Madison Zenith thermal jersey
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Madison produces some great winter kits and, on paper at least, the Zenith Thermal Jersey should be just the ticket to keeping mountain bikers warm on those chilly fall / spring rides.
Best of all, Madison says that worn as a mid layer, the Zenith is also great for chilly winter rides. Not bad for Â£ 50.
With years of experience behind it, has this British brand created the perfect jersey to accompany us during the winter season?
Madison Zenith thermal jersey details
The Zenith Thermal jersey is made from a brushed back fabric designed to wick sweat away from the body.
Madison didn’t include any mesh panels to try and increase the Zenith’s ability to dissipate heat when the rider is working hard.
While all that fleece-like fabric can feel stuffy, the Zenith Thermal jersey has been generously sized so the fit is a bit looser than many of its rivals. The back hem drops slightly to help keep your lower back covered when you’re seated and pedaling, and the sleeves are extra long, too.
There aren’t a lot of extra features, as you would expect at this price, but it’s nice to see the neck tag printed rather than sewn on.
Madison offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a limited lifetime warranty on the Zenith Thermal, which is very helpful.
Performance of the Madison Zenith thermal jersey
How we tested
In an effort to clarify all the relevant details, I tested the Zenith Thermal jersey back to back with five other winter jerseys.
I wore the same sleeveless underwear throughout the tests (or no underwear at all on the softer days) and never wore a bag.
To keep things as consistent as possible, I wore each jersey on the same test loops in a variety of different weather conditions. These ranged from changeable fall days that were damp one minute then sunny and warm the next, to colder days with freezing winds, and changed the order in which I wore them each day.
Also in test
Thanks to the soft-touch, almost fleece brushed fabric that makes up the entire Zenith Thermal jersey, it is immediately incredibly comfortable.
As far as the blanket goes, I never felt like my arms or lower back were exposed when I was sitting or getting out of the saddle.
Work hard on the climbs and things heat up quickly, although thanks to the relatively loose fit it never gets too hot or sweaty, which is good, especially on the milder days.
Despite the warmth, pedal in a cool headwind and the Zenith Thermal can take off. This is due to the wide collar, which is not as fitted as we would like.
This means that it allows air to enter the body of the jersey. It’s not that big of a deal if you’re already hot enough, but once soaked in sweat I found myself feeling colder than expected.
On calmer days with no significant wind, this is less of a problem, however.
Overall, the Zenith Thermal is a comfortable and warm swimsuit at a very reasonable price, and it performs quite well on milder, colder days. In the face of a cold wind, however, the loose collar lets in a chill, which is not ideal.
Madison Zenith Thermal bikini bottom
I like the Madison Zenith Thermal jersey most of the time. That’s how comfortable and warm it is on the colder days. It doesn’t breathe very well, but its loose fit means it’s never really too sweaty on the hottest days.
I would like it to have a neck closer to the body, because when you are riding in a cold headwind you quickly get a puff of cold air entering the body of the jersey. It’s still ok for the price.