Based in the South West UK, Context Ridewear have come out of the blocks with a range of kit that focuses on solid features without the hefty price tag. The Core Jersey Combo typifies what the brand are doing, with a compression jersey and mesh vest for a paltry £24.99. Not many brands can come close in terms of price, or offer jersey combos like this. You’ll usually get long or short sleeve versions of the same jersey.
The vest lacks any real frills, not that the compression top doesn’t, but the vest is very much as simply as they come. The lack of sleeves also means there’s not much beyond the body fit to consider here, although as with more recent Context kit, the sizing has been revised so it’s best to do your research before buying. The size small fit me well, with the vest coming up a little longer in the body than the compression jersey but not by too much.
With most of the winter to test these, they were more often than not run as a combo. The compression jersey being slightly thicker than other brands’ offerings and doing a better job of keeping the heat in at least. Neither the vest nor the jersey have any real drop tail to them so it was up to whatever outer layer I had on to deal with keeping the trail crap out when sat down.
It never really got hot enough in the UK to warrant just a vest, and if it was, I’d likely have a long sleeve on to not get cooked, so I’ll honestly say I haven’t run the vest on its own. That’s not to say some folk wouldn’t want a perfectly good, low cost vest for summer laps.
Out on the trail, you soon forget you’re riding either, which is always a good sign. Despite not being stuffed into the ground, they’ve held up well against general wear and tear, as well as being stuffed into washing machines covered in cack.
What do we think?
Whilst there’s certainly fancier, better performing kit out there, you simply can’t grumble at a jersey combo that costs less than a set of brake pads.
Cheap and cheerful
Could do better:
Drop tail would be a nice addition
You can check out the Context Ridewear Core Jersey Combo over on their website here.