The Ashmei KoM is a stylish, well-made merino jersey with some neat features and excellent attention to detail.
The KoM is made mostly (65%) from merino wool with polyester making up the balance. Pure merino can make good base layers but adding a synthetic fibre increases the toughness and durability for outer garments.
A 100% wool jersey can also sometimes stretch out of shape when you load up the pockets but that doesn't happen here. I've been riding with my usual 500g pack (containing a spare tube, multitool, pump, levers and what have you) in one pocket, my phone in another, and maybe a windproof or arm warmers tucked away somewhere too, and there was no sagging. That's good news because a saggy jersey isn't just a bad look, it can really get on your nerves, especially when you're riding out of the saddle.
While we're talking about the pockets, you get the three usual ones in the lower back along with a fourth zipped one that features a port through which you can run an earphone lead (there's another guide for a lead on the back of the neck). The middle pocket has a little elastic loop that you can use to stop your pump going AWOL, which is a neat touch. Little tip: putting the pump in there before you put the jersey on is by far the easiest way to do it.
The KoM is cut slim but you get yards of stretch (not literally, it's hyperbole) so that pretty much anyone is going to be able to get inside this jersey. The ends of the sleeves on this medium sized review jersey have a circumference of 26cm but, again, there's loads of stretch for those with Schwarzenegger biceps.
The full-length front zip comes with a chunky, easy to grab metal puller that locks in place wherever you position it. A flap behind the zip prevents any discomfort there and a chin guard does a similar job up top.
All the little polka dots on the chest and rear are reflective and the same goes for the black stripe on the hem binding. In daylight it doesn't look for a second as if it's reflective, but it certainly shines when it catches the light at nighttime.
The only aspect of the design that didn't really work for me is the silicone gripper on the inside of that hem binding. The square dots just aren't grabby enough to hold the bottom of the jersey in place that well. Don't get me wrong, I didn't find the hem moving about all that much, but the silicone is too small and smooth to do much.
You'll probably already know if you're a merino person or not. Some people love it, some people can get along just fine without it. This is fine stuff that doesn't start to feel scratchy after a few washes. Even if you're a sensitive sort, chances are that you'll be perfectly comfortable with it next to your skin.
As usual with merino, this jersey wicks sweat away from your skin well and it remains pretty comfortable even when damp. Personally, I don't like to use merino on the very hottest of rides because it retains more moisture than something like polyester, but for most UK days that's not an issue.
I was a little worried that all those little polka dots would start to flake after a few washes, making the jersey look old before its time. That hasn't happened, though. Intentionally scratching one off is quite difficult so I think they're staying put for the foreseeable future, at least.
Lightweight merino wool with well thought out features and plenty of style
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ashmei KoM Jersey
Size tested: Medium
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?
Ashmei says, "If you are serious about performance and style, our race-inspired short sleeve jersey is for you. This short sleeve Merino+Carbon blend jersey offers premium, natural thermo-regulation and enhanced wicking and drying properties. Three rear stowage pockets plus a zipped security pocket provide all the storage required for those long mountain climbs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ashmei lists these features:
* Three rear stowage pockets with zipped security pocket
* Shaped, reflective hem binding with silicon gripper
* Polka dotted printed chest and rear stripe
* Key Stats:
* Weight (Men's size Medium): 168g
* Fabric: 62% Merino Wool, 34% Carbon, 4% Elastane
* UPF 50+
It's made to a high standard with some well-thought-out features.
I've not caught any threads yet.
I take either a medium or a large in jerseys. I went for a medium here and the fit is fine (that's not me wearing it in the pictures, by the way).
Ashmei has a size chart on its website https://ashmei.com/shop/cycle/mens-cycle-kom-jersey/?c=04007ae3e449
The light weight isn't going to help you climb faster but it does make for more comfort on a summer ride.
For comparison, a Rapha Classic Jersey with a much lower percentage of merino (36%) is £110, and Vulpine's Extrafine Merino City Jersey, 100% merino wool, is also £110. Ashmei's stated aim is to make the best clothing that it can rather than to make clothes for particular price points, so you're never going to get bargain basement prices here.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
You put it in the washing machine at 30°C, like most other cycling clothing, but you can't put it in the tumble dryer. It's still looking pretty much brand new after several washes.
Being merino, it's much more resistant to odours than most synthetics. If you ride to work in the morning, for example, it won't be minging for the ride home in the evening.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well. It's a really comfortable jersey with a few neat features.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the fit and the style. It's called the KoM and it has polka dots and but it doesn't make you look like a King of the Mountains-wannabe.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I didn't find the silicone squares inside the hem to be large enough or tacky enough to grip effectively.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? The price is a little high for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yeah, if they wanted a treat.
Use this box to explain your score
The quality of this jersey is high with the price bringing the overall score back to an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.