I’ve always disliked the majority of cycle clothing options on the market. Many brands and designs seem to be aimed at pro-racer ‘wannabes’ and not the average person who just wants to cycle in comfort without looking like a moving billboard. After a lot of hunting around on the internet and online cycling forums I finally discovered Ground Effect (GE).

GE is a New Zealand company that makes a variety of feature rich and advertising logo free cycle clothing and gear; with many of their products made from locally and from locally sourced fabrics (including my favourite fabric: merino wool!); something which I found quite rare considering most cycle clothing is usually made in China or Vietnam. GE make a variety of high performance and feature rich garments to suit the requirements of various types of cycling including mountain biking, road cycling, cycle touring and commuting.

My first purchase from GE was two pairs of ‘Zip Tie‘ long sleeve summer cycling jerseys (or riding shirt as they call it). I bought these as I wanted to have a light weight, breathable and comfortable jersey to wear during the hot, dry and sunny summer months for commuting and general cycling. During peak summer the days are often around 35-40°C (95-105°F) with low humidity and very high or extreme UV ratings. It is essential to be protected from the heat and cancer-causing UV exposure which will start to burn your skin after only 10-15 minutes of exposure. I also dislike using sun cream as it is greasy and leaves residue on your clothing; this is why I chose the long sleeve version instead of the short-sleeve ‘Road Rage‘ jersey.

I got one of the jerseys in ‘Azure Blue’ and another in ‘Limelight’ simply to make jersey rotation between washes easier to manage (see below images). GE have also recently released the Zip Tie jersey in ‘Red Hot’. All of the colours are very visible to other road users during daylight hours (especially the Limelight), and for added night time visibility the jersey has a reflective logo patch on the back. The jersey also has two smaller open pockets for easy access and storage (e.g. a banana) and one larger pocket with a horizontal zip for storage of more valuable items.

Ground Effect ‘Zip Tie’ in Azure Blue colour

Ground Effect ‘Zip Tie’ in Limelight colour

Pros:

  • You get a $30 discount voucher if you create an account and sign up to their newsletter, as well as free shipping if you refer a friend to also sign up!
  • Cheap shipping to Australia, excellent website and customer service.
  • Light weight (231g) UV50 rated fabric that is cool and comfortable in warm-hot conditions and protects your skin from the sun.
  • Suitable to use even in cooler conditions (8-10°C +) as it keeps the wind chill down and your skin covered.
  • Can be used as a base layer underneath a rain jacket as it has wicking properties.
  • Collar and long sleeves keeps your neck and forearms protected.
  • Easy to wash and dries very quickly (great while on tour).
  • Plenty of pockets.
  • 3/4 length zipped front to allow extra ventilation as needed.
  • Subtle, low-profile logo with visible colours.
  • Made in New Zealand from Italian performance synthetic fabric.

Cons:

  • At full RRP it’s a bit expensive compared to some other options on the market (however with the $30 voucher and free shipping it’s very good value).
  • Doesn’t stay fresh smelling as long as merino wool does, I have to wash my Zip Ties after about 3-4 rides (two commuting days).
  • 3/4 front zip may not appeal to some.
  • Rear pocket zip is difficult to open one-handed unless you have a good fit.
  • Fit isn’t quite body hugging as I’d have liked (however I have a slim build, so this would explain why it’s a little loose in some areas).
  • The ‘Hyperactive’ fabric is prone to getting ‘pulls’ which looks unsightly but doesn’t affect performance (use a jersey made from ‘Intercool’ instead if you want something more rugged).
  • Could have more reflective piping and details on the back and arms for night cycling as it only has a reflective logo on the back that is about 1.5x5cm.

Final Thoughts:

Despite some very minor flaws this jersey is top notch kit that deserves to be in the closet of any self-respecting weekend warrior or cycle commuter who wants a versatile, subtly designed and great performing long sleeve jersey to use on warmer days.

A solid 4.5/5 rating from me.

Ground Effect’s website, for those who are interested: http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/

They also make some great merino wool jerseys and tights, wet weather gear and bike bags that are well a look.

Happy cycling!

Karl