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Ashmei Winter Jersey Review

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Ashmei Winter Jersey Review

Old 11-29-18, 09:04 PM
  #1  
TimothyH
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Ashmei Winter Jersey Review


Ashmei
is a UK company specializing in Merino wool based running and cycling clothing.

The Ashmei Winter Jersey, formerly known as the "Mid-Layer", is a blend of 38% Merino, 46% Polyester and 16% Spandex. The outside face is very smooth while the inside is somewhat less finished, more like traditional wool garment. Even so, this is clearly a high-end technical garment. It doesn't feel like your grandfather's sweater.

The relatively high Spandex content gives this jersey lots of stretch - more than one would expect of a wool garment and as much as any cycling jersey out there. Generous stretch allows a closer cut if desired and this is my preference. I'm 5'10", 168 lb with a 38 inch chest and size medium fits close. If anything can be described as tight it would have to be the cuffs but only when putting it on. Like the recently reviewed Isadore Long Sleeve Jersey 2.0 however, the sleeves are extremely long, to the point where I would hesitate sizing up for a more relaxed fit.

A size medium weighs 372 grams on my scale. Its heft is immediately apparent, as is its construction and finish which are, in a word, superb. Superb also describes the zipper. Many manufacturers come close but Ashmei nailed it. The zipper can be smoothly manipulated from below the ribs to the top of its run and back again with only one hand.

The zippered security pocket is situated vertically on the right side and accomodates an Otterbox clad iPhone 6 very nicely. There is a well executed and robust cable port on the inside of the pocket and a cable guide on the back of the collar - both quite useless for me but nicely done nevertheless. I've not seen another jersey with the outside cable guide. The three rear pockets have been packed to overflowing without a second thought

Style is subjective but I happen to love the understated simplicity. The racing stripe up the back is on point.

Performance on the bike is outstanding. The garment wicks extremely well and dries faster than ordinary Merino. The thick, tightly woven fabric also blocks more wind than one would expect of a Merino based garment. It has been ridden with a base layer in the 40's and 50's and under various shells down to the 20's. It is very warm, but also somewhat heavy. The best use case is when conditions call for a thermal softshell rather than a mid-layer. Either way it works outstanding and I've ridden it both ways.

The only place I've found Ashmei products other than the manufacturer's website is Sigma Sports.

Summary: Robust, substantial, warm and somewhat wind blocking. When conditions call for a warm thermal jersey on top of a base layer, this is my favorite. Stylish and minimally branded. Price and quality are high - both will make you want to wear it often.

Ashmei has great videos showing their garments being put on and worn on the trainer. They accurately depict how the jersey looks and stretches in the real world. Some closeups are below.




















-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 11-29-18 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 11-29-18, 09:08 PM
  #2  
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The photo below show the garment inside out.



Another inside out shot.




-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 11-29-18 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 11-29-18, 09:08 PM
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Sadly, made in Vietnam :-( I know, I know, it's where they make things. Surely, there are at least some semi-democratic countries where labor is less expensive and readily available?
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Old 11-30-18, 12:54 PM
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Timothy, thanks for that review. I, too, am a sucker for merino wool and understated aesthetics, and so Ashmei has been on my radar.

And in response to honcho, I'm not sure the US is looking very democratic to the rest of the world right now, so it doesn't bother me to buy products that are made in Vietnamn.
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Old 11-30-18, 05:47 PM
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It isn't as easy as "Made in Vietnam." The fabric is cut and the garment sewn in Vietnam. Vietnam is the "Country of Origin."

Ashmei engineers all their own textiles in England where they also do all their marketing, accounting, warehousing, etc. .

Weaving is probably subcontracted to some of the looms in China. Many of these facilities are on the cutting edge of high performance textile manufacture. There are still some in Italy as well.

Merino wool comes from all over the world, most notably New Zealand.

YKK makes the zipper and produces in 52 countries. Your bet is as good as mine where it came from. YKK's North American HQ is about ten miles from my house in Marietta, Georgia. World HQ is in Japan.

Spandex is made by companies such as DuPont and Bayer in locations all over the world.

and so forth...


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 11-30-18 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 12-01-18, 04:13 AM
  #6  
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What advantage does this offer against ....

Long sleeve baselayer 5$
l4 russle thermal base layer 12$
compression Long sleeve athletic shirt 10$
optional pear izumi jersey for back pockets 20$

All usd .
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Old 12-01-18, 10:10 AM
  #7  
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It is very tedious to argue with someone who wants to make a point but won't just come out and say it.

