Road Holland are an American company who pay homage to Dutch cycling culture, and who I’ve long had the feeling would tick a lot of boxes for me.
We’re talking merino wool, classic stripes, nice collars, cool and minimal logo-ing, and classy colour schemes. I was delighted to get the chance to review their Utrecht Jersey recently.
The first thing to say is that, straight out of the box the silky smooth feel of this jersey is apparent. It’s a merino wool blend which has a lightness and softness to it; this is not some old fashioned woollen jersey that’s about to sag and hang off you the moment you break out a sweat, but a technical, almost luxury item. The sewn logo’s and the details around the pockets and zips only add to that feeling.
It’s worth mentioning the sizing, as Road Holland do clearly on their website. Compared to most European kit they suggest that their jerseys are big, and that’s exactly how I found it. I am a fairly standard large in most kit, and the Medium Utrecht Jersey was a good fit on me – not skin tight, but definitely snug.
I would add that, certainly for my body shape, the cut feels really nicely tailored and actually pretty flattering (if you’re interested in that kind of thing). To hear my riding partner comment on the tasteful cut of my jersey whilst out riding last week was a nice surprise, if a little unnerving!?
I was waiting for the punchline, and it never came. Maybe it’s on the way?
Elsewhere, the details on the jersey are good. Three functional rear pockets with a nice swoosh to them, a small waterproofed zip pocket which is de-rigeur for any truly decent jersey these days, good quality zip and housing, and what seems to be a perfectly good ‘gripper’ around the waist.
So it looks good, the quality is high, and in terms of practicality my impression is that it will be a good option here in the north of England.
Unfortunately we don’t get anything like enough truly warm and sunny days – an acceptable summer’s day around here will hit around 17 degrees Celsius – and the Utrecht works well in that kind of temperature. I probably wouldn’t wear it on a scorching hot day, but when you want just a little bit of protection against any chill in the air the merino blend offers that.
The jersey I tested is in ‘Forest Green’, and finished off with grey and white details, and I reckon is a bit of a looker.
With such a good product on their hands, I was a little taken aback by an announcement from the guys at Road Holland in June 2016. Having been in business since 2011, they are calling time on their brand of cycling kit; funding issues in a highly competitive market, is the gist of it.
Which, having had the chance to vouch for their Utrecht jersey, is a real shame. My advice would be to give them something of a send-off by plundering their remaining stock, available at half price and better on the website: www.roadholland.com