Review by Brandon Turman // Photos by Courtney Steen
Club Ride's unique Sun Valley, Idaho-inspired style brings a fresh look to mountain bike apparel. A collar on a mountain bike jersey?! Front pockets? Preposterous for many, awesome for the rest of us. When the company kicked things off in 2008, they wanted to create something the everyday person could enjoy. They also had the mindset that mountain biking doesn't have to be flashy, florescent, or skin-tight. Thanks to jerseys like the Bolt, now you look classy on AND off the bike without sacrificing comfort or function.
Bolt Jersey Highlights
- Lightweight RideDryWear wicking fabric
- 94% polyester, 6% spandex
- Air2Flow hidden front zip system
- Quick-dry for moisture control
- Full side and underarm venting
- Stretch fabric for movement
- Rear zippered storage pocket with media port
- Born in Sun Valley, made in China
- MSRP $89.99￼
We have to admit, after first spotting Club Ride's jerseys on the racks at a local bike shop, we've been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to review one. Their jerseys just look good. The subtle styling on the Bolt combines a solid blue (or black) body and plaid shoulders with the classic button-down, collared shirt style. It's something that doesn't scream "mountain biker," and we dig that.
The RideDryWear material is very light and very smooth to the touch. Designed to move with the body, the blue portion of jersey stretches two ways, while the plaid portion stretches in just one direction. The front of the jersey features what Club Ride calls Air2Flow, which is a combination of the quick snaps and a hidden 1/2-length zipper. On the sides, full-length vents keep things breezy.
On this average build, 5' 10", 175-pound rider, the fit of our size Large jersey is loose, and there's room to breathe a bit. If you often find yourself in-between sizes, we'd suggest opting for the smaller of the two options. The cut works well untucked, without any long tails to flap in the wind.
Small details abound in the jersey, from the clever "Ride Daily, Wear Daily" inspiration tags, to the reflective logos for rides that creep into the dark, double stitching in critical areas, and surged edges to prevent fraying. Fresh off the hanger, it's a nice piece of apparel. That's for certain.
On The Trail
The first time we headed out for a ride in the Bolt, it was 5AM and a tad chilly outside. Zipping up the front was a bit of a surprise - that zipper can be mighty cold when you're half awake and tip-toeing around the house. We were a bit perplexed as to why Club Ride chose to include both snaps and a zipper, but on the trail it made more sense, and we quickly realized that zipper's function is at least two-fold. One, it blocked the biting wind a bit when it was cold out, as it often is early in the morning. Two, as the sun rose and the temps began to climb, it was a convenient and quick way of letting in some air while riding. One-handed adjustments are a cinch.
The jersey itself feels incredibly light, and the stretchy fabric is quite nice. Whether you're stretching before the ride, rallying, cruising, crashing, or popping wheelies, there's no restriction to your movements.
Even without considering the Air2Flow system, ventilation wasn't a concern. Between the lightweight material and full-length side vents, we never found ourselves overheating on account of the jersey's design. The nylon material also tends to draw moisture away from your body, and combined with the loose fit it dries quickly. The blue color does darken quite a bit when you sweat, but it fades as it dries.
The rear zip-pocket on the back right is a convenient place for a phone or iPod, especially if your riding shorts lack pockets. There's a port for headphones to go through, making music accessible while keeping headphones out of the way. It's rare that we ride with a hydration pack, so the added room is definitely a nice-to-have feature. The two front pockets both snap closed and are readily opened with one hand, making it easy to access printed trail maps and the like while on the move.
Off The Trail
When the ride is over (or yet to begin), we have no qualms about rocking the Bolt. The same can't be said about some of our other riding apparel... Ever walked into the grocery store in your lycra or motocross-inspired kit? Exactly. It makes for a great everyday shirt, whether you're lucky enough to be on the bike or are working for the weekend.
Long Term Durability
All told, we've probably worn the jersey on 30-40 days and washed it just as many. Nothing is fraying, there are no holes, the color is spot on, and it still looks good as new. We can see this one lasting quite a while.
What's The Bottom Line?
Club Ride's promise is to deliver a stylish, comfortable design that maintains the technical attributes of a racing jersey. Well, they nailed it with the Bolt. Combining the best of a functional fit and features with some classic style, the Bolt jersey is something we can wear anywhere, anytime, on the bike or off it. It's always casual Friday with Club Ride, and we're pumped to have this jersey in our closet and gear bag.
To check out Club Ride's lineup, cruise over to www.clubrideapparel.com.
About The Reviewer
Brandon Turman likes to pop off the little bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when he's in tune with a bike, and to really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill. His perfect trail has a good mix of flow, tech, and balls-to-the-wall speed. He loves little transfers, rollers, and the occasional gap that gives him that momentary stomach in your throat kind of feeling. Toss in some rocky bits with the option to double over them or risk pinch flatting and you've got a winner in his book. In 13 years of riding he worked his way through the Collegiate downhill ranks to the Pro level. After finishing up his mechanical engineering degree, his riding focus turned to dirt sculpting and jumping with the occasional slopestyle contest thrown in for fun. Nowadays he's Vital MTB's resident product guy, putting in saddle time on nearly every new platform and innovation the bike industry has to offer.