- Sizes: WS, WM, WL (see chart)
Bicycles.net.au - Jul 12
The Popsicle by Ground Effect is fast becoming one of my favourite pieces of clothing for triathlon training this winter. It's a multipurpose top that is good for the bike and for running. Its also survived my floor, the cat and even though it's merino wool I haven't taken any care before washing it. I've been wearing the Popsicle for just over two months and I really can't complain about it; it's cut very well and allows me to have curves and look feminine on the bike, without any pink at all.
I was pretty excited by the arrival of this cycling top, when it came by post it was nicely rolled up in a little package with information on the outside. I received the purple Popsicle Jersey and it's a great colour. Hidden in the back pocket is a secret tube repair patch which I thought was ridiculously cute and if you're into repairing your tubes it's a nice little extra. The tube repair patch doesn't last long in the wash and with my handling skills, I'd say best to remove it and put it straight into the saddle bag.
The Look and Feel
The top has a really nice fit. I requested a medium (size 12) and it fit me perfectly and had enough space underneath for base layers. It comes with a long back which I know a lot of women are really keen on, though this is not something that I personally require in a cycling top.
The Popsicle does have a longer front zip than most jerseys with the half length zip, I tend to get frustrated that they aren't long enough and this one hits the spot very well. The pockets at the back have zips and reflective piping; I'm not a huge fan of the zips when riding because it's just not as easy, but if you're not in the habit of getting nutrition out of your jersey whilst cycling then it wouldn't be a problem.
When to Wear the Popsicle
On the bike it's great. I like to think of the soft-shell that covers your chest as a 'piece of armor', Ground Effect calls it WindFoil and it protects your chest from the wind and ultimately the windchill. If you're in Melbourne riding at the moment, you will know how cold it's been, so it has been worthwhile having this top as part of my wardrobe. I get pretty cold on the bike in the mornings and Beach Road loves a head wind. To counteract this, I use this jersey as the top layer to make it warmer as I'm not the sort of person who likes to be cold. The WindFoil does what it says it does and deflects chilly winds, though the Popsicle is not something you would wear without layers. For example, I use a merino base layer, a cycling jersey and arm warmers as a minimum in the mornings; all of this goes underneath the Popsicle.
I introduced this as a multipurpose top which it really is. You can easily wear this top in summer, merino wool is really good at drawing sweat away from the body and its job in summer is to keep you cooler. I'm sure you're wondering how I tested that in the middle of winter? Luckily, I run as well as cycle and I've been wearing it over the top of my sports bras on my long and short runs. I'm not a good runner, but I sweat when I run which makes me a good tester when it comes to merino wool. More often than not my jersey comes home soaked in sweat; I can take it off and be completely dry underneath.
To properly review the Popsicle I read the washing/care instructions on the Ground Effect website. They're very specific about avoiding cold water and suggest washing in warm water of 45 degrees. Honestly, if I can't just toss it in with a wash I'm really not interested in it, so I have been just tossing this in the wash and I always wash with cold water. The jersey is still good, but to get the best wear out of your wardrobe you should probably follow the instructions.
Ultimately, it's a good piece that does what it says it will do and belongs in a cyclists or triathletes wardrobe. At $129.00 AUD it's worth the spend.
Road cc - May 10
A long-sleeved merino based top with windproof properties, the Popsicle is designed as a Spring and Autumn jersey, keeping out the worst of the wind, while still having the breathability and temperature management properties of merino wool. It's essentially two tops in one, with ultra breathable merino based sleeves, sides and full back, but a windproof fleecy panel across the front, where the wind does its worst. There's a deep chest zip to assist in ventilation if the going gets hot, and thumb loops at the cuffs to keep sleeves in place if you need them. The cut and fit are on the generous side, but not badly so. It just means that even tall athletically built women should still find the fit suits them as much as 'standard' women. Body and sleeve length are good, with no problems with gaps developing during riding. The neck is cosy when zipped up, without being constricting. Two large zipped pockets at the rear, with reflective trim, will take a good selection of bits and pieces, even a compact windproof shell jacket if needed, and there's a reflective logo to add to the visibility. You even get a 'secret' tube repair patch sewn in that can easily be removed and squirreled away. In use, it's warmish, with good wind resistance on the front, and is very breathable, preventing you from getting too sweaty. It's great for sunny but chilly spring days and windy autumn ones, but is a little on the warm side when a waterproof layer is suddenly required.
Verdict: Nicely designed but looking a little on the expensive side for a top that requires spring or autumn weather to stay reasonably stable. 3.5/5 stars
by Leonie Jennings.
