I took up Chinese blossom painting during the quarantine, inspired by the spring blossoms and some free time. Originally the intent wasn't to make a new jersey. I had a few scattered on the floor one night before I tried to paint the branches to connect them. and decided it wasn't a good Chinese blossom painting but may make a nice summer jersey.
The introduction of polyester jerseys in the early ‘80s kicked off a cycling jersey revolution. By replacing the much heavier wool jersey with a lighter synthetic fabric that was also printable the cycling jersey became more colorful and much more comfortable in one stroke. Just a couple of years later it was Greg LeMond that had the idea of making the zippers full zip to allow maximum air cooling on very hot days.
Thirty years later jerseys are still made from synthetic materials. The latest hi-tech mesh fabrics are extremely light and sweat evaporates from them almost instantly, there is little need to unzip them. So we just ditched the zipper altogether. The zipperless jersey still has side panels and three back pockets and it still protects you from UV light with a back panel that is a bit more opaque to ensure no sun damage to your skin.
A classic wool jersey is about 290 grams, an early ‘90s synthetic jersey is 170 grams. Our new zipperless mesh jersey weighs about 75 grams almost 100 grams less than a conventional polyester jersey. That’s the difference in weight between a 105 and a dura ace Shimano cassette (which costs over 200 dollars more).
The other big advantage of the zipperless jersey is that all the bunching fabric and stomach bulges are eliminated. The result is a very clean, streamlined fit - even in a cycling position. So it's less rumpled and more aero.