A little over 18 months ago, I reviewed some cycling kit from Chinese brand, Monton Sports. I went in with prejudice but was pleasantly surprised on the quality of their kit then, so when a chance to review some of their latest kit, I was keen to see what improvements have been made since then. To say I was blown away is an understatement! Find out below just how much they had improved an already good product.
The market is becoming ever more crowded with boutique brands providing a dizzying array of clothing options (particularly jerseys) and some with staggering prices. The 2018 Range from Monton Sports features three tiers; Pro, Urban Plus and Lifestyle. The ‘Pro’ range are designed and cut for the performance minded rider, whilst the ‘Urban Plus’ is the sweet spot in terms of performance fabrics, cut and styling, and the ‘Lifestyle’ range are aimed at the more relaxed commuter end of the market. The designs are different for each range and feature both male and female specific jerseys, the Urban Plus & Lifestyle ranges also have male & female specific bibshorts, as well as gloves and gilets.
The delivery from Monton Sports contained a new for 2018 Urban Plus Jersey in the ‘Moye’ design, along with a pair of short finger ‘Carter’ gloves and some Fearless socks in Neon Yellow design.
2018 ‘Urban +’ Jersey – MOYE pattern
The Moye pattern jersey from the ‘Urban Plus’ range featured a textured two-tone Dark Blue/Pattern with some differential Fluorescent yellow highlights on the sleeves and vertical stripes and branding front & rear. What really struck me when unpacking the jersey (it came in a supple zip-lock pouch) was the noticeable quality of the garment and the luxurious feel.
I was supplied with a 3XL jersey (when you look at the tag, it’s a 3XL – Asian size, or 2XL EU size), and the fit is best described as a semi-race cut, and matches the 2XL sizing I have in other jerseys.
What is immediately noticeable in this jersey, from a construction viewpoint, is the number of fabrics used and their locations. It appears to be a very well made garment which uses top tier materials with some fantastic detail features that are not initially obvious. There are 4 different fabrics used in the jersey, all in key locations to maximise the fit & function of the jersey ;
- ‘Grid’ Lycra: Font & back panels, sleeves, collar, and back pockets
- Micro-vent fabric: Inner fabric of inner back pocket
- Shell mesh: underside of sleeve (assist with ventilation)
- Fish scale mesh: both side body panels
On top of this, the sleeves feature a wide cuff with tiny rubber grippers to help keep the sleeve in place when riding. This felt odd the first time I put it on, but since then have been left wondering why isn’t everyone doing it this way. There is also a printed gripper (imported from Italy and sewn in at Monton) on the inside hem below the pockets to stop the jersey sliding up or twisting during the ride. It’s effective as well.
One interesting detail that I hadn’t seen on a jersey before, is the way the rear pockets are sewn. The traditional method is to sew the outer pocket material to the body of the jersey flat, replicating a 3 sided envelope. Monton have added in an extra length of material on the base seam, so that when the pocket is jammed full of ride accoutrements, the pocket takes on a more natural ‘pocket’ shape with a base, and doesn’t then pull at the bottom of the jersey. It is a small change, but one that highlights continual improvement and commitment better products. The key pocket, zip tabs and the zippers themselves are still top quality, so no complaints there.
I’ve tried the jersey in arrange of conditions, above 36 degrees and down to 10 (with arm warmers), and despite the mesh panels, I felt completely comfortable and experienced no issues at all. Whether the pockets just carry a small load, or are packed with a rain jacket, energy bars and my phone wallet, the items remain in the pockets, there was no sagging and the gripper at the base of the jersey did it’s job well. I’ve suffered the ‘twisted jersey’ on some other well made jerseys, and it’s a real pain, but the Monton Sports ‘Urban Plus’ jersey remained beautifully positioned throughout the ride.
The fit was snug, due to the cut of the jersey, but was never too tight, and those arm grippers ensure the sleeves stayed where they started and did not cut off circulation or flap in the wind annoyingly. One change from the Flourescent Cheetah jersey is the complete absence of meaningless logos – just a simple and highly visible design that is well executed. Speaking of options, I lost count of the number of patterns & colours available in each of the three 2018 range styles (Pro, Urban+ & Lifestyle)
At ~A$87 to $96 (US$68 to $75 from the Home webpage, as no pricing yet available from Australian site), this is a very well priced jersey that I believe will also be long lasting. My reference is the last Monton Sports jersey that I reviewed and am still using along with the quality of materials and construction.
