- by Tracey Matthies
- Published: 25 October 2013
Buying my first cycling jersey was a big deal, it meant I was serious about this cycling gig, but I had no idea what to look for in the way of features, construction or performance. Did it fit? Yes. Bought it. I learned later that it was a men’s jersey. Despite cycling for several years now, Ground Effect’s Zest women’s short-sleeved summer riding jersey is my first women’s specific jersey and it didn’t take me long to spot the differences. On my first ride, I started to appreciate those differences.
The Zest is from Ground Effect’s Outskirts women’s-specific range and is a slim fit with extra front and back panels to shape the breast, waist and hips. The waist is non-elasticised, so the jersey simply sits at my hips without cutting in while the longer back didn’t ride up. Ground Effect calls it a ‘multi panel performance fit’. That may be, but I thought the extra panels in the back were cleverly cut, and in a contrasting color, to highlight the slim fit design. I may be generalising here, but I am fairly confident in saying that most women will appreciate anything which accentuates their body lines in such a positive way!
At first glance I was concerned about the three-quarter length zipper. With other jerseys I’ve found that the ends of these zips can irritate and I’ve developed a preference for short or full length zippers. I was pleasantly surprised to realise, after several hundred kilometers of riding in the Zest and multiple washes, I have never been aware of the zipper.
The twin elasticised angled pockets were easily accessible both on and off the bike, with just enough grip to securely hold that essential banana without crushing it. The center security pocket is as deep as the other two pockets and I could safely carry the essential coffee money, credit card for emergencies, and mobile phone safely.
The Zest’s lightweight summer fabric, 75% polyester, 25% nano-charcoal polyester, does the expected in terms of wicking the sweat away. It also means the jersey dries very quickly and that’s going to come in very handy on multi-day rides when laundry time is limited. The other advantage is that I don’t have to wait too long between wears, which is a good thing because this jersey has quickly become a favourite!
The Zest arrives rolled in a light cardboard sleeve with a nifty zip perforation for opening and “Tech Tips” for safer riding printed on the inside. The Zest 2014 is available online from Ground Effect for $109 (AUD) and comes in sizes WS (8-10) to WXL (16-18) and choice of Turquoise or Hot Red.
Photos © Justin Matthies