I don't feel like playing that game today.


-Tim-
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Old 12-01-18, 11:24 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
It is very tedious to argue with someone who wants to make a point but won't just come out and say it.

I don't feel like playing that game today.


-Tim-
I think the point is - what is your point in posting excessive verbiage and photos of the hyper expensive clothing that you purchase? Would not a sentence or two plus a URL to the product website be sufficient?
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Old 12-01-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I think the point is - what is your point in posting excessive verbiage and photos of the hyper expensive clothing that you purchase? Would not a sentence or two plus a URL to the product website be sufficient?
Regardless of Tim's motivation for posting, he does a pretty good job presenting his personal view of the products presented. Even with generous return policies, I like to hear from real world reviewers instead of buying, trying and returning what doesn't work. So what if he gets some psychic satisfaction from people reading and commenting on his reviews? Forums are a great place to share opinions and ideas even if they do devolve in petty nastiness and expose how stupid many of us are about so many things in life.
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Old 12-01-18, 10:06 PM
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It looks good for winter riding.. but with all the drab surroundings and lower light levels, I think something with a bit more disruptive camo patterning would be safer.
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Old 12-01-18, 11:04 PM
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I know I've got ape arms (my wingspan is almost 8" more than my height) but I'm starting to think the OP got him some short arms.

Though I'm also starting to think that UK clothiers like longer sleeves-- I had a $20 Tenn lined jersey, the only long-sleeve jersey I've ever owned where the torso and sleeves fit properly. Pearl Izumi has some long sleeves about 1.5" short for me. My whole wrist is out.
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Old 12-01-18, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope
Im starting to think the OP got him some short arms.
I take a slim fit dress shirt, size L, 16 neck, 34/25 sleeves. This is pretty normal, no? I really don't know if that's short. No one ever said I had short arms.

The first Isadore jersey I had was rediculously long, like the entire cuff was past my fingers.

On the Ashmei, about one inch of my fingers stick out of the cuffs. I have to push the excess fabric up.


-Tim-
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Old 12-02-18, 02:44 AM
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I have a 37" sleeve in a dress shirt. So for most things, I just avoid long sleeves. I have the arms of someone 3" taller, but the torso of someone my height. So if I buy a shirt/jacket in a Tall size, the sleeves will be right, but the hem will look like I'm wearing an old timey nightshirt.

I can fit into some XXL gloves, but XXXL is usually better. Liners + gloves? Never gonna happen.

It's too bad I'm finding out where longer sleeves can be found-- on wool jerseys priced higher than what I've spent on my entire collection of cold riding gear.
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Old 12-02-18, 03:58 AM
  #14  
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Again, keep in mind that this is an engineered textile. It isn't just wool.

It is wool, lycra and polyester blended to give the garment very specific properties.

It is also a double weave fabric. The photos show how the outside face is smooth and the inside is fleecy. It is woven to make what is essentially two different textiles out of one piece of cloth. This gives the outside and inside faces two different functions.

Textile science is fascinating to me. I read Innovations in Textiles for fun. I might go into the field if I had life to live over again.


-Tim-
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Old 12-02-18, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Again, keep in mind that this is an engineered textile. It isn't just wool.

It is wool, lycra and polyester blended to give the garment very specific properties.

It is also a double weave fabric. The photos show how the outside face is smooth and the inside is fleecy. It is woven to make what is essentially two different textiles out of one piece of cloth. This gives the outside and inside faces two different functions.

Textile science is fascinating to me. I read Innovations in Textiles for fun. I might go into the field if I had life to live over again.


-Tim-
I think this company might be on to something. We've seen fabrics like fleece, wool, e-Vent, Gore-Tex and other but none really have an answer to the cyclist problem for winter clothing. I'm glad someone is experimenting using a combination of multiple fabrics.
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Old 12-02-18, 04:19 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I think this company might be on to something. We've seen fabrics like fleece, wool, e-Vent, Gore-Tex and other but none really have an answer to the cyclist problem for winter clothing. I'm glad someone is experimenting using a combination of multiple fabrics.
In my experience all these fabrics work for winter riding, if layered properly...The problem is not the fabric, the problem is lack of understanding on how to layer...I have nothing against technical engineered fabrics but in this case I could buy 3 pairs of Under Armor garments for the price of one Ashmei and they would perform just as well.
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Old 12-02-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope
I know I've got ape arms (my wingspan is almost 8" more than my height) but I'm starting to think the OP got him some short arms.

