Athletic Top vs. Bike Jersey
Functioning more like an athletic top than a bike jersey, the W Pace SS offers no pockets or zipper. At first, I thought a top without pockets would prove inferior to my plethora of existing multi-pocketed jerseys. However, it didn’t take longer than my first ride to figure out that I never actually use those pockets--I typically carry a hydration pack and cram all of my necessary items inside. The absence of additional fabric around my lower back felt near weightless and helped to keep me cool. That said, if you prefer to ride pack-free and your shorts don’t offer a storage option, you’ll need to find a creative way to fasten your spare tube, pump, bars, gels, etc. to your bike.
I was used to wearing full-zip jerseys that had made their way into my everyday rotation. While the “no-zip” W Pace SS doesn’t offer any length zipper, I quickly realized that the v-neck provides all the extra air flow I desire. Males likely don’t have this issue, but I never use the “full” zip option on my existing jerseys to their full potential anyway. Moreover, not having to fidget with a zipper left my hands and mind free to navigate safely through the woods. Function aside, there is one aesthetic aspect of the v-neck I am not terribly fond of: some sports bras will peek out of the “v”. I’ve dealt with this by choosing my undergarments wisely. Perhaps if the neckline wasn’t so low, this wouldn’t be a problem. Then again, that might compromise airflow.
Cool & Dry
An additional benefit I had not foreseen was that the W Pace SS would be an ideal at-home workout shirt. I started an exercise routine over the winter, and felt silly wearing a heavy full-zip, pocketed jersey indoors. This is my go-to shirt when I turn the pedals on the trainer or turn on the exercise DVD. And because it’s aesthetically-pleasing, I don’t even mind sporting it around the house or out to run errands after the fact.
Though I haven’t put it to the test, Helly Hansen notes that the W Pace SS has a Lifa®-striped reflective overlay across the back of the shirt to enhance visibility during nightfall.
MSRP: $45.00; sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL.