19 March 2009

bikefix Second Opinion: Earth Wind & Rider Core LS jersey

After riding and reviewing Earth Wind & Rider's Core LS jersey last winter, I handed it over to bike shop owner Lucero on account of his love of all things sheep and inability to stop touching the shiny red garment. Here's his bikefix debut take on the Core:

My sentiments about this jersey are similar to those of Marc. I enjoy the hefty weight of this 100% Merino wool jersey. It is satisfying to pick up and put on, and it is reassuring to wear something with a little weight to it when headed out into the cold.

Like Marc, I had issues with the fit. However, I have issues with the way 90% of my clothing fits, particularly cycling clothing. I don't personally feel that at 6 foot tall and 155 lbs I am far outside the average cyclist's build, but I can never seem to find a jersey that fits properly. The EWR jersey is short on the sleeves, but that is somewhat expected considering that it is a medium. It is rather long in the torso, and will be longer than any outer layers you own. I think the long waist, combined with the heavier weight, are what set this jersey apart from other long sleeve wool jerseys I own. The EWR is best worn as an outer layer, in my opinion. It doesn't fit well under windproof shell jackets, and even if it did, it would have to be really cold out to warrant such a thick mid-layer. It just doesn't get that cold here in Albuquerque, and every time I tried to layer this jersey during a "serious" ride I overheated.

I did grow quite fond of the jersey as a stand alone piece though. I found myself riding to work in it, which is only a couple miles. Because I never overheat on my commute, I could then leave it on the entire day. The jersey is that perfect weight to keep me warm inside the chilly bike shop, and stylish enough that I didn't look like I was wearing bike clothes all day. In fact, I received compliments about it on many occasions, which is something that just can't be said about much of my wardrobe.

So that's how I feel about this jersey. I'm happy to rock it, and would be sad if it was gone, or if it was accidentally shrunk down to doll size as so many fine wool pieces are. I'm also happy to own a lighter weight long sleeve wool jersey for layering under my shell jacket in the winter. And if I ruled the world, I would order EWR to make the sleeves on the medium a couple of inches longer, or perhaps offer an "extra medium" size, or maybe "medium tall," as either of those would provide a more traditional cycling cut and do quite nicely.

Now all I have to do is make sure the moths don't get at it during the summer so I can wear it all next winter again.



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