Though I'm also starting to think that UK clothiers like longer sleeves-- I had a $20 Tenn lined jersey, the only long-sleeve jersey I've ever owned where the torso and sleeves fit properly. Pearl Izumi has some long sleeves about 1.5" short for me. My whole wrist is out.
Interesting. Iíve only an ape factor of 5 ó my wingspan is just 7í, 5Ē more than my height. I have stuff from the U.K. (duh) and I find it fits much better as well; I donít have to have a chest you can fit 4 of me in to get arms that reach past the elbow.

I too appreciate the reviews, btw.
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Old 12-02-18, 05:34 PM
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Double layer warp knit isn't a combination of multiple fabrics. It is one fabric with two or more properties.

Thermoroubaix is an example. It is one piece of fabric. A fleece inside provides wicking and insulation while a smooth outside provides durability, wind and water resistance, etc. One piece of fabric. One garment. Two functions. It reduces the need for layering as it serves two purposes.

It isn't new to Ashmei either. Double knitted fabrics have been in use for a long time and not just in sports clothing. Men's suits for example.

Ashmei has simply designed a fabric to provide specific properties and has it manufactured to their own specifications. 7Mesh, Castelli, Assos, Arc'teryx and a whole host of other manufacturers do the same thing. Engineered double knits in the sports industry isn't new.

Anyone who wants to learn about the cutting edge of engineered fabrics should look at Polartec's website.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 12-02-18 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-03-18, 06:56 AM
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Some posters are suggesting that $5 or $10 base layers from Wal-Mart will perform as well as the garment under review. I'm guessing that some of those posters have never actually tried the really good apparel.
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Old 12-03-18, 10:32 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Some posters are suggesting that $5 or $10 base layers from Wal-Mart will perform as well as the garment under review. I'm guessing that some of those posters have never actually tried the really good apparel.
I actually don't think they are wrong. A $10 base layer might just perform as well in some situations. I could certainly layer some less expensive garments and ride the same routes and average speeds.

There will always be those who disdain the latest advancements as not necessary because there is something less expensive and good enough. That's fine but a few actually have a visceral, negative reaction when they see others using the products they disdain and set out to prove that those who choose something more expensive are foolish, pretentious, etc. They can't seem to live and let live.

A guy in my neighborhood has a Audi R8. So what? My Honda CRV is good enough for me but I don't shove it in his face when he drives it past my house on a sunny afternoon.


-Tim-
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Old 12-03-18, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
I actually don't think they are wrong. A $10 base layer might just perform as well in some situations.I could certainly layer some less expensive garments and ride the same routes and average speeds.

There will always be those who disdain the latest advancements as not necessary because there is something less expensive and good enough. That's fine but a few actually have a visceral, negative reaction when they see others using the products they disdain and set out to prove that those who choose something more expensive are foolish, pretentious, etc. They can't seem to live and let live.

A guy in my neighborhood has a Audi R8. So what? My Honda CRV is good enough for me but I don't shove it in his face when he drives it past my house on a sunny afternoon.


-Tim-
Sure, in certain conditions an inexpensive garment may work as well as a more expensive one...And sometimes an inexpensive item really does outperform a more expensive one in all conditions. But I have found that, on the whole, the more expensive garments are pricier for a reason: better materials (as you have explained), better fit, better details (zippers, pockets, wind flaps, whatever), and better quality which leads to a longer lifespan. But this would all be lost on a reverse snob who refuses to try such items.

Cars are substantially different, as there are reliability and safety issues that don't factor into the choice of a cycling jersey. We like Hondas, too: they have been supremely reliable, have held their value well, and one of ours held up remarkably well in a horrendous collision. If I could find a more luxurious European SUV with the same reliability ratings, I would probably consider it for our next vehicle.

Last edited by Koyote; 12-03-18 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-03-18, 11:40 AM
  #22  
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I like the red version.
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Old 12-03-18, 01:59 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If I could find a more luxurious European SUV with the same reliability ratings, I would probably consider it for our next vehicle.
Go drive a Subaru Forester XT Touring edition.

And remember, when in Europe, European!
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Old 12-03-18, 05:14 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Go drive a Subaru Forester XT Touring edition.

And remember, when in Europe, European!
wants a euro suv and a japanese compact wagon is suggested.

...i own an outback and am not knocking subaru here.
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Old 12-04-18, 07:16 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Go drive a Subaru Forester XT Touring edition.

And remember, when in Europe, European!
I will check that out - thanks for the tip!

Though I think we will probably stick with Honda -- we've had three (so far) and all have been uber-reliable. And one probably saved our lives in a pretty nasty crash.
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