We've been testing Sommerville Australia's new S-Dot PRO kit that is designed for comfort and performance at a reasonable price point.
We've put this kit a range of conditions and a mammoth 260km ride to see how if it lives up to its promises.
Words - Brendan Edwards Images - Jarrod McShane
Sommerville Sports specialise in creating high quality custom kits. You can also head direct to their site and buy their own Sommerville branded kit S-DOT Kit.
The S-DOT kit has been put together by the guys at Sommerville Australia as a kit that is ‘an ensemble of the finest materials and cuts to let you enjoy the ride’.
Coming from Sommerville’s ‘PRO’ range the kit is available in a mens and women’s cut, using a combination of fabrics the promise high performance, fit and style.
We see a lot of kit at La Velocita. Our first impression of the Sommerville S-DOT is that it was good. It’s really neatly put together and has a quality feel far beyond its price tag. The carbon/gel Pro chamois looks and feels like it will do the job and its 75mm wide leg grippers are a big tick before we even get the kit on.
The Jersey is also a quality product. There’s a dimpled PRO fabric used in the front, back and sleeves that’s designed to wick moisture and keep you comfortable. The side panels are constructed using an ultralight mesh designed to keep you cool and move with your body. To finish there’s a longer the usual sleeve length and three back pockets plus a zipped valuables pocket and reflective tabs.
The big thing that we noticed about the Sommerville S-Dot kit was the fact that we didn’t notice it. That’s just what you want when on the bike. If you’re feeling your kit, it’s usually because an aspect of the kit is not performing. None of that with the S-DOT.
On the bike is where you notice that Sommerville’s marketing material is not just hype. It’s obvious that thought has gone into the design and production process.
We tested this kit in a range of environments and found that it performed excellently. What was most impressive was how well the kit held up on endurance rides. We put it through the wringer and took it on a 260km ride. The S-Dot performed and dealt with a range of conditions throughout a long day in the saddle.
As always, style is a personal thing. Saying that, we liked the understated grey tones with yellow highlights. The performance aspects of the S-DOT jersey came out when we put the pressure on. This jersey breathes well and the ultralight mesh side panels kept us comfortable.
The pro fit was excellent, if you like a bit more room you might want to size up in the jersey. There’s no flapping on descents and the stretch in the fabric really helped us get down into good aerodynamic position with no pulling around the back and shoulders… It might have even helped descend just that little faster and add a little extra fun into to the ride.
The zipper is a little more chunky than we’ve seen on some more expensive jerseys, that have finer offering, resulting in a more hidden look. Saying that, the zip still runs well and feels like it will last the test of time.
The rear pockets comfortably held all the necessities for a long ride. We found the seams were well designed to be able to stretch well enough to easily move things around whilst riding. There’s also an added zipped pocket for storing valuables.
Pro Bib Shorts
What really stood out was the great chamois. Sommerville has created their own custom specification and have done well. The bibs were very, very comfortable to wear.
They are lightweight and a true ‘pro’ fit, but have great stretch and don’t cut or rub. Like the Pro Jersey, we found that the material wicked moisture efficiently, keeping you that bit more comfortable and perform to a higher level. The wide leg grippers are a big plus, keeping the shorts in place without any irritation.
Sommerville Sports offers ten different sizing options in a mens and women’s cut. There’s also a mens and women’s specific chamois.
Sizes - 2xs, xs, s, m, l, xl, 2xl, 3x, 4x and 5xl
Our 182cm / 65kg tester wore size small jersey and bib shorts.
- S-Dot Pro Jersey - RRP$140
- S-Dot Pro Jersey - RRP$140
- Wind Vest – RRP$110 (not on test)
WHERE TO BUY
Head to www.sommervillesports.com.au to check out their range.
If you’re looking for quality and performance, then the Sommerville S-DOT kit is well worth a look. Coming in at $280 for the two pieces is great value. Sommerville has put a lot of pride into the design and manufacture of this kit to produce a solid product.
SPECIFICATIONS (from Sommerville Australia)
- Dimpled PRO fabric (front/back/sleeves); a high-performance lightweight knit polyester fabric providing excellent moisture management in any climate.
- Longer sleeve length than previous versions.
- Ultralight mesh side panels.
- Center pre-dyed section
- PRO AERO dimpled lycra (Pre-dyed BLACK only)
- Side sublimation panels:
- PRO AERO dimpled lycra
- Lighter GSM - meaning lightweight, great stretch, & unmatched comfort
- CARBON & GEL PRO Chamois in gender-specific designs
- Men PRO Cut
- Women specific CUT
- 75mm leg bands
- ·Size ranging from 2XS to 5XL