Cycling Plus (UK) - Dec 09
The Windfoil Fleece front of the Popsicle jersey definitely works - we know because the bits of our tummy either side were distinctly chilled on our morning commute. The sleeves aren't windproof either, which you think you'd like them to be... initially... though once we'd warmed up we were glad they let in a bit of the coolness. The half length zip is also very welcome and means that you can get a good balance of windproofing and venting for days that start cold and then warm up. The jersey is 62 per cent merino (Heatwave), 38 per cent polyester, and is comfortable next to the skin. Initially, the non-flatstitched seams on the rear irritated, but once riding we ceased to notice them. Two generous zipped rear pockets provide space for keys and cards, and thumb loops keep the sleeves in place.
Overall: Warm but not too warm, ideal for the inbetween days. 8/10
CTC, Cycle Magazine - Apr 09
New Zealand has a similar climate to ours, albeit six months apart, and Kiwi company Ground Effect have a great selection of winter clothing that's well suited to UK riding. I have been riding with their Popsicle top as a base layer on colder days and solo on warmer ones. This top has a merino wool inner layer to suck away sweat from your skin and the outer is a hard wearing polyester. At the front, a Windfoil panel reduces the chill of the wind. In addition, the front zipper opens down to the waist to allow loads of ventilation, should you need it. When zipped up, the neck is high and keeps out winter draughts. The Popsicle comes with good attention to detail: elastic thumb loops, twin zipped rear pockets with reflective piping, a sew-in-tube repair patch, and a longer back to keep your lower back warm. It's good value too.
Australian Cyclist - Jul 06
In the cold days of July when the hottest thing in cycling sits in your lounge room and keeps you up until the early hours and the end of the stage, you want to keep warm on your bike. While the Tour de France riders sweat through a French summer, our Australian winters require a range of clothing to match the highs and lows of the thermometer. Unless you're a fair weather cyclist you'll need to prepare for the cold and wet. Layers make this much easier. You can ride off on a cool morning and peel away the clothing like the skins of an onion.
The Popsicle and Baked Alaska from Ground Effect are hers and his versions of the same top. Both are useful base layers that will keep you warm and dry. These tops have a Merino inner layer to suck sweat away from your skin and the outer is a hard-wearing polyester. At the front, a WindFoil panel reduces the chill of the wind.
The Popsicle is the women's version of the top and I've been riding with it as a base layer on cold days and solo on warmer ones. I've used other Merino-based tops before and find the fabric warm and comfortable to wear. The WindFoil panel does its job well and keeps the wind chill off on those days when the wind seems to be coming straight from the Antarctic. Teamed with a fleece top like the Ground Effect Toasty Pie, the Popsicle is a great base layer on colder days. As the weather or the rider warms up the top makes a useful lightweight spring or autumn jersey.
The Popsicle and Baked Alaska come with the usual Ground Effect attention to detail: elastic thumb loops, twin zipped rear pockets with reflective piping, a sew-in tube repair patch, and a longer back to keep your lower back warm.
A bi-component thermal fabric combining 51% merino wool and 49% polyester. Superfine 18.5 micron New Zealand merino wicks sweat away from your skin while the polyester provides a durable, non-pill outer. Lightweight at just 160gm/m2 and machine washable. Developed by Ground Effect and knitted for us in New Zealand.
- Composition: 51% merino; 49% polyester
Man vs Wild
Merino is unrivalled for comfort as a body layer. It absorbs more moisture than synthetic fibres, mopping up excess sweat rather than letting it settle and cool on your skin. However high-aerobic activities like cycling will often overload ordinary merino. Heatwave's polyester component repels moisture to avoid total saturation of the fabric - so it dries faster to keep you toasty.
Heatwave™ Merino tops are intended to hug your body, ensuring the fabric sits against your skin to wick sweat away - keeping you dry and not chilling out.
Hot 'n' Cold
As a single garment Heatwave™ Merino regulates your temperature through a wide range of conditions. Delivering comfort in all but the hottest climes. Yet it is versatile enough to layer under a WindFoil™, Vortex™ or HydroFoil™ shell in winter.
WindFoil™ combines the insulative benefits of a polyester micro-fleece liner with a smooth, highly water resistant, softshell exterior. A totally windproof, yet highly breathable membrane is sandwiched between the inner and outer fabrics providing effective protection in cold, dry conditions.
- Composition: 100% polyester with PU membrane.
- Windproofness: 100%.
- Durable water-repellent finish on face fabric.
- Breathability: 4000gm per sq.m per 24hr.
Check out the chart to suss out where you fit. This is a guide only - if you fall in-between sizes, the right size for you will depend on your body shape and how loose or tight you like to wear your clothes. It's no hassle to swap it, if your first choice is not the best fit.
