By Brandon Bilyeu
Skyline Jersey: $230
MK3 Bibshort $200
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail
Skyline Jersey: Black, Blue, Red
MK3 Bibshort: Black
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 30+ hours
Sizing: All kit available in XS – XXL
Reviewer Measurements and Fit Comments: 5’10” (178cm), 150 lbs (68 kgs), 33″ (84cm) waist, 38” (96.5cm) hips, 33″ (84cm) inseam, 37″ (94cm) chest. I tested size small for all pieces and the fit seemed true to size.
Jersey with Five Pockets and Third Gen Bibs
7mesh has now been in business for roughly five years and in the beginning I reviewed their first offerings, the S2S jersey and MK1 bibshorts (review here). That jersey had some issues with lack of stretch but the bibshorts were very good. Now 7mesh has introduced a new jersey pocket design called the Anything Panel that promises lots of storage space while keeping the back of the jersey flat on the back. As a notorious over-packer, I was keen to test this out and see if 7mesh have fixed the issues I had with their first jersey. And the MK1 bibs were good, so is the third generation MK3 even better?
Skyline Jersey – Improved Fit and Anything Panel
- Five pockets, including two that have zippers
- “Skin Fit” is aero and comfortable
- Excellent moisture wicking
- Elbow length sleeves
- Sonic seams for a sleek look
- UV protection – UPF 30
- Men’s and Women’s versions available
- Small openings on three standard pockets
- Colors available, but no true hi-viz colors
One of 7mesh’s differentiating features is eschewing the water absorption property of Lycra and instead using careful patterning to make a jersey out of hydrophilic materials. Where the S2S jersey suffered from a polarizing fit due to a lack of stretch the Skyline incorporates just enough elastane (22%) to make for a very good and forgiving fit. The full zip Skyline is made from a very thin waffle textured fabric to be lightweight and slippery in the wind. The thin material also makes this jersey great for layering without being super bulky. The seams are sonic welded to reduce bulk further and raw cut elbow length sleeves give it a modern look.
Thanks to the added stretch the on-bike fit is great with the jersey moving from upright to aero in the drops with no problems. Minimal grippers on the sleeves and waist help keep things in place. The same solid fabric is used throughout with no mesh side panels. This means the cooling breeze does not penetrate the jersey much, but the full zip front allows for lots of ventilation.
Where the fabric really shines is wicking sweat and staying dry. This is by far the best wicking jersey I have ever used. It pulls moisture away from the skin and dries quickly on the outer surface, as evidenced by lots of salt and sunscreen caked on the outside of the jersey. Maybe all the caked white stuff doesn’t look great, but it’s way lighter and more comfortable than a soggy jersey.
Out back sits the Anything Panel which is essentially a panel made of 5 pockets sewn to the back of the jersey along the top and both sides. The bottom edge is free to lift away from your back as you stuff the pockets full of gear. This means the jersey lays nice and flat against your back while the pockets still hold all the gear securely with no bouncing. It’s almost like wearing a fanny pack over the jersey.
And it works wonderfully. As a former Boy Scout, I took the ‘be prepared’ motto to heart and then took it to the next level. I routinely take six hours worth of food on planned two-hour rides. I always pack extra clothes in case there is a random snow storm in the height of summer. And tools, lots of tools. The result is bloated pockets that pull jerseys up off my back and move around since the jersey waist grippers are no longer in contact. The Anything Panel solves this problem and feels stable even when stuffed to the limit.
The five pockets also help with organization so you don’t have to dig as much to find your gear, assuming you can remember what pocket it’s in. There are the three traditional outer rear pockets and then two zippered inner pockets that are accessed from the sides. One of the zippered pockets extends behind one outer pocket, while the second zippered pocket is twice as big, extending behind two outer pockets. If you don’t fancy a skin tight aero jersey, the Anything Panel is also available on 7mesh’s everyday Horizon and Merino Ashlu jerseys.
Bottom line – aero cut jersey that fits well and feels great on the bike. Unrivalled wicking and drying. Lots of storage options with 5 pockets and a full load doesn’t pull the jersey waistband off your back.
MK3 Bibshort– Small Improvements, Big Comfort
- Hammock design keeps chamois connected to body
- Excellent moisture wicking
- Wide and soft bibstraps
- Patterning and compression feel great on the bike
- Minimalist but very effective silicone leg grippers
- Men’s and Women’s versions available
- Version with cargo pockets also available
- Stiff waist bend can be uncomfortable if you have a belly
The MK3 is intended for long distance riding and all-day comfort. Compared to the original MK1 bibshort, the MK3 is more evolution than revolution. The core of the short design remains the same in that the chamois is allowed to float relative to the short via a ‘hammock’. A soft and stretchy fabric connects the chamois to the short and permits the chamois to move with the rider’s body and not get pulled around by the short. The hammock also allows the seam at the edge of the chamois to be hidden, making for a very smooth edge transition to avoid any irritation.
The chamois is made custom for 7mesh by Elastic Interface and uses recycled material. Where the MK1 had 4 levels of padding, including a very dense insert under the sit bones, the MK3 uses 3 levels with a more uniform density throughout. This helps with a consistent feeling across the chamois and is more forgiving if the chamois is not perfectly centered.
Pad thickness and density is moderate so that on the bike it compresses down quite thin, providing support and comfort as well as a solid connection to the bike for good feedback. The top sheet is soft and perforated to breathe. The end result on the bike was all day comfort, just sit and forget.
Fans of big, cushy bibstraps will not be disappointed. At 45mm (1.75 inches) wide and super soft, the solid elastic bibstraps provide plenty of support for the chamois with a very gentle feel on the shoulders. The strap connections to the short are reinforced with a stiff-but-velvety feeling material that should survive the apocalypse. The waist hem between the front straps is lacking in stretch which can be a little uncomfortable for those that don’t have a perfectly flat belly.
The main body of the short is constructed with patterning and darts to fit perfectly in the riding position. On the bike the bibs feel great, hugging every curve and supplying a good dose of compression. Where the MK1 had sewn on leg hems that caused a bit of ‘sausage leg,’ the MK3 has a raw cut edge with silicone grippers that hold gently and stay in place. Like the Skyline jersey, the material has top notch wicking and stays dry even on the hottest days.
Bottom line – chamois hammock design keeps things in place for excellent comfort. Patterned fit and compression feels great and wicking keeps things dry. Chamois supportive enough for long days in the saddle.
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