2017 Coolmax ‘Fearless’ socks in Neon Yellow
For a start, socks are not socks, and your cycling with benefit from some specific features that are key to a comfortable ride. For all but the coldest riding conditions, socks need to be supportive yet maintain a low profile, be free of interior seams that will provide rub points when in well fitting cycle shoes, and finally be made from the right materials to assist in wicking away moisture to keep the foot as dry as possible. Oh, and to be available in designs and a range of heights that suit your personality.
The ‘Fearless’ socks are a mid-calf height sock made from Coolmax fabric, and feature a distinctive ‘Lightning bolt’ pattern in Black/Neon Yellow combination. To say these socks stand out is a an understatement.
They are a ‘one size fits all’ which makes ordering easy, but this poses a potential problem which I’ll discuss later.
The updates made by Monton aren’t limited to their jerseys, the socks have also received some welcome & significant improvements, but this has also impacted the price. The sock internals are almost seam free, and the arch support is also firm yet comfortable. The most noticeable change is the ‘double cuff’ which makes the sock feel both very comfortable, but also adds to the stability (holding its position on the calf) during the ride.
The one size fits all raised its ugly head during the review – I have size EU46 feet, and whilst not overly large, the socks were a struggle to get over the heel. Whilst they fit wonderfully and were very supportive once on, the tightness getting them on/off was a drawback.
These socks are available from the Australian site at A$17.50 per pair (incl shipping) with a smaller selection of colours. There are 4 colours available in the range though, Black/Blue, Black/Pink, Black/White & Black/Neon Yellow, so availability may depend on what is in stock at the Australian warehouse. There are also other patterns available in a range of colours, and my assumption is that the quality is the same throughout the range.
2017 Half Finger Gloves – ‘Carter’ Blue
The half finger gloves are similar in style to the TT Gloves that I reviewed before. They are lycra backed and feature minimal padding. The XXL size fitted nice and snug and were easy to put on. The palm featured some printed anti-slip zones and the Monton logo as well. They were comfortable to use for most rides that I do, but after 3 hours, the lack of padding on the palm became noticeable. For some cyclists, the lack of padding is not an issue, but I prefer some padding, as it is supportive in the main positions that I rest my hands while riding.
Removing the gloves is again, similar to the TT Gloves, and a bit fiddly. Due to the construction of the gloves, even with the two ‘grip tabs’ (added as a design change improvement from the previous gloves tested), it meant that a couple of the fingers need to be turned back out prior to refitting for the next ride. Not a deal breaker, but something to note.
At $35 shipped (from the Australian site), they are a good quality glove that is available in a range of colours – Black, Pink, Neon Yellow, Blue and White.
Australian Warehouse & Shipping
Monton Sports have now established an Australian Warehouse which is based in Queensland. This is a huge bonus for customers as this means that you have access to not only products that are shipped locally, but also have a local contact if issues arise.
Items purchased via the Australian site are able to be exchanged or refunded if there are fit issues, something that was not available previously. Additionally, prices are in A$ and include shipping.
The only downside is that due to differing seasons and sales volumes, not all of the range are available, such as the new 2018 range of Jerseys which are only starting to be introduced due to the onset of winter in Australia. It is early days for the business in Australia so if there are specific requests or queries, Monton Australia can be contacted via their Facebook or Instagram pages or direct email.
The ‘Urban +’ jersey from Monton Sports is a standout for me and contributes to the healthy shift for ‘Made in China’ and China-Direct business which is not an automatic marker for questionable quality. Workmanship, quality materials and great design features combine into a cycling jersey priced around the $100 mark (Aus pricing for the 2018 jerseys from the Aussie website are not yet known). Compared to some of the boutique brands that are commanding upwards of $150 or more for their products, of you find the right designs then they are pretty competitive.
Beyond this, Monton Sports are progressive and the new Australian presence signifies the potential which they envision. There is still plenty of hard work ahead for Monton as the boutique brands already understand the next level strategies of creating desire on the back of quality and design.
Details and ordering for Monton Sports cycling wear on review.
2018 Urban Plus “Moye” SS Jersey
2017 Mens “Carter” Gloves
2017 “Fearless” Neon Yellow cycling socks