dhb are the exclusive label of Wiggle, the online cycle specialists and the official kit supplier of Team Wiggle Honda pro cycling. Founded in 2004, this British outfit is one of few brands that offers a range of products across the pricing spectrum from their excellent value ‘Active’ range to their race-ready ‘ASV’ pro kit. Offering everything from high quality race clothing to accessories like bags, sunglasses and helmets.
With a seasonal change around the corner and the decline in temperatures, we’ve be trying out the dhb Clear Race Gilet.
What’s It Like Then?
The first thing that grabbed us about dhb Clear Race Gilet is the excellent price. The dhb brand is exclusive to Wiggle Online so they can offer their usual impressive savings. At the time of this review they have a massive 50% discount on the RRP of £34.99 making it just £17.50. By any stretch of the imagination, that is a very low price for an item that seems well made. There are some nice, subtle features that make this a good value product. It’s simplistic design keeps the garment incredibly lightweight which is essential when wearing or carrying during a ride. Being so lightweight in construction and minimal in design, the dhb Clear Race Gilet packs down nicely into a jersey pocket. It has a high, soft fleece-lined collar that isn’t too tight or intrusive if riding in an aggressive ‘drop’ position on a road bike. The full length zip has a ‘garage’ at the neck end to prevent any rubbing or nasty skin catches. Under the arms there are mesh vents to make the Gilet more breathable. There are small reflective dhb logos on the front and rear which are useful for riding in low light conditions. Out of the two colour options, clear and the Fluoro (hi-viz) versions, we were testing the Fluoro which is very bright and excellent as a hi-viz layer for commuters. For those that maybe didn’t realize, the reason manufacturers make clear cycling weatherproof garments is to allow riders numbers can be seen during a race. Again, this is something that the dhb Clear Race Gilet does well.
Is There A But Coming…….?
The shape of a Gilet is such that it is designed to cover from your torso but for us, the dhb Clear Race Gilet was let down by it’s short body length.
I like the fact that this one covers the neck well but unfortunately in testing, it did keep riding up. On several occasions I would reach to take something out of my jersey pocket, only to find that my jersey pockets along with half of my back were fully exposed. Tucking the hem under the base of my jersey made no difference either and the dhb patterned elasticated hem isn’t very tight. I’m 6’3 and tested an XL. One of the great things about dhb products is that their sizing is pretty true and accurate which is unusual for a cycling manufacturer. The body and chest fit was perfect and the length is fine when standing. I know that keeping the weight down is the key when it comes to cycle clothing but a tighter hem or even a drawn cord would be a real bonus on this product. Secondly, whilst the dhb Clear Race Gilet has mesh inserts under the arms, it is not very breathable and I did find myself getting a little sweaty despite the breezy conditions. Wiggle and dhb offer a Wisp Gilet which is the next model up in the range and this comes with a simple vent opening across the back. We think this would have been a good addition in the Clear Race models also.
dhb Clear Race Gilet Review
In terms of cost verses design verses quality, this is a great product. It is lightweight, comfortable and excellent value for money. Being 100% Polyester with a water-resistant membrane, it does an good job of being showerproof as well as offering great protection on a windy day. Sadly our tall tester found issues with the body length and the fact it just didn’t ‘stay down’. The vents under the arms are okay but it would benefit from a rear vent too.
If you are starting out in cycling or wanting a budget gilet for commuting then the dhb Clear Race Gilet is for you.