Review: Belgian Boys Club Belgie Jersey
(2016) Several years ago I was excited to update my cycling wardrobe, so I grabbed my fistfuls of sprinter prime money and headed to my local bike shop. This was an interesting time in cycling fashion- if it could have been called that. Long story short: the shop did not have kits, let alone bike jerseys. I left feeling pretty bummed by the prospects.
The prospects were two options. I could join a race team and get the cut I was looking for, or I could purchase one of those ill-fitting flappy jerseys for non-racers. Team kits are great but what starts as a jersey and bib purchase turns into a wind vest, cap, socks, you’ll want the team issue shoe covers, team issue mitts, team issue neck thingy, and so on. I didn’t mind that option, but at the time I had not been contacted by anyone for racing potentials. Ill-fitting jerseys were the ones you’re probably thinking of. Those baggy fitting cheeky garments with peanut butter cup advertising or children’s puppet show characters. If I was rolling with advertisements on my wears, it was going to be local business names.
Ultimately a team offer came through shortly thereafter and my garment struggle subsided. Naturally I ordered everything once the call was made each season.
Those were the two options for any road cyclist until recently.
Read our “Reviews” page and it’s plainly obvious that we like Belgian Boys Club goods. There’s a reason for it. That initial choice, join a team and get comfortable road cycling goods or ride around with a cereal company across your back, is eliminated with Belgian Boys Club’s efforts.
Angels singing and rays of sunshine glowing from below should have accompanied the Belgie jersey that was pulled from the shipping bag. It was the jersey I had missed out on last year, but it was finally in my hands. I may not have been on the Belgian road national team, I may not have led Philippe Gilbert to his World Championship in 2012, I may not have even knocked on Tom Boonen’s door each day this year for an autograph, but today was close enough.
So let me be blunt by saying you must purchase this jersey. Maybe this could be your Tour de France wear-once-a-year jersey if you must. Blue or black, this is the most comfortable and most stylish piece of kit ever.
The fit of the update Belgie jersey has remained the same. Make use of the size guide to get the right size. Like we mentioned in our last review, this is satisfyingly race fit. The compression is certainly something to write home about.
Some new offerings come in two areas. The first edition Belgie jerseys were adorned with giant BBC letters on the right sleeve. Perhaps the across-the-channel broadcasting network took issue with such élan and asked Belgian Boys Club to cease and desist with such stylish road wears and their call sign. This edition reads Belgian Boys Club parallel to the extremely attractive thick white band on the right sleeve. I’ve always been a sucker for white cuffs on cycling tops.
The second updated area continues with the sleeves. The old Belgie featured stout silicone grippers to hold the sleeve in place. The new sleeves are doubled fabric and offer a little bit of on-the-fly adjustment. Despite this change, the arms are satisfyingly long. The days of broad shouldered riders wearing something resembling a summer ladies shirt with next-to-no sleeves are gone. The armpits no longer eat jersey fabric.
Still present is the Lion of Flanders on the back as well as the flag of Belgium at the base on the neck. Also still present is the satisfying height of the pockets, which still includes a hidden zippered pocket.
One area that is extremely comfortable is the bottom portion of the pockets. When paired with Belgian Boys Club Tommeke bibs, the two lock perfectly together. Stashing goods in the center pocket has at times led to the back of other jerseys to float off of the lower spine. This jersey can be felt strongly hugging the top of the hips. It feels pro to wear even if it is thousands of miles away from Belgium. One of the best features is that an out of the saddle sprint in a Strava segment means the nutrition stays put. The tight pockets keep everything in place.
An interesting fact is that the Belgian National Football (Soccer) Team emulated this exact jersey for the 2016 season to commemorate the sport of cycling on the pitch. I guess that’s one organization representing for another. With inspired race cut fit from Belgian Boys Club, the rider is getting the best of both options: Ride wearing the Belgian National Colors but forgo the search for a race team. When this piece arrives in the mail, we won’t blame you for finding a hill and matching Philipe Gilbert’s gut-wrenching romantic attack to win the World Championship in 2012. This jersey gives you wings.
The Belgian Boys Club Belgie jersey can be found at belgianboysclub.cc for €105.00, or by clicking here. The new release also features a long sleeve version for €120.00 and can be found here. There is also a black short sleeved version that can be found here.