Two-plus decades ago, during an era when Sean Kelly was still an active pro and what was arguably the world’s greatest team hailed from the Netherlands, VeloNews ran a shot of King Kelly and his teammates at a winter training camp holding Nordic skis and dressed in their thermal best. I wanted those jackets and tights the way teenage boys used to want a car.
I never did get that jacket.
The fact is that a thermal jacket isn’t all that versatile a piece. Far more useful is the long sleeve jersey cut from Roubaix material. I say this because the bulk of our readers live in a place where winter is cold, but not St. Paul-style deep freeze. I respect that if you live north Milwaukee, you have a winter for which no standard answers will suffice. And in a week or two, a device such as this thermal long sleeve jersey will be more suitable for a base layer than an outer layer.
Velo Jerseys continues to add to its collection of old pro team jerseys and this long sleeve PDM jersey made by Squadra offs a couple of avians with a single rock in that it’s a design that never lost its appeal and the thermal jersey provides great comfort across a broad range of cool temperatures. And unlike many long sleeve designs from that era, this goes pleasantly anachronistic courtesy of a full-length zipper. That surprise break in the clouds needn’t roast you like a sidewalk egg.
Lately, I’ve been wearing this jersey with just a light, short-sleeve base layer down into the low 50s. One particularly cool morning I substituted a long sleeve base layer and was still plenty comfortable. It’s when I have to add a third layer that I start getting cranky.
I did own a couple of Ultima-made PDM team pieces back in the day and I can say that the Squadra jerseys fit better and use higher quality zippers.
Given what some companies are charging for long-sleeve jerseys, the $110 this goes for is a bargain.
Final thought: style, unlike cool, can be purchased.