Reviewed by Laurel-Lea Shannon
It was a sunny day last Wednesday—big news in these parts. We’ve had cool weather and lots of rain the last four weeks. During my lunch break, I took advantage of the good weather and went for a bike ride. It felt almost like summer so I wore the Specialized RBX sleeveless jersey. I meant to apply sunscreen before I left, but since we’ve not seen much of the sun lately I’m out of practice and forgot. I wasn’t out for very long but that evening I noticed that I had a mild sunburn on my shoulders—a timely reminder that it doesn’t take long to burn while riding a bike.
Cyclists spend long hours in the sun, which not only ages our skin but can also make us more vulnerable to skin cancer. Some cycling gear manufacturers are researching better ways to add UV protection to clothing to help protect cyclists from harmful rays. Specialized has stepped up with DeflectUV, a fabric-based UV protection they’ve added to their entire apparel line. DeflectUV comes with a minimum UPF of 30 up to a maximum of 50 UPF.
The RBX Sleeveless Jersey has a UPF of 50. Top marks to Specialized, for the smart-looking design that includes mesh fabric under the arms and below the back collar, providing extra ventilation where it’s needed. The semi-fit jersey is just loose enough to be comfortable. An elasticized gripper on the back hem keeps the jersey in place while you ride.
With this jersey Specialized has found a pleasing balance between form and function. The white/light teal colour is not only eye-catching but helps reflect the light/heat and is easily seen from a distance. The sleeveless jersey has a half-inch stand-up collar and comes with an 8-inch front zipper. The fabric on the front and side panels is imprinted with an attractive abstract design, adding a feminine flair.
Two large back pockets provide plenty of room for snacks and other cargo. One of the pockets has another pocket within it (for a total of three) that is sweat-proof.: an ideal place to carry a cell phone or digital device that you don’t want exposed to your sweaty back. A button hole in that pocket allows for a headset wire-feed-through. But really, listening to music when you’re on a road bike in traffic is dangerous, and a phone should be carried only for emergencies. If you need to be plugged into your phone while riding your bike you probably need to de-stress your life. But if you happen to need it the wire-feed-through is there.
The RBX sleeveless jersey makes an excellent addition to any summer cycling kit. Just remember to put sunscreen on your arms before you leave home.
Colours: white/light teal, black/pink
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