The Popsicle by Ground Effect is fast becoming one of my favourite pieces of clothing for triathlon training this winter. It’s a multipurpose top that is good for the bike and for running. Its also survived my floor, the cat and even though it’s merino wool I haven’t taken any care before washing it. I’ve been wearing the Popsicle for just over two months and I really can’t complain about it; it’s cut very well and allows me to have curves and look feminine on the bike, without any pink at all.
I was pretty excited by the arrival of this cycling top, when it came by post it was nicely rolled up in a little package with information on the outside. I received the purple Popsicle Jersey and it’s a great colour. Hidden in the back pocket is a secret tube repair patch which I thought was ridiculously cute and if you’re into repairing your tubes it’s a nice little extra. The tube repair patch doesn’t last long in the wash and with my handling skills, I’d say best to remove it and put it straight into the saddle bag.
The Look and Feel
The top has a really nice fit. I requested a medium (size 12) and it fit me perfectly and had enough space underneath for base layers. It comes with a long back which I know a lot of women are really keen on, though this is not something that I personally require in a cycling top.
The Popsicle does have a longer front zip than most jerseys with the half length zip, I tend to get frustrated that they aren’t long enough and this one hits the spot very well. The pockets at the back have zips and reflective piping; I’m not a huge fan of the zips when riding because it’s just not as easy, but if you’re not in the habit of getting nutrition out of your jersey whilst cycling then it wouldn’t be a problem.
When to Wear the Popsicle
On the bike it’s great. I like to think of the soft-shell that covers your chest as a ‘piece of armour’, Ground Effect calls it WindFoil and it protects your chest from the wind and ultimately the windchill. If you’re in Melbourne riding at the moment, you will know how cold it’s been, so it has been worthwhile having this top as part of my wardrobe. I get pretty cold on the bike in the mornings and Beach Road loves a head wind. To counteract this, I use this jersey as the top layer to make it warmer as I’m not the sort of person who likes to be cold. The WindFoil does what it says it does and deflects chilly winds, though the Popsicle is not something you would wear without layers. For example, I use a merino base layer, a cycling jersey and arm warmers as a minimum in the mornings; all of this goes underneath the Popsicle.
I introduced this as a multipurpose top which it really is. You can easily wear this top in summer, merino wool is really good at drawing sweat away from the body and its job in summer is to keep you cooler. I’m sure you’re wondering how I tested that in the middle of winter? Luckily, I run as well as cycle and I’ve been wearing it over the top of my sports bras on my long and short runs. I’m not a good runner, but I sweat when I run which makes me a good tester when it comes to merino wool. More often than not my jersey comes home soaked in sweat; I can take it off and be completely dry underneath.
To properly review the Popsicle I read the washing/care instructions on the Ground Effect website. They’re very specific about avoiding cold water and suggest washing in warm water of 45 degrees. Honestly, if I can’t just toss it in with a wash I’m really not interested in it, so I have been just tossing this in the wash and I always wash with cold water. The jersey is still good, but to get the best wear out of your wardrobe you should probably follow the instructions.
Ultimately, it’s a good piece that does what it says it will do and belongs in a cyclists or triathletes wardrobe. At $129.00 AUD it’s worth the spend.
Ground Effects gear is available online and you can also see the tech details and FAQs for the Popsicle online.
This review originally appeared at www.bicycles.net.au.