There’s an elephant in the room. You can’t really write this review without looking at the elephant. Damn, that’s a stylish elephant. It looks like some other elephants I saw once. Those elephants had more expensive taste, racing elephants, elephants with heritage. Look, an elephant is an elephant. It’s very hard to make something that’s an elephant not look like an elephant.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about it’s this. Torm make sportwool jerseys. Rapha make sportwool jerseys. Torm jerseys look a bit like Rapha jerseys and they are made out of the same sort of material. No shiny lycra here, this is wool, a man’s cycle racing material. So, it’s fair to say that when Torm first came along and introduced their plain wool jersey with a stripe, it didn’t go down all that well with Rapha. So some tweaks were made, and they made up, and everyone lived happily ever after. And we will speak no more of it, save for me to opine that, well, there are only so many ways to make a sports wool jersey or an elephant.
Torm are the little guys. Specifically two of them based at SP Cycles in Kent. And they like it that way. Being small means that they get to keep a personal touch and can still get out and meet customers and, above all, get out on the bike. Their USP is the clean, simple and classy design. They deal virtually exclusively in jerseys, short and long sleeve, but also a few other items such as base layers and arm warmers. All of the jerseys are made from sportwool. They have 11 men’s versions and 3 women’s versions. They have a good range of designs, but all have that retro cool feel. Their new special edition jersey is quite the looker.
Let’s talk about sportwool. It’s a merino wool and polyester blend. How much of each is present alters the blend. The weight also differ between manufacturers. Torm’s jerseys are 165gsm weight. If you forced me I’d describe them as a mid weight jersey. With the right base layer (or even without) you can use these jerseys in a variety of conditions. Indeed, that’s rather the point. The short sleeve ones are comfy in the summer up to some pretty high temps. And the long sleeve ones keep you warm in the spring and autumn down to some low ones. Add a base layer and you go even lower. Indeed, add a gilet as well and, if you run warm enough, you could do some pretty chilly conditions indeed.
This review is about the long sleeve T5 jersey. I’ve owned this jersey for a year or so now and have used it more times than I can even remember. Here are some pictures of the front and rear of the jersey. It’s been washed, it’s been dried. It’s been abused and chucked in kit bags. It’s never faded, stretched or shrunk. It’s exactly like the day it arrived.
There’s nothing overtly technical about the construction here other than sportwool itself. It’s a modern fabric, it doesn’t itch, it doesn’t get smelly, it transfers your sweat away very well and it keeps you warm when it’s cool and cool when it’s warm. It’s a pretty cool classical design as well. It’s bright and the white strip on the arms aids your visibility a touch.
Up front it’s all very simple. A YKK full length zip takes care of fastening duties and it lives in a small fabric zip garage when fully zipped to the top. The collar is a good size and doesn’t constrict even when fully zipped. The waist section is a full length silicon gripper which performs brilliantly in keeping everything where it should be. The quality of the stitching is excellent with flat locked seams to ensure that there’s no irritation. Make no mistake, you can wear this with a base layer or, when spring or autumn allow, without out. There is absolutely no irritation at all. It’s simply wonderful next to the skin.
There are three rear pockets and all of them are a decent size. There is one zipped waterproof pocket. You can see that in the pictures below. The interior of each zipped pocket is lined with a plastic liner. In theory water could get in through the zip but it would be very unlikely to happen. So, to all intents and purposes, those pockets are waterproof. The zips are are of excellent quality and, despite their diminutive size, easy to operate whether you are wearing gloves or not. The most important thing to say is that the pockets absolutely do not sag, even when full of stuff.
You’ll note that there are two reflective strips on the back. For a jersey such as this, that’s enough, and, as you can see from the picture below, they are pretty noticeable under flash light.
So, what’s it like. Well, it isn’t waterproof, it isn’t water resistant, and it isn’t even windproof. It’s just a jersey made for riding in dry conditions. Mine is a large and that’s a spot on fit on a 41″ chest. It doesn’t flap and, whilst it isn’t race fit per se, there is no bulging or movement when on the bike. It’s just a lovely thing to ride in.
And so, we get to value. It’s £59. Yeah, you read that right. Not £159, just £59. For that you get an advanced modern material, YKK zips and high quality construction. You really can’t go wrong at £59. It’ll last and last.
So, the next time you go and look at your favourite elephant page on the internet remember that other elephants are available. Have a look there instead. Buy with confidence and enjoy your elephant for years.