blooded bod.
The added elastane certainly does provide plenty of stretch, hugging to form as it should to prevent cold air filling up the fabric and creating an aerodynamic, race centered garment. I was a bit unsure initially if I should have sized up to cater for an Italian fit, but the sizing appears to be closer to a British estimation. The Small fitted my 8-10 frame well, I expect due to the fact the range goes right down to XXS and up to XL.
Both garments have printed labels sewn into them – something most of the cycling clothing industry seems to be moving away from as of late. This makes them a bit behind the times – but to be honest I wasn’t in any way aware of the labels, and they didn’t chafe or itch.