For 2015 Evans Cycles have made the move to launch their very own cycling apparel called the FWE Range. The name FWE is to represents and acknowledges the founder of the company F.W. Evans in 1921. The range has been launched with Men’s and Women’s short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts. I got my hands on the reasonably priced £29.99 men’s LTR jersey and wore it over several rides of various lengths and weather conditions – with surprising results.
An Affordable Well Thought About Jersey!
Firstly lets mention the name – LTR may give an impression of a highly technical abbreviation but in actual fact LTR stands for Lunchtime Ride and is an acknowledgment to the lunch breaks spent putting the jersey through its paces by Evans Product Development team. Personally we think its a great name.
The FWE LTR Jersey is made from Polyester and Recycled Polypropylene mix and feels very well made with its over-lock stitching. It is what I would consider a medium weight summer jersey. Its not a super-lightweight race jersey, nor does it try to be. That said though, after testing the jersey on a warmer mid-20° ride it’s multi-paneled design wicked moisture away very well. This is down to the double layer fabric which draws the sweat away from the body to be quickly evaporated through the outer layer. Interestingly, on the outside of the jersey the mesh panels are only on the back, chest and sleeves of the FWE LTR jersey. This isn’t really an issue but I think the jersey would benefit from mesh side panels for quicker cooling.
The FWE LTR short sleeve jersey is cut to give a more ‘relaxed’ or ‘classic’ fit and offers incredible comfort during long periods in the saddle. One note of caution though is the sizing. Evans have launched the FWE LTR jersey to be accurate to UK sizing which makes a refreshing change. I am around 190 cm (6′ 3″) with a 109 cm (43″) chest and usually find myself in XXL jerseys from most Italian and continental brands and XL from other UK brands. However, I actually needed a size Large in the FWE LTR jersey to obtain a fit which was comfortable without being to baggy and close without being restrictive. An XL was simply too relaxed for me, comfortable yes but maybe more suited if I were on a leisurely ride with the family – in which case I probably wouldn’t be wearing a cycle jersey.
Keeping with sizing, as a tall rider it can be difficult to find a jersey in this lower price bracket that is long enough in the body. Often, a jersey that fits in body length is too big around the chest and waist. Alternatively, if you want a slim or semi-pro fitted jersey, you have to sacrifice the length. But this LTR cycling jersey seems to have covers all of the angles.
Little Details Matter
We like the fact that at £29.99, this jersey possesses a number of features to it’s finish that you would expect to find on a more expensive garment. Simple things like a silicone waist gripper and a well made full-length zip which includes an under-flap to prevent and rubbing or discomfort against the skin.
Reflective detail is something that is pretty common on cycle clothing nowadays, whether it be a logo or a tab on the sleeve. More often than not, reflective details aren’t really significant enough to be noticeable. But the LTR jersey seems to have got it about right – putting reflective elements where they are most likely to be seen with a large stripe on the central rear pocket and a strip at collar level in addition to tabs on the sleeves which have a modern ‘banded’ design and remain comfortably tight around the arms. In my opinion, it would benefit from some kind of detailing on the front of the jersey to catch the lights of oncoming vehicles.
The three rear pockets are nice and deep, so you can carry your essentials, nutrition, mobile phone etc without fear of them falling out whilst flying down a 10% decent. The outer pockets have a sloping cut to make it easier to access the contents mid-ride. The central pocket whilst deep, isn’t as wide as the outer pockets so reduces the amount you can put in it. In the picture I have managed to fit a rolled up lightweight windproof jacket in this pocket. It’s not a big deal but if like me you are slightly obsessive about what they put in each pocket, you may need to slightly review their packing. Another feature, is the addition of a concealed zip pocket off to the right side of the rear pockets. These are always handy for putting the essentials that you don’t want to risk losing or damaging like mobile phones, money or keys. Unfortunately the zip pocket is a little on the small side and most large screen mobile phones will be a little too big for this pocket. My Samsung S5 with its protective case had a squeeze to fit passed the zip and once in, it wasn’t very easy to remove again.
FWE LTR Jersey Review Conclusion
The FWE LTR short sleeve jersey really is impressive. It has been well thought out and could easily be considered more expensive that its £29.99 price tag. It’s cut is comfortable with relaxed fit and low collar and would suit most types of riders. I have really enjoyed my 7 mile commute in this jersey as much as wearing it on a 40 plus mile Sunday ride. You will need to be a little careful when choosing your size. The Evans size guide seems accurate and you may find you will need to go a size smaller than your standard clothing size. It is well made with its over-lock stitching and sturdy full-length zip. The finishing touches like the reflective detail, silicon waist gripper and deep pockets really give you the felling that the FWE LTR short sleeve jersey has not only for cyclists, but has be created by cyclists. Yes there are some things that we might have done differently like either making the zip pocket a little more practical and mobile phone friendly. The LTR jersey is available in both Men’s and Women’s but is only currently available in 2 colours each. Men’s comes in black with an aqua-green trim or blue with a pale blue trim. The women’s jersey is available in the same black/aqua combination or a pinky-red. More colour options that are a little less stereo-typical would be great to see. Obviously with FWE being the in-house brand for Evans Cycles, the LTR range is only available in-store or online but in my opinion at £29.99 this jersey is exceptional and I will enjoy many more hours in the saddle wearing it.
A very well made and well thought out summer jersey that won't break the bank.