This is a mid weight, long-sleeve thermal jersey is water resistant and breathable and has a lightly brushed thermal fabric to keep you warm and dry throughout autumn and winter. It’s also seriously bright, so you’ll be noticed on the road during the dark months ahead.
If Volvo were a cycle clothing company, they’d be POC. The brand shares the same obsession with safety, perhaps it’s a Swedish thing and unsurprisingly the apparel specialists have won numerous design awards for their focus on safety.
AVIP, which stands for Attention, Visibility, Interaction, Protection, is their initiative to promote a safer ride on the roads. For their clothing, this has normally meant the inclusion of high visibility colours and POC’s trademark orange is incredibly bright!
POC obviously believe that this jersey is so bright that it doesn’t need much in the way of reflective detailing. Other than the logo on the rear pocket, there are isn’t any. But even in the dark, this top glows when caught in the headlights. Should you want stealth, a black version is also available.
Printed ceramic panelling has been placed on the arm and hip areas to reduce friction in crashes. The ceramic apparently allows an individual to slide more freely and help prevent common injuries, such as road rash. POC also uses ‘Vectran’, a high-strength polymer which they claim can reduce abrasion to material and improve strength.
If it’s all the same to you, I’m not going to throw myself off the bike just to test these claims out, thank you very much. And if you’re wondering, the ceramic isn’t really noticeable albeit some funny little raised dimples on the sleeves and hip.
And the other features
Safety features aside, this is a pretty normal winter training jersey. The fit is racer tight and I sensibly went up a size from my normal medium (5′ 10″ 38″ chest, 32″ waist) and this still a close fit but with room to layer up. An elasticated hem with silicone grippers does a very good job of stopping the jersey riding up.
The jersey is finished with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating to shrug off light rain showers. The internal lining is brushed thermal fabric and feels very snug to the touch. Slipping this on feels akin to warming your hands up on a hot mug of cocoa. A good high neck and a full length zipper top off the feature list with the usual three pockets to the rear and a small, zipped valuables pocket.
And in the real world?
The thermal qualities of this jersey have impressed me in that it seems to regulate my body temperature more effectively than similar thermal tops. Reason behind this I think is that the POC does without any wind stopper layer, which I find block out the necessary stream of cool air needed to stop heat build up. As a result, I never get that sweaty, clammy feeling. Suffice to say, it doesn’t completely block out the wind, but it’s thick enough that you’re not going to get a chill.
The sweet spot for wearing the POC Thermal Jersey sans layers is 7 – 13°c and anything less than than that, you’ll want a base layer. I teamed the jersey up with a merino vest and a lightweight gilet for a bitterly cold 3°c morning ride and was in my happy zone as far as rider comfort goes. My hands were a different story.
As far as rain protection goes, it’s not a rain jacket nor was it ever designed as one. The DWR finish has kept me dry during light showers before I’ve managed to pull on a rain jacket. And after splashing through numerous puddles in the forest one night, I was completely oblivious to the fact my back was dripping wet and covered in mud.
The POC is now my favourite jersey for autumnal rides and as a result, it’s spent more time in the washing machine than out of it. Luckily, it washes great, dries quickly and hasn’t lost any of that incredibly bright orange. A word on that colour, it really is bright. I’ve dubbed it the ‘Visibility Cape’ and it’s the first thing I go to grab for night rides now.
Thanking my lucky stars, I haven’t had any crashes. I have had a few close encounters with thorny foliage and where most normal clothing would snag and fray when caught, that Vectran coating has won the battle. So not only does it theoretically save you from road rash, it’ll also stay smart after crashing through the undergrowth. Clever science that works!
I’ve put this jersey through a lot of use and it has become my go-to jersey for cold days and when the weather looks unpredictable. The POC Thermal Ceramic Jersey makes it easy to dress for such rides as it provides protection from the cold, wind and light showers. Yet breathable enough to manage higher temperatures if the sun turns out. The fit, comfort and attention to detail is great and marks out a quality product.
It’s a premium item and at £195, it’s a lot of money to go spending on a long-sleeved jersey. Money you could spend on lots of baselayers, leg warmers and waterproofs, admittedly. For a true three-season jersey that can actually put up a fight against thorny hedgerows, consider the POC. It’s built to last and it’s designed to perform. Look at it as an investment to keep you riding this winter, rather than sitting indoors!
POC Sports UK Distributor is 2Pure. Visit their website at: www.2pure.co.uk
Last modified: 8th November 2018