Finding a proper cycling jersey in Indonesian market was tough. There were only two basic options available on the market: either you get yourself baggy MTB jersey full of texts, logos, and colors that practically turn you into a rolling dorky banner on two wheels, or you spend a fortune for sleek, stylish jersey from established brands. I was contemplating going on the third route—the full custom-printed jersey—when I stumbled upon Racmmer, a cycling apparel brand which offered the style and elegance of the established brand’s, for fraction of the price.
For jersey, Racmmer offered three product lines, starting with the standard (IDR 239K / USD 16; also available in long sleeve version for IDR 279K / USD 18.6), to the elite (IDR 299K / USD 20). With such a small price difference, the better fabric of the elite looks like a no-brainer option. Color and graphic pattern, however, was my primary consideration; the one I like—black with small dash of white stripes—is available only in pro version (IDR 259K / USD 17.3). It was, therefore, the version I ended up buying.
With the product shipped directly from China, I had to wait for almost a month until it arrived in my home. I was disappointed to find out that the basic color was purple-tinted gray instead of black; the customer service admitted they forgot to notify me that the black is no longer available, even offered full refund for the mistake. The friendly customer care is enough to make up the mistake.
My first impression (beside the color mistake) was how light it was; it feels almost like it was made out of tissue paper. From the weight perspective alone, the airy feel should have been a godsend to weight weenies on a budget. Unfortunately, it feels rather fragile too, primarily due to its flimsy in-house, YKK premium zipper knock-off. A sturdier, better quality zipper, I reckon, would’ve made a lot of difference in feel.
On the other hand, despite the race-fit claim, I found the cut is rather relaxed; it felt a bit loose, even though their sizing guideline showed I was between sizes and I selected the smaller option. Granted, I’m a skinny Asian with stickman’s arms, but I’ve had better fit with a larger-sized jersey from Japan. Considering its generous length, I assume one would have a better race-fit by going one—or even two!—size down from the recommendation.
Racmmer Pro version jersey shares the same primary fabric with its lower-tier, standard version; it is the basic fabric commonly found in cheap jerseys on the market. It makes sense, though; to come up with such a low price, the manufacturer has to cut costs.
The difference, however, lies in oversized mesh fabric on sleeve and body side. It promises better airflow and ventilation—and it works. Though longer than commonly found on other jerseys, the sleeve was airy, to the point it felt almost like I was wearing a sleeveless at times. Combined with the same fabric on the body side, the jersey felt refreshing, even on those hard ride on hot, humid days. I suspect it was the oversized mesh that made the jersey—despite the cheap primary fabric—felt comfortable on long rides.
Conversely, the jersey could be challenging to ride with in cold air. To be fair, however, it was never intended for such a ride; adding arm warmers and/or windbreaker should be enough to deal with one.
Just like standard road bike jersey, Racmmer jersey comes with three pockets at the back. There’s no fourth, zipped pocket for valuables there, which makes sense; for the price point, it helps cut cost down and keeps the weight feathery.
My concern, however, was with the fact that they come shallow—especially the left and right one—that a 6 inches smartphone, common size by today’s standard, wouldn’t fully fit, which is a shame, since the right side one was always my preference for smartphone. The middle one is large and deep enough, though I usually reserve it for windbreaker, to keep the weight nice and central.
Out on the ride, the shallow pockets forced me to be mindful about what I carry. Stashing small meal like onigiri from convenience store is no longer a put-and-forget affair; the lack of space forced me to arrange all the things I put on the pockets neatly to ensure they all fit. It also feels insecure to keep valuables there, which is annoying. Over time, though, I grew accustomed to it, and was glad with the fact that it forced me to ride even lighter than I previously did.
It is clear that Racmmer Pro Jersey—despite the “pro” tag—is a budget product. As such, it should be judged according to its price point.
Interestingly, Racmmer managed to trick out the budget constraint well. The use of oversized mesh material on sleeve and body side does negate the shortcoming of its cheap primary fabric, resulting in airy, refreshing feel even on long rides on hot, humid days. It also helps making the jersey exceptionally lightweight, too.
That being said, there were few niggles that kept it from achieving a perfect score. The in-house, premium YKK zipper knock-off is a let down that makes the jersey feels rather fragile. The shallow pockets are mixed bag—it forced us to ride light, but felt rather insecure to keep valuables in, which can be a turndown for some people. Addressing both issues only require minimal cost, and will only raise the product’s price a little, while improving the product’s value and quality immensely. The sizing is rather relaxed, too, though it can be mitigated by choosing one or two sizes smaller.
Despite the shortcomings, the combination of sleek style and affordable price made Racmmer Pro Jersey a valuable option, especially in Indonesian market. Stylish, elegant jersey from other brands might have better details and finish, but cost a heap lot more, while other jerseys from the same price bracket practically looks like dork in comparison. In another words, if you prefer stylish, race-look jersey with limited budget, Racmmer is virtually your only option—at least for now.
Pros: Sleek and elegant design with affordable price; feathery weight; oversized mesh on sleeve and body side provides better airflow, ventilation, and comfort on long rides; frendly customer care as added bonus.
Cons: Lack of space from shallow pockets; flimsy YKK knock-off zipper gives fragile feel; rather relaxed sizing despite race-fit claim.
Overall rating: 3.5/5