You may not have realised at the time, but there’s a high possibility you’ve seen Scimitar Sports’ clothing when you’ve been out cycling or running. For a start Scimitar have made a name for themselves as a popular UK based company who create run and cycle kit for a number for charities including; Help for Heroes…
…Diabetes UK, Macmillan, Prostate Cancer UK and CLIC Sargent (I’ll be modelling a Scimitar cycling jersey for CLIC Sargent during the 2016 Prudential RideLondon later this year). You’ve also possibly smiled to yourself thinking ‘I want one of those!’ if you’ve ever spotted their most subtly famous clothing range at an event, as Scimitar are the proud manufacturers of the quirky ‘Retro Range’ which includes run and cycle kit emblazoned with the brand logos for Jelly Belly, Love Hearts, Um Bongo and Swizzels Drumsticks and Refreshers, and a number of cartoon characters – if you want to stand out in the crowd wearing a running shirt that makes you look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, these are your guys!
Finally, Scimitar Sports work with a number of major sports teams including Watford FC, Norwich FC, Bath Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Leeds Rhinos and Worcester Warriors and they produce sports kit for not only your typical sports (i.e. basketball, golf, hockey and cricket) but also a number of fresh and upcoming sports including lacrosse, handball, futsal and the mighty Ultimate Frisbee!
Here at Trek and Run we pride ourselves on working with manufacturers who go that extra mile to maintain ethical working practices so I was very happy to see Scimitar sports have a dedicated section on their site detailing their environmental and ethical policies (http://scimitarsports.com/ethical-products/).
These include efforts to recycle and re-use materials whenever possible and to maintain ethical factory working procedures such as providing safe working conditions, meals for factory workers, fair working hours and optional overtime with absolutely no discrimination of the workforce. In other words, you can rest assured your clothing is coming from a reputable factory where the employees enjoy fair and comfortable working conditions rather than the ‘cost-effective’ sweatshops favoured by some manufacturers. Rather than just drooling over Scimitar’s funky designs, we decided to find out how the kit actually performs as athletic clothing by testing out one of their entry level cycling jerseys…
They Say… Scimitar technical sportswear combines comfort, peerless design and, where necessary is manufactured for high impact and durability. Our performance sportswear is crafted using Qwick-Dri sports wicking fabrics: The Qwick-Dri range of technical sports fabrics is designed for performance. Our moisture wicking fibres accelerate the movement of moisture away from your skin, rapidly maintaining body temperature and ensuring comfort at all times. The shirt is completed with 1cm silicone on the back hem, zip covers at the top and bottom of the shirt, printed neck labels, elastic cuffs and a reinforced curved back pocket.
We Say… The first thing I noticed about this kit is that the material really is top quality and a lot of thought has gone into the design of the jersey. While the front and back panels are solid pieces of polyester, mesh side panels provide breathability and a low collar with built in zip cover – something missed by a surprising number of manufacturers – preventing neck irritation.
Three large pockets at the rear of the jersey provide somewhere for your essentials (gels, snack bars, cycle repair tools etc…) and although slightly shallower than jerseys I’ve tested previously, they’re fitted with an elasticated hem and deep enough to ensure your stuff can’t escape, and an additional small zipped pocket is provided for keys and loose change.
A strong centimetre thick stretch of silicone on the rear hem of the shirt aims to prevent the shirt rising, and although during spin sessions I found the shirt rose a few times due to the constant up and down motion, it didn’t rise enough to cause discomfort and I found I didn’t encounter the same issue while using a turbo trainer – even during moments when I had the resistance cranked up enough to get me out of my seat.
Although it’s still a bit too chilly to go out cycling in just a jersey (my run this morning was around 5 degrees centigrade so it still won’t be warm enough for that anytime soon!), I tested the shirt a few times as a layer under cycling jackets and even though we were only testing an entry level piece of kit, the premium material meant the shirt felt great against my skin.
It’s also worth pointing out just how clear and vibrant the shirt design is, even after a few washes. Scimitar describe on their website how they use Sublimation printing, ‘a digital printing technology using full colour bespoke artwork transferred on to fabric through heat and pressure’ which ‘allows unlimited colour and designs which don’t fade, peel or crack’ and while it’ll take quite a few cycles through my washing machine to really test if this is indeed the case, after about 8 washes the kit still looks great so early indications show that this kit is built to last.
To find out more about Scimitar Sport’s range of sports kit, visit: www.scimitarshop.co.uk