Zimtstern Kelzie Jersey and Taila Short - Review - Pinkbike
The Kelzie comes from Zimtstern's freeride line offering a relaxed fit, 3/4 sleeves and bluesign approved with Line Tec and Blender fabrics (meaning it's manufactured in an environmentally friendly way). There's also the added bonus of the wicking material and odor-inhibiting Santized® finish which means you should dry pretty quickly and inevitable odors should be kept at bay if things get a little warm. Other jersey features include a zipped pocket with room for something like a lift pass, keys or a bank card. There's also a dropped tail to stop it from rising up when you ride. The Kelzie has minimal branding, so while the jersey comes in Moss (shown), Ink Blue or Spice Red with a star design, the branding is a rather subtle small label on the bottom corner, with the Zimtstern name printed along the elastic hem. Retailing at €74.95 the website indicates this cost includes VAT and shipping costs within Europe.
Despite belonging to the trail line, the Talia shorts are a great accompaniment to the Kelzie jersey. Not too tight or too loose and created with a stretchy Fineflex fabric they are designed for comfort on the trail. An adjustable Velcro waistband means you can find a comfortable fit and the cargo pocket means they remain functional without becoming overly cumbersome. Available in Purple Mel (shown), Greener Mel, Ink Blue Mel, Iron Mel, and Moss Mel the Talia come with a DWR finish (water and dirt repellent) whilst still remaining lightweight and durable. Other features include mesh-lined zippers for when things get more than a little toasty, two open side pockets and a contoured waist band. Retailing at €109.95 the Talia meet the bluesign® criteria and come with VAT and shipping cost included within Europe.
Performance With the risk of sounding 60 years older than I am, this kit combination is a little 'louder' than I'd usually opt for, often sticking to my tried and tested stealth preferences, maybe being a little adventurous with some grey once in a while, blue at a push, putting this on made me feel a little like a Power Ranger, like there was going to be some kind of expectation that I was going to be speeding off down the trails in my 'oh look at me' kit. However, having come to terms with the fact the above is all just me, I grew to really like the more colorful kit wearing version of myself. Following months of wearing this kit at home, abroad and for things like press camps (as my Instagram will definitely attest) it's become one of my favorites.I opted for size medium in both jersey and short and while I'll admit back in April they were a little snug, a few weeks of riding meant they didn't feel too tight when worn with padded shorts and according to the size guide on the site the medium was the correct sizing. Length wise the shorts, which often seems to be the case with me, come up a little short (I'm no giant at 5'9") but thankfully there's no dreaded gap between kneepad and hem. The stretchy material means there's room for a reasonably sized trail pad, I've mostly been riding with lightweight trail pads but it's worth noting, however, the hem itself does not stretch meaning you may struggle if you have anything too wide on the knee.
Taila Short: I would have liked for the shorts to be just a little longer but it has little detriment to performance and even when pedaling the shorts don't rise up to reveal a gap. I don't often use the open pockets but the zipped pocket has ample room for my phone, keys and a snack, falling just to the side of the leg so it doesn't become a nuisance when you're pedaling. As much as I thought I wouldn't use the vents they were a huge bonus when riding out in Sospel earlier this year when it got too hot I just popped them open and it helped to cool me down, back home in more modest, Welsh temperatures it's a feature I don't really make use of as the shorts are fairly breathable as they are. There's also a little mantra of sorts printed inside the hem of the leg that reads, 'Santa Stella, protect me from car drivers, snake bites and broken bones,' which is a little quirky but I quite like it. The shorts have held up well following a few months of fairly regular use, the fit is comfortable and they are pretty lightweight which means they are the ones I grab quite often when I'm off out riding.
Kelzie Jersey: The jersey is a little on the thick side for me, perfect for rides when things are a little cooler, but as someone who gets hot very easily, I found myself overheating on climbs at times. Luckily the Kelzie dries pretty quickly so any moisture was gone once I'd cooled down a little. The material is super soft and feels great on, the cut is really nice, it's loose but not baggy so when you're descending there are no issues with the jersey flapping around. Again in terms of length, I would like it to be a little longer, not by much but as more of a personal preference rather than anything against performance. The three-quarter sleeves are a personal favorite, I don't often ride in short sleeves and find myself pulling long sleeves up so this is the best of both worlds. I had plenty of room for slim, lightweight elbow guards when I needed them, but you may struggle with hard shell pads. The color has lasted well through washes and mud, there is no visible staining and the material has retained its softness which is a huge plus (washing on 40-degree cycle and no tumble drying) Overall I like the feel, fit and color and how nice it feels on.