Panache Cyclewear are a fresh face in the market who are offering features, design and construction to rival some bigger names.
The Eleven Jersey is purpose-built for scorching summer heat, with a mesh body and even lighter mesh for the side panels and armpits.
The construction allows a considerable amount of cooling air to flow right through and the mesh lends a decidedly light feel – just what you want when the sweat starts to flow. There's a full-length zipper on hand as well.
On the flipside, this is definitely a hot-weather-only garment when worn alone. The Panache Eleven kit (there's a matching bib short) is so meshy and airy that additional layers are an absolute requirement for temperatures significantly below ‘Africa hot’.
The jersey features a gripper-infused hem to keep the waist in place, a nicely low-cut collar, and a convenient cable pass-through and internal loops for routing a radio or iPod cable. To preserve breathability and minimise fabric overlap, Panache build the top two-thirds of the pockets with open mesh.
None of it is especially groundbreaking but it’s all very well executed – something not everyone can claim.
Fit is appropriately snug-but-not-too-snug feel on this tester’s 1.73m, 71kg (5ft 8in, 157lb) build, with virtually no extra material flapping about in the breeze.
At the same time, it isn’t at all restrictive, even around the shoulders while in the drops which is where some others fall short. Overall, we’d say the jersey is somewhat of a Euro-American hybrid, though uber-skinny climber types will probably still prefer something a tad tighter.
Potential buyers should be aware that the jersey cut is off by a full size, so we ended up with a small instead of the usual medium. The proportions were still correct, however, so aside from having an ‘S’ instead of an ‘M’ on the tag, there were no issues.
About the only downside we’ve discovered is the somewhat derivative styling. Though no one brand can lay claim to black-and-white, the Eleven jersey reminds us of a certain well-established British brand.
All in all we’re quite impressed with Panache’s freshman effort here. The cut and fit are comparable to far more experienced brands, the Italian construction is top-notch and we found no shortcomings in materials. This is a very good way to set yourself apart from the mainstream without sacrificing performance to do so.