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by Matt Wikstrom
March 3, 2015
dhb offers a wide range of clothing for road cyclists to suit different performance needs. In this review, CTech Editor Matt Wikstrom takes a look at jerseys and bibshorts from dhb’s Goldline and ASV performance-oriented collections that are designed for spring and summer conditions.
dhb serves as Wiggle’s in-house clothing brand, taking its name from three of Wiggle’s founders, Mitch Dall, Harvey Jones, and Paul Bolwell. Their catalogue is immense with over 500 items listed on Wiggle at the moment that cater for men and women, a variety of disciplines (road and off-road riding as well as running), different weather conditions, and a range of budgets.
dhb’s road cycling catalogue is divided into three categories—Active, Performance, and Professional—to address the needs of novices, enthusiasts, and elite riders, respectively. Pricing increases with the sophistication of the garments, as expected, however most of dhb’s road range retails for less than $100 and none of it exceeds $150.
CyclingTips’ Wade Wallace had a look at dhb’s winter clothing last year and was impressed by the quality of the range. For this review, Wiggle supplied short sleeve jerseys and bibshorts from their Performance and Professional ranges designed for spring/summer conditions. Both sets of clothing were designed with input from Wiggle’s professional riders including the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team.
The ASV collection was developed for elite/professional riders with an emphasis on an aerodynamic fit for lean bodies. The short sleeve jersey is largely polyester (90-100%) with a little elastane (10%) incorporated into the back panel. There is a full-length zip at the front and three pockets at the rear, one of which has a small zippered water-resistant compartment. The elastic hem has silicone dots to help keep the jersey in place.
The jersey has fine perforations in the back and side panels for cooling; combined with the light weave, this jersey is designed for warm weather so an undershirt may be required for cool, early morning starts.
I normally wear a medium jersey (I’m 178cm and weigh 74kg) and found the medium ASV jersey fit me well. It’s a close fit, as promised, but the fabric is light and stretchy, so I never felt constricted. Indeed this was a very easy jersey to wear, well suited to Australian summer conditions. The longer sleeves may play havoc with your tan lines though.
The ASV men’s short sleeve jersey is available in three colours (red, blue, yellow) and 6 sizes (XS-XXL) with a retail price of $100. For more information including a size guide visit Wiggle.
The ASV bibshort is constructed from a light technical fabric that offers some compression for the thighs. The legs and seat of the shorts are constructed from an Italian-sourced fabric (80% polyamide, 20% elastane) while the braces incorporate a little carbon fibre (82% polyester, 14% elastane, 4% other fibres) and are perforated to encourage cooling. The legs are finished with a 45mm wide band of elastic fabric backed with a fine silicone mesh for grip.
CyTech supplies its Elastic Interface padding for the shorts. The padding has two densities: a thick density area shaped to suit the saddle and pelvis surrounded by a thinner density that minimises the bulk of the padding. The padding is rated for rides of up to five hours, and while it is thinner than average, I found it was still more than adequate after a few hours in the saddle.
I normally wear large Castelli and medium Assos shorts; the sizing of medium ASV shorts was a perfect match. There is some stretch in the fabric so they are easy to pull on and I was never constricted or uncomfortable in these shorts. The wide leg hem works brilliantly and the padding was just right. Indeed, I couldn’t find anything to separate the performance of these shorts from those that cost a lot more.
The ASV men’s bibshort is available in three colours (black with red, blue, yellow highlights) and 6 sizes (XS-XXL) with a retail price of $90. For more information including a size guide visit Wiggle.
dhb’s Goldline range is classified by Wiggle as performance wear for both regular and professional cyclists. The men’s short sleeve jersey is designed for summertime conditions with a close fit to improve aerodynamics. There is a full-length zip at the front, three pockets at the rear, and an elastic hem with a silicone strip for grip.
The jersey is constructed from 14 panels and five different Italian fabrics. The majority of the jersey is made from a lightweight fabric with fine perforations (86% polyester, 14% elastane) while panels with larger perforations (94% polyamide, 6% elastane) are placed in the armpits and down the centre of the back for greater airflow. In contrast, an unperforated fabric is used for the shoulders and sleeves (88% polyamide, 12% elastane) while the cuffs are finished with a fine mesh (70% polyamide, 30% elastane). The fifth fabric (89% polyamide, 11% elastane) is used for lining the neck of the jersey.
The fit of the Goldline jersey is generous for any given size; while a medium ASV jersey provided a good fit for me, I found a small Goldline jersey offered the same kind of fit, close without ever being constricting. And compared to the longer sleeves of the ASV jersey, the Goldline is a true short-sleeved jersey.
With all of the different fabrics and panels involved, the Goldline jersey might sound cumbersome and unforgiving, but it is the lightest jersey I’ve ever worn. Moreover, the fabric is very stretchy, further adding to its light feel on the skin. That the perforated panels provide excellent airflow only adds to the sensation that this jersey comes from the same wardrobe as the “Emperor’s New Clothes”. Do not be tempted to reach for this jersey until temperatures start approaching 30°C.
The Goldline men’s short sleeve is available in one colour (black with a red zip) and 5 sizes (S-XXL) with a retail price of $105. In addition, dhb offers a short sleeve Goldline jersey to suit women for the same price. For more information including a size guide visit Wiggle.
The Goldline bibshorts adopt the same construction strategy as the jersey by utilising multiple fabrics (in this instance, there are four). A mix of 80% polyamide and 20% elastane is used for the front and back of the shorts, and dimples are added to the inner panels to improve grip on the saddle. The bib is constructed with 78% polyamide and 22% elastane with a panel of perforated fabric (88% polyamide, 12% elastane) running up the back to help with airflow and cooling. The legs are finished with the same fine mesh (70% polyamide, 30% elastane) as the sleeves of the Goldline jersey with silicone added for extra grip.
CyTech provides its Elastic Interface padding for the Goldline shorts that has four densities and is rated for rides up to six hours long. The result is padding that is a little denser at the sit bones and feels plusher out on the road when compared to the ASV shorts.
The sizing of the Goldline bibshorts is as generous as the jersey. Thus, a size small suited me well (compared to medium for the ASV bibshorts) though the length of the legs was a little shorter, stopping a couple of centimetres above my tan line. The fabric offered less stretch than the ASV shorts while the mesh hem was comfortable and effective, however it was prone to some slipping. On balance, I preferred the wider and more elastic hem of the ASV shorts.
The Goldline men’s bibshort is available in one colour (black) and five sizes (S-XXL) with a retail price of $110. In addition, dhb offers a Goldline bibshort to suit women for the same price. For more information including a size guide visit Wiggle.
The ASV and Goldline kits both offer a lot more performance than their pricing suggests. In fact, both ranges rival any other brand I’ve worn in terms of the quality of the fit and finish along with the performance of the fabrics. The Goldline kit stands out on the strength of its performance in hot conditions however I preferred the longer hemlines of the ASV shorts and jersey.
I couldn’t identify any major shortcomings for either kit. I did notice that the logos were starting to lift on the Goldline shorts after several weeks of use, and there was a tendency for the flatlock stitching to trap lint (the ASV shorts remained unaffected), but neither had any bearing on the quality of the fit or the performance of the garment. Importantly, there were no annoying tags, itchy seams, or any threat of chaffing.
Ultimately, the appeal of dhb’s ASV and Goldline kits will rest with its styling and/or the suitability of its fit. The former appears to have been devised for the widest possible appeal, while the latter is reserved for devoted riders with slender builds.