First, however, I just want to say that I love the philosophy of this company and the two owners (Richard and Jonathan seem like great people)! I can only hope that others - even in other businesses - will follow suit. Here is a snip-it from their "About Us" page:
In 2009, without a lick of apparel experience between the two of them (actually Schneider means tailor in German so Jonathan thinks his family was "in the business"), they started Road Holland.
The goals were simple:
- Make the kind of cycling clothes they and their friends not only needed (i.e. serious) but that they would also want to wear and not be ashamed of to be seen in post-ride (i.e. stylish).
- Be good guys in all they do. Whether that meant making things in the United States, treating each order as if it were the most important one in the world, or sponsoring local events, "doing good" would be the pillar of the new company.
Looking around for inspiration for the name, they drew upon experiences with close friends from the Netherlands and time spent visiting them. In the Netherlands, riding is more than just about the cliche of "suffering." In the Netherlands, everyone young and old rides whether for sport or for transportation. it's a way of life. People are also exceedingly nice in the Netherlands and Jonathan's favorite color is orange - the national color - so it all just seemed to fit.
But, on with thoughts about the actual jerseys we tried out. I'll start with the men's jersey that Sam tested for this post. The Hilversum is a full zip, short sleeved jersey, currently available in three colors: road black, summer white, or nantucket red. Knowing that Sam sweats profusely while riding, I immediately tossed out the idea of a white jersey, and ended up going with the black simply because I figured it would be the easiest for him to like and enjoy. The difficult part with black is that we have some very hairy animals, so keeping the black jersey hair-free may be challenging.
|The Hilversum jersey from Road Holland|
Sam is wearing the size small (according to Road Holland charts, it is a 37"-39" chest range), but men's jerseys are available from size XS-XXL. According to Sam, this size fits well. It's not the race tight fit of some smalls, but it's not too much material either. From my estimation, he could probably wear an extra small, but obviously that would take away some of the room that he likes. He also has a good deal of muscle in his arms and shoulders, so that could create some discomfort there as well.
|Fully zipped jersey. Lovely details at the zipper ends (both here and on the back pocket zippers).|
Since I had trapped Sam just before he was heading out for a ride with a local group, I asked him to just let me know what he thought when he got home. I think the greatest thing he had to say upon his return was that it was good. Meaning, there was nothing to complain about. It wasn't riding up in weird places or being a nuisance in any way. He wasn't too hot (and it was a really hot day), and everything went well. It was "good," which I think means he will actually continue to wear it.
I would also share that just as I was getting ready to publish this post, I got an e-mail from Richard - just to check in and see how the jerseys worked for us. I have to think that a company that goes through the effort Road Holland does will be successful over the long term. Everything from shipment tracking numbers, order receipts, and contact e-mails has been pleasant and easy - and not pushy or annoying, as can sometimes be the case with businesses trying to get sales. I appreciate the efforts and I think many customers will as well.
I will be writing up some thoughts on the women's version of this jersey soon as well - hopefully, in the next few days. In the meantime, if you haven't heard of Road Holland, feel free to head over to their site to check it out. They have long sleeve versions, bibs, and a couple of other items to check out while you're there. Though the choices are limited, I think the products are quality, and in the end I'll take quality over quantity any day.
**Quick edit to say that Road Holland is currently offering 20% off to those who would like to purchase any of their gear/accessories through the end of August 2013 via this link, so if you've been wanting to try it out, this could be the time to save.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I was offered a great deal on these jersey's in exchange for a photo. However, no request was made to write about Road Holland or their products. Any opinions, thoughts, etc that are not stated to have come from Road Holland or their website specifically are my/our own.