GROUND EFFECT NEOPOLITAN JERSEY
Around the world, companies pride themselves on making their products locally. And while many (or most) clothing companies have given up on that ideal, Ground Effect have stayed true to their original business model. They wanted to make functional, hard-wearing clothing in New Zealand, and sell it directly via mail order – and now online. In the past two years, Ground Effect’s no-nonsense clothing has really come of age, with a few sharp additions to the line that has won over even the most fashion conscious mountain bikers. The ZZ top with three-quarter sleeves, and the women’s Jigsaw have proved popular with some of our crew – and match perfectly with the Snipers or Juggernauts (or Martinis for women). The Neopolitan carries on a similar aesthetic, but comes in a long-sleeve in Heatwave Merino material. The fit is very much the same as the ZZ top, being well-tailored but by no means a ‘race fit’. It feels great on, without any excess material to snag on trees, and certainly not so revealing that you would think twice about an extended stay at a pub or café post-ride. In short, it’s an exceptional long-sleeve trail jersey. The name clearly comes from the three-way colour scheme, and while off-white looks great it might not be the best choice if you live anywhere near red dirt (and red mud). The material though, is fantastic. Heatwave Merino is essentially two layers in one. You have the fine-woven Merino next to your skin, and the hard-wearing polyester on the outside. This means the odour-fighting, comfortable, natural fibres are next to your skin, and the harder wearing material is against the elements. Long sleeve jerseys sometimes get missed by a lot of Australians, but I rode with this jersey on cooler summer days, as well as autumn, in comfort. Long sleeves give greater sun protection than putting sun cream on, and offer added protection from Australian scrub, which we all know can leave a mark. The jersey has a small zippered pocket, which I was happy either putting a single car key in, or cash and The Big Three (Visa card, licence and Medicare card) - but using it for anything heavy or bulky won’t be that comfortable. The back length is long enough that with a backpack it doesn’t get too short if the jersey bunches under your bag – and the shoulders are devoid of seams in silly places. All in all, the Neopolitan has proven to be a very comfortable trail jersey. It’s not for the height of summer where I live in Queensland, but the range of temperatures the jersey is comfortable in might surprise you. I paired the Neopolitan with the proven Snipers, which have a great length to just above the knee, and match the slim-line fit of the jersey perfectly. The material is light enough but strong, they have minimal pockets and some venting at the front. Plus they’re cut high enough there is no unwanted venting in the back. If you wanted something a bit longer – check out the Juggernauts. If you like to try clothing on before you buy it, you might hit some problems. But Ground Effect do have a great policy for exchanges and their sizing guide is super accurate. The jersey is pricier than some of the current trail jerseys on the market, but I think the material well and truly justifies that. I’ve got some of the current crop of trail jerseys that are synthetic and they don’t deal with all-day odour as well, even after a few times out. What really strikes me about Ground Effect is how connected to the sport and the community they are. Their factory is down the road from their offices, and their testing ground is just out the back of that building in the Port Hills near Christchurch. It’s no wonder that they can produce clothing that you just don’t think about when riding.
- Great fit and materials - Excellent balance of form and function
- No try before you buy
Neopolitan jersey, $120 Snipers, $130 groundeffect.com