Crisp morning rides sometimes require a bit of a wardrobe juggling act. As I’ve navigated the cool mornings this spring, the Hincapie Ardennes LS jersey has become a staple in my repertoire. With the right combination of layers, it’s proven to be a trusted friend.
Hincapie Ardennes LS Jersey Features:
- Winter weight, fleece-lined BodE Thermal Heat™ stretch knit fabric provides excellent moisture wicking and unsurpassed insulation
- Soft, supple BodE Thermal Loft™ elastic knit insulates and wicks moisture away from the body
- Hincapie Gel-Grip™ back keeps the jersey in place
- Three rear pockets
- Reflective treatments for high visibility
- MSRP: $119
The shoulder season presents clothing challenges. You know the drill: look at the weather on your iPhone, get out of bed and part the drapes to see how cold it looks. 45 degrees, it says. Depending on the wind, it could be comfortable or it could be a miserable 45 degrees. Then the planning begins as you filter through the proper combination of jerseys, bibs, gloves, etc. I’m not the only one who does this, right?
To be quite honest, it took me a little while to figure out just the right conditions for the Hincapie Ardennes LS. While it’s called a jersey, I’d call it a jacket. The cut isn’t as snug as I’d expect for a jersey and it’s a little thick. So, I used it as a jacket on top of a variety of jerseys — including the new Hincapie Edge jersey.
The Ardennes is full-featured with a full zip, slightly taller collar and three functional back pockets (that I put to good use). The elastic cuffs fit over the Velcro tabs on my gloves and stay put — even on the fastest of descents. While in riding position, the Ardennes feels at home. It’s cut is well-suited to riding (as I’d expect) with a drop tail and grippy back hem.
While I wish the frontside had better wind blocking materials, it does cut down a decent amount of wind and cold — especially when worn on top of a jersey. When in the lower-40’s and into the mid-30’s, it can get downright cold at speed. So, I often brought along a vest for the descents. While climbing, the slight wind penetration was actually welcomed and kept things comfortable.
I’ve found the Ardennes to be at home from about 45 to 60 degrees. The fleece-backed fabric offers excellent wicking capability and a comfortable next-to-skin feel. My sample was a size Large and as I mentioned, it worked well as more of a jacket. I think sizing down one size could yield more of a jersey feel/fit. Just decide what you’re looking for and it can be used for either purpose.
- Comfortable fabric next-to-skin
- Great cut for riding position
- Sleeve cuffs fit perfectly atop my gloves and stayed in place
- Zipper is easy to zip up/down
- Though the fit could be more trim, it does allow for extra layers underneath
- Flatlock seams would be recommended if worn as a real jersey
- Windproof front panels would be nice
The Bottom Line
Jersey… jacket… whatever. The Ardennes LS jersey has found a home in my collection of cycling clothes as the perfect cool morning jacket. It’s very comfortable to wear, doesn’t cause overheating on the ascents while keeping enough chill at bay to maintain comfort on the descents.