By Lars Hundley
Good combination of technical fabrics provide a good fit and effectively wick away sweat.
Well-thought-out reflective elements on the front, rear, sides and sleeves of the jersey.
Silicone grippers on the bottom of the jersey hold it in place.
A fourth small zippered pocket to hold keys securely.
Review jersey came in black, defeating the purpose of high visibility.
Source: Online, bike shops
Sizes: S to XXL
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR advertiser: No
Tested: 10+ hours
When Craft contacted me about sending a review sample of their new Craft Verve Glow jersey, I was excited. I already owned a previous version of this jersey that I purchased specifically because of the reflective elements, since I often ride early in the morning when it is still dark. The earlier version is a good jersey that has held up for more than two years and is still going strong, so I was curious to see what they had done to improve it.
Although I only discovered Craft a few years back when I bought my first reflective jersey from them, the company has been around since 1977. They make apparel for cycling, running and nordic skiing.
The sad news was that instead of sending me one of the blue or high-visibility yellow models, they shipped me one in black. I certainly understand that black must be a popular jersey color in general, since just about every brand offers black jerseys. But black is completely unsuitable for me, personally.
During the day in Texas, a black jersey is unbearably hot to wear. When wearing it early in the morning, it’s fine in the pitch dark, because of the reflective elements. But when I ride home after daylight, cars have switched off their headlights and it’s just me riding in a hard-to-see black jersey. The reflectivity doesn’t do anything if direct light isn’t shining on it. (The older Craft jersey that I purchased myself is solid white with reflective elements.)
But aside from complaining about the black color, what about the jersey itself?
Craft has done a good job updating the design of this jersey. They’ve changed the fabric combinations, improved the reflectivity and kept the small zippered fourth pocket in the middle of the back of the jersey, where you can stash keys or something else that you want to keep secure. The fabrics are rated with UPF 50 sun protection. They’ve even built in a headphone port. I did not try that, because I believe it is dangerous to listen to headphones while riding. I like the new fabric combinations better than the old version and feel that they improved a jersey that I already liked a lot.
The price of $89 is quite fair for this level of jersey. The fabrics and construction are both as good as what I’ve gotten with jerseys in the $120 range that don’t have any reflectivity.
If you’re concerned about visibility on a bike like I am, then you should consider the Craft Verve Glow. It’s a good enough jersey to wear at that price range just judging it by fabrics and fit. But the reflectivity gives it an important edge over a standard jersey, and is an added safety feature for riding at dusk, dawn or in the dark.
And if you really want to light up, they also make a matching set of bib shorts with reflectivity for your legs. I have never tested any Craft shorts or bibs, but I like the idea.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve owned a dozen bibs, a wonderful cold-weather jacket, and other products from Craft, and have been delighted with every single one of them. In my experience, no other kit vendor comes close to Craft quality. My only complaint is that I wish more shops carried them.
All requests for reviews & photos of black jerserys for road use should be denied!!
Road Bike Rider says
It was really my fault for not pointing my personal hatred of black in advance and asking for a different color. I’m sure they would have been happy to send me a different color if I had requested it.
I feel that you can’t blame a manufacturer for making a color that people want to buy. As much as we both evidently hate black, there are still a large number of other people who like to buy and wear it and spend money on it. Just this morning on a pre-dawn ride I saw a guy with a different brand of black jersey with a reflective stripe in the center of it.
Kerry Irons says
Let’s all remember: the real answer to visibility is lighting. Since installing front and rear strobes I get more room when being passed, people wait before pulling out, fewer left-turn cutoffs, etc. No clothing, no matter how bright, works as well and in all light conditions.
Kerry, your comment is spot on! I too have experienced that motorist are more aware of me because I use a front strobe light. I also use a strobe on the rear, but it is the front strobe that REALLY gets their attention.