BELCH owner Tom Darrow has come up with a line of cycling gear aimed at average people who like to ride bikes. Of course, I like that concept!
As their website puts it: “Dreamt up in 2013, BELCH was founded from fun. We wanted to make quality gear with modest aspirations of earning enough dough to sponsor events, provide some beer, and most importantly – wanted to have fun along the ride.”
What I like about this branding is that it doesn’t target only people with perfect bodies, and it does not promise to make you look better or ride faster.
Related: 7 of the best cycling jerseys
I tried a BELCH cycling jersey, and found that it came through on all the promises BELCH made:
No. 1: My wife’s reaction when I put it on the first time was a surprised, “Hey, you don’t actually look too bad in that!” Thanks Maggie – high praise indeed. But hey, I have to remember the context. Most cycling shirts fit so tightly that when I try them on, Maggie grimaces and says something along the lines of, “As long as you’re not hoping to wear that in public with ME.”
The difference with this BELCH shirt seems to be that it is quite loose fitting, with a kind of squarish design, so I don’t look like a sausage stuffed into a too-small sleeve. BELCH’s slogan is: “Be comfortable. BELCH!” Yep – there is space to comfortably belch while wearing this shirt.
No. 2: Yes, as BELCH promises, there really is space in the rear pockets for three beers. Awesome! To be honest, I VERY seldom go cycling with three beers. Almost never, actually. On the other hand, I LOVE pockets. I’ve always thought that you can never have too many bikes or too many pockets.
The strong, generous pockets on my BELCH cycling jersey have ample, safe storage for my iPhone 6 (don’t know why they had to make it so BIG), massive bunch of keys (I have no idea why I have so many), bike tools, credit cards, energy bars – basically, everything you need for any kind of bike ride. If you happened to be riding a bike without a bottle cage, you could even fit a water bottle in the pockets. I wouldn’t do that if I could avoid it, because although the fabric is strong, I think it would start to stretch if I did that very often.
No. 3: The full-length zipper and vented side panels on my BELCH cycling jersey ensures maximum airflow. As I tend to run very hot, this is a major benefit.
No. 4: This cycling jersey feels good against my skin. Yes, I know this doesn’t sound very manly, but I happen to like soft fabrics against my skin. (Which is why my favorite clothes are good quality Batman t-shirts.) This cycling jersey meets my feels-good-while-wearing requirements handsomely.
I know this cycling jersey will not put me at the front of the peloton. But then I also know that a truckload of performance-enhancing drugs – and perhaps even a tiny, illegal, hidden motor – would not do that. There is no cycling jersey on earth that is going to make me super fast on a bike. But that’s okay – I don’t need to be fast, I just need to keep cycling. As BELCH says, “Don’t care so hard, get out and ride.”
This BELCH cycling jersey is a keeper, which is more than I can say for 90% of the cycling jerseys I try. In fact, it looks like becoming my go-to cycling jersey for the summer.
I will end this review by quoting BELCH, as they put it so very well:
“If we said we produced the best jersey on the market capable of making you handsome and going fast, we’d sound like everyone else. What BELCH puts out is a darn good jersey, guaranteed to carry 3 beers.”
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