Disclosure: This article may link to affiliate sites/feature complimentary products for review purposes.
Built to cater to those who are looking for an upgrade in their kit, but aren’t quite ready for the skin-tight, race day tech, Voler’s Jet line is a people pleaser. In fact, I, with a Grinch-sized heart when it comes to cycling aesthetics, rode this kit on several rides of various distances and difficulties. What happened when I donned the Jet instead of my usual race-ready fare? My roadie-Grinch heart grew ten sizes. I embraced the fit, and I praised the easy cut.
Voler Jet Jersey and Bib Shorts
Pricing: Jersey $59, Shorts $79, Bib Shorts $89
Colors: Both the men’s and women’s jerseys come in three color combos: Blue/White (tested), Black/Hi-Viz Yellow, and Red/White. The shorts/bibs come in Black or Black/Hi-Viz Yellow.
Upsides: Serious comfort and detailing without the discomfort or bunching of elastic anywhere. Relaxed cuts fit just about anyone without sacrificing the aesthetics of a much more expensive jersey and shorts–all adding up to a full, made-in-the-USA kit for under $140.
Downsides: Not many at all. We were pretty impressed with the quality. The one thing I did notice in the women’s jersey, as one who’s used to a more traditional sleeve, the cut in the shoulders is more akin to a cap sleeve. Most cyclists may like the opportunity to raise their tan line, but I am one who is rather partial to the more aggressive length. All right, that might not be a downside. It might just be me. Move that to the upsides if you want.
The kind folks at Voler (true statement by the way–you really should make the trek to their outlet store in Grover Beach for some fantastic deals and friendly customer service) fitted me out with a Jet jersey in blue and white and a pair of Jet bib shorts in black.
First look at the bibs and I notice there is no elastic to be seen, which should be a welcome statement for readers sick of the old sausage leg. In fact, the Power Band on the legs is totally smooth to prevent tugging, and continues with the soft feel of Voler’s Triton fabric–super slick and easy on the skin. For those of you fellows out there who haven’t really embraced the whole smooth legged thing, these are the shorts for you. The band is so comfortable that it almost offers a soothing feel when you’re hammering–no tugging or digging into the skin.
The Elan pad is a noticeable step up from Voler’s Apex chamois (check out their pad comparisons). Although not quite as comfortable as the Chrono or the Comp HP, the thickness and durability of the Elan make it perfect for medium-distance rides. If you’re riding long-distances (take note century-bound folks) I’d recommend going with a Comp HP, but for the vast majority of recreational and training rides, this chamois will keep you pedaling without dealing with soreness. The real design perk here is the relatively low profile of the Elan, which eliminates the diaper-like feel you’d experience in similarly priced bibs and shorts.
Perhaps my favorite feature of these bibs is that they just look good. Tight enough to hold you in, but not tight enough to show off anything you’d really rather hide (like maybe those bowls of ice cream you’ve been sneaking after dinner). The smooth finish of the Triton fabric mixed with the five-panel design accentuates the good looks and keeps the comfort rolling. Truly an all-around fantastic training short.
Light, breathable, and sturdy, the Jet jersey has plenty to be stoked on. The full-zip is a must, and the contrasting line of the white zipper against the backdrop of blue just looks plain awesome. The women’s neckline is something of a V which fits nicely and sits just at the collarbone, not too low–the men’s jersey has more of a traditional mock neck. With panels of Genesis fabric, this top helps to keep you cool by expelling excess heat at your sides. Plus, the white on blue on gray should please those of us who want to stay as far away from floral designs as possible.
Completely free of elastic grippers in both the sleeves and at the waist, it sits easily along your hips. While the length is a bit on the shorter side (be wary if you’re a short-wearer–go with the bibs), this jersey works well without the grippers. Since sometimes elastic at the waist helps to keep a top from hanging like crazy down your back (especially when it’s filled with a cell phone, nutrition, and other stuff) the cut keeps a slim line without being too tight.
The usual 3-pocket design at the back also has a cool double pocket in the center. Perfect for stashing cash, ID, or a couple of gels–especially when the packet is empty and you want to make sure it doesn’t get any extra goo on your phone or keys. It may likely also fit a cell phone, but, alas, my gigantic iPhone 6 Plus refused to be squeezed in. It did, however, fit just fine in any of the other three pockets.
This kit seems to fit somewhat true to size though it leans more toward the larger side. The medium for me, which is what I generally wear, felt pretty right without being too baggy. Designed to fit without holding you too tightly, Voler seems to have found that spot in which the jersey is more akin to a well-fitted running shirt and the shorts are more like a great pair of yoga pants. I think that sounds like a dig for cyclists who are used to different cuts, but this kit seems exactly right for the rider who wants to be comfortable on the bike while enjoying the technical benefits of a jersey and bibs.
The Jet Jersey and Shorts should appeal to most riders. Even I, who swears by the high-tech and feature-rich, was impressed by the performance value the Jet line offers. I’m especially a fan of the Hi-Viz yellow on black combo with a look that just kinda screams, “Hey, I’m so awesome! And I’m riding a bike!” OK, well, that’s what I was yelling when I wore it. Er . . . uh . . . I mean, nevermind.
SLO Cyclist's former chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek made sure everything ran smoothly around here. She was also the one who reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.
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