Wales-based howies are on good form at the moment, knocking out some really nicely designed and reasonably priced cycling clothing. The latest Cadence jersey, tested here in long sleeve guise, is another case in point, it's a really comfortable and versatile cycling top for Spring temperatures.
With Spring feeling ever closer and temperatures nudging double digits on a good day (at least where I am) a long sleeve jersey like the Cadence becomes invaluable. It's versatile enough to be worn as a top layer over a base layer when it's warm enough, maybe paired with a gilet if the wind is blowing cold across the landscape, or worn underneath a jacket as an excellent mid-layer.
I've been wearing it mostly as a mid-layer recently, but a as it starts to warm up and the jacket can be ditched, this will make a fine top layer. And when it's worn there, it's a very good looking top. Simple and understated yet, but with a nice flattering fit. And something I really like, the red and green detailing on the full-length zipper, a nod to the flag of Wales, the Red Dragon. They might be colours more typically associated with Italian cycling culture when used on cycling garments, but it's a nice design feature that shows how confident howies are at the moment.
As for the material, well it's made with a Merino and Sorona mix. Sorona in case you're wondering, is a renewably sourced fibre produced by DuPoint that is claimed to use 40% less energy to produce so it has a smaller environmental footprint than other man-made fabrics. All you feel when wearing it though is that familiar cosseting Merino feel that I think makes it perfect for cycling clothing.
Because of that Merino content, it feels just like any other Merino top, only it's much smoother. It's pretty good at insulating, you really only need a short sleeve (Merino) base layer underneath and a suitable layer over the top to match the conditions that day, and you're good to go. I've been surprised just how well it can keep me warm on chilly days. Pairing it with a gilet works well.
Another great thing about Merino is that you can wear it several days on the trot, and it doesn't stink like other fabrics. I've been sweating into it on rides, hanging it on the radiator over night, and wearing it the next day, without any complaints.
It's a figure hugging design, at least in the size small I tested. The high stretch factor of the fabric ensuring an almost second-skin fit. It's not restrictive in any way, just very comfortable when you're pedalling along the lanes. I'd recommend having a good look at the sizing guide before you part with your cash though, as it's clear they're going for the fitted approach.
On the bike it's all good. It's a little lower at the back, there's gripper tape to keep the waist from shifting about, and the sleeves are cut to just about the right length; if anything they're a smidgen long. Wide cuffs and a decent height collar with a flap to conceal the puller of the full-length zip add to the details.
For the pockets you get an arrangement of two regular sized cargo pockets and a middle pump pocket. There's also a zipped pocket that is large enough to take your house keys and some coinage.
All in, it's a very nicely designed and stylishly understated long sleeve jersey that is thoroughly useful at this time of year for adding versatility to your cycling outfit. Good on its own or under a jacket.
Stylish and comfortable merino long sleeve ideal for Spring temperatures.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Howies Cadence jersey
Size tested: Large, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Long sleeved Sorona & Merino cycling jersey with a silky soft texture and warm loop back inner. Great for chilly rides when you build up a sweat in the hills.
Cut a little longer at the back and finished with a customised YKK zip, 2 cargo pockets, pump pocket, zipped valuables pocket and a silicon gripper taped hem.
Sorona uses glucose from renewable corn starch crops to create a clever plant-based replacement to oil-based fabrics. Because of it's natural content, Sorona consumes less energy and produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based fabrics in production too.
We've blended this clever fibre with Merino to create a performance jersey that feels like it has a Merino base layer rolled into it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sorona / Merino mix
- Moisture wicking
- Naturally regulates body temperature
- Cargo pockets for a light jacket, pump, tools or a snack
- Zip pocket for valuables
- Full front YKK coloured zip
- Gripper tape on rear hem
- Soft, stretchy and warm
Top quality stuff, it's been getting absolutely loads of use on a daily basis and it's going strong.
Realy versatile and great fit.
Yup all good so far.
Really soft on bare arms, and the snug fit and stretchy fabric means it's comfortable on the bike.
Howies have a reputation for being expensive, but that's not the case with the Cadence jersey. It's a fair bit cheaper than the similar Embers Merino long sleeve jersey tested recently, and it's much cheaper than anything from Rapha, Castelli or Vulpine. Pretty competitive I'd say
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A really good jersey for cycling at this time of year, and with spring nearly here, it's a good investment for three season cycling. You'd probably get plenty of use for it in the summer too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, looks and comfort. Oh, and the versatility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Personally I'd prefer three regular cargo pockets, but the two cargo pockets and pump pocket worked well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.