88 - 92 cm
93 - 97 cm
98 - 102 cm
63 - 69 cm
70 - 76 cm
77 - 83 cm
89 - 95 cm
96 - 102 cm
103 - 109 cm
Unisex vs Women's Sizes
If you're struggling to find that certain something in the Outskirts™ women's range, then check out Ground Effect's standard range of unisex gear. As unisex items tend to be larger than our women's designs selected products are also available in XS (approximately women's small) to provide a more complete range.
Some Ground Effect designs have an additional 'fit' description to help guide your sizing choice.
Closer fitting tops and jackets with less flap. Typically favoured by disciples of the tarmac, intent on travelling hard and fast. Size up if you need more room.
Also describes the Snug-as-a-Bug fit of Heatwave™ Merino bodywear. These tops are intended to hug your body, ensuring the fabric sits against your skin to wick sweat away — keeping you dry and not chilling out.
Middle-of-the-road comfort for all-purpose riding. Not too tight or too loose — just right for most cyclists in most conditions.
Big and breezy to match your attitude. Lets the breeze blow up your kilt and helps ease the transition from singletrack to café. The default choice when matching with baggy shorts.
A hot 'n' cold top that propels you at the speed limit across the gap between summer and winter. Its WindFoil™ front takes the edge off biting winds while the Heatwave™ Merino sucks sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and comfy. Lickety split.
> Heatwave™ hi-performance thermal bodywear combines a merino inner layer with a fast-drying polyester outer.
> WindFoil™ softshell front deflects chilly winds.
> Long front zip for temperature control.
> Women's fit follows your curves 'n' swerves.
> Flat seams for enhanced comfort.
> 'Snug-as-a-bug' fit keeps the fabric against your skin to wick sweat away.
> Integrated thumb loops keep your wrists under wraps.
> Twin rear pockets with zips and Hazard! reflective piping.
> Secret tube repair patch.
> WhaleTail™ longer back for greater cycling warmth.
> Weight: 230 gm.
> Made by us in New Zealand.
What's the difference between the Popsicle and the Ice Queen?
> Both have WindFoil softshell fronts to block chilling winds and keep your torso warm. The Ice Queen is a much warmer top with the entire front and yoke constructed from WindFoil, plus the front of its sleeves. Only the front panel on the Popsicle is WindFoil. The balance of the Ice Queen is made from micro-fleece, while the Popsicle uses the thinner Heatwave Merino.
> The Ice Queen is ideal for winter riding while the Popsicle is more suited for spring and autumn.
How is the Popsicle different from the unisex Baked Alaska?
> Both share similar design features and use a combination of our WindFoil softshell and Heatwave Merino fabric.
> The Popcicle is a more fitted garment - tighter at the waist and flared at the hips.
> The women's sizing fits down to a smaller size than the unisex range.
Why use two different types of fabric on this top?
> For short trips in stable weather conditions, a Ground Effect composite top lets you travel light and fast with just a single thermal layer. These designs combine a WindFoil™ front with a breathable Heatwave™ Merino back. A long front zip for ventilation allows you to manage your body temperature through a wide range of conditions. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too.
Why is Heatwave Merino so comfortable next-to-skin?
> Heatwave combines the comfort, warmth and low-odour properties of merino wool with the durability of polyester. Merino wool absorbs more moisture than synthetic fibres like polyester or polypropylene. This makes it very effective in dealing with excess sweat - it is absorbed into the fabric rather than settling (and cooling) on your skin. The polyester component repels moisture which avoids total saturation of the fabric - helping it to dry faster. The strength of the polyester also maintains the shape of the garment and minimises wear 'n' tear and pilling.
> The Baked Alaska and Popsicle are intended to be used as a stand alone cycle top in cool, as opposed to cold, conditions.
> The Ristretto, Model T, Robin Hood, Submerino and Hot Toddy are all base layers - best worn directly against your skin.
> The Median Strip, Berglar and Flying Nun are riding jerseys, with additional features including three rear pockets and long front zips. For use in both hot and cold climes and versatile enough to wear as an insulation layer in winter.
> Try to avoid cold-water detergents, those with bleach, fabric softener or 'oxygen whitener'. Bleach rots natural fibres like wool. Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run. Fabric softener can do both.
> Warm machine wash, 40°C.
> Where possible look for a product with a neutral pH level (pH 7) to avoid damaging the wool. As a rule of thumb, product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
> Wash colours separately.
> Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so drying on the line or hanging over the bedpost does the trick. Or use a dryer on a warm (not hot) cycle.