Back in December I pulled the trigger on a @roadholland Hilversum jersey and over the past six weeks as I’ve been phasing back into riding I’ve been making notes here and there about the jersey, fit, finish and overall impression. But first lets talk about what attracted me to @Road Holland. Yes, there’s a backstory!
As you may have guessed I have a dual design ethos. either keep it simple or make it fun. The two can live together but there’s equal opportunity for these ideas to push the barriers. Last year after WTFkits 1.0 went down for a few weeks I moved back into long slow miles. I ended up riding a Century with my then 69 year old father. The event went from Richmond, VA to Williamsburg, VA and back to Richmond. We ended up in the “SUCK THE F’ing LIFE OUT OF YOU” Virginia sun for about 4 hour and 30 minutes as we jammed out a fun 102 miles. Damn, that was a fun ride but we both agreed … maybe next year not to wear a black kit.
At the ride expo Road Holland had a both set up. I saw riders out on the road in their different Road Holland jerseys. They looked solid. Functional for an all day event. Ok, interest piqued. Flash forward to December 2012. I am now snowed in up in Binghamton NY under 20 inches of fresh. So, I was checking various bookmarks. Heckling my Cat 2 trousers deluxe racer brother and of course I stumbled upon road holland. Jersey on sale? Discount coupon? Why not? Jersey procured!
The jersey itself is a very nice article of cycling gear. The weight is low and the fabric a blend of poly and merino. Over the past few weeks it’s become my go-to jersey on days when it’s slightly warmer. The finish is solid. One particular element I liked was the noticeably lacking “grip of death” around the arms. That, I can do without on any jersey. I tend to remove the elastic and have a seamstress take the sleeves in since nobody wants their circulation cut off or to look like hobo kit.
Design wise it’s exceedingly simple which is a joy of mine. Road Holland, Rapha and several others seem to do this well. That is … embrace the nothing. Make it OK to have nothing. Other than a small call out branding is subtle. That, I dig. I could do without the orange stripe on the sleeve but that’s just a personal choice. The three back pockets had plenty of volume but it was the middle pocket I was stoked about. Large enough to stash the phone for an emergency but narrow enough to stash the pump and it remain upright. Nothing jostled around. Been pretty happy with that fact.
The fit is the one thing I would caution people towards. As stated on the Road Holland website “This jersey has a more relaxed cut than our others. If you want it most form fitting, we suggest going down a size.” The fit is definitely a club fit and if you buy your normal size … you may be swimming. My XL Road Holland is a touch loose on me where my XL/L team kits fit perfect. But, they do point out that’s how this jersey is supposed to fit.
All in it’s a really solid jersey with quite a few positive details about it. Where I think this jersey will really shine is for the rider who wants something simple & well designed. Somebody who is doing the longer rides, commuting or tends to get around town by bike. This jersey fits all those needs. As I ride to work and roll in wearing the Hilversum nobody bats an eye and that’s an achievement. Which is to say if you can make it by the non-cycling public without somebody asking you if you rode in today (no I just wear cycling clothes for the heck of it) then you’ve got something elegant and understated on your hands. Add in functional and it’s fun time.
Note: This jersey was paid for by me. Not gratis. These are my opinions … nothing more nothing less.