Review: Road Rags Hoxton SS Jersey

Back in the Spring I reviewed the superb Road Rags Smithfield; a long sleeved top with a turtle neck collar, it fast became my favourite base layer on cold morning and evening rides. With autumn now in full swing in the UK, and the temperature at a cool and refreshing level, I have once again returned to merino wool, this time with the Road Rags Hoxton.

This short sleeved jersey could in fact be worn all year round; combined with a base layer and arm warmers in the winter or by itself in the summer months. It is a superb go-to cycling utility top. That’s the beauty of merino wool; it keeps you warm when the temperatures are down, but when things heat up it is super breathable, so continues to be comfortable.

The Smithfield impressed me greatly because of the quality of the merino wool. Its high fibre construction meant that it was not only very warm, but also fantastically durable; putting up with machine washes far better than most merino fabrics. The Hoxton is definitely from the same mould; it is not as thick as the Smithfield, but it retains the same high micron count, which makes it durable and soft to the touch. Another top that is built to last.

The Hoxton uses a classic short sleeve jersey design; a close fitting round necked collar (no zip), relatively long length sleeves with raglan cuffs, and double ribbed edging on the sleeves, hem and collar to add strength and durability. On the rear there are two small pockets with neat wheel shaped wooden buttons. These pockets struggle to take much weight without contorting the jersey, but they are useful for slipping lighter objects like keys and a phone into.

Out on the road the Hoxton is a pleasure to wear. The ribbed neck was a little tight initially (probably more a problem with my ex-rower’s neck/shoulders), but it soon loosened up and became comfortable. In the warmer weather the Hoxton is perfect by itself; being soft on the skin it doesn't cause any irritation or discomfort. In the cooler autumn winds, I’ve paired the top with a merino base layer to add a bit more warmth and wind resistance.

What I like most about the Hoxton is that in fact it doesn't look too much like a cycling jersey. Yes, it has rear pockets and a tail drop rear hem, but it could easily be branded as a casual top as well. I've felt just as comfortable chilling out in a café with the Hoxton on, as I have out on the bike. Merino only adds to this versatility, as it doesn't generate offensive smells even when it gets a bit damp with perspiration; meaning that you could quite easily ride into work wearing the Hoxton, then sit at your desk in style and comfort.

The Hoxton is branded as a “utility top”, and versatile it is. Wear it all day on and off the bike, and you will be comfortable and temperate. The wonders of merino in a high quality short sleeved top, it will keep you contented in many a season.

The Hoxton is available from roadrags.cc for £95


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