If you’re serious about cycling, you’ll probably spend more time with your cycling jersey than you will your partner. With this in mind, choosing the right jersey is of utmost importance if you’re going to enjoy long days in the saddle. Whether it’s a full on aero race jersey or a more comfortable commuting companion you need, making sure you get the right features to suit your riding is essential.
With so many colours and styles available sometimes we have trouble choosing what we really need or how many. But honestly, is there such thing as too many? A non-cyclist may challenge you on this but as some woman say, “you can never have enough shoes”, cyclists may say the same about jerseys.
A good fit is essential, a jersey that is to large can flap on long descents and one that is to small will restrict movement and show all your imperfections. Most European brands have been known to fit smaller then American manufacturers, this does not mean you should shy away from these jerseys as they are likely to end up being your all-time favourite bit of kit, you may just have to order a size up.
Although many prefer a full zip, this should not be the deal breaker when buying a jersey. Think about the climate you ride in, whilst full zips are great for extremely hot days when you are climbing mountain passes, many only ever undo their zip slightly, and if you can find a jersey that is made from breathable, lightweight material, then the need to use a zip for airflow becomes irrelevant.
If you’re on a budget or looking for a great summer training or commuting jersey the Nalini Cenka is superb value for money. It is made from a light polyester that is ideal when you need a jersey to wick away sweat making it perfect for warm weather riding and when using your turbo trainer indoors. As they are such a low priced item you can buy more than one without there being a shock when the bill arrives.
Many jerseys now use the term aerodynamic fit in their descriptions. Aerodynamic is the way air moves around things, a better, more aero fitting jersey will reduce drag and allow you to use the power you are putting in more efficiently These jerseys may not feel as comfortable when off the bike, but once in riding position you will immediately feel the benefits as they will not restrict movement and will allow for excellent airflow; however, some aero jerseys can be especially tight fitting to ensure they work as they have been designed to, so if you’re looking for a training jersey you may want to set your sights on something with a bit of a relaxed fit.
For those who want to try out an aerodynamic jersey that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing something painted on, the Sportful GF Performance jersey uses both AeroFlow Light and DryPro material, meaning you get a light weight, great fitting jersey that is perfect for long training rides and racing. Sportful use many of the same principles of design in this jersey as they do for the Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank Pro team kit so you will still get the Pro feeling but without the Pro cost.
When the seasons change a good long sleeve jersey is an essential bit of kit. Long sleeves don’t have to be restricting as many manufacturers have come up with ingenious designs that give you freedom of movement and still keep you comfortable in cool temperatures. Finding a lightweight cold weather jersey is an important investment, you should look for one that you can wear in spring and autumn, add a decent baselayer and jacket and it can carry over into winter.
Castelli has been popular with elite riders for years. They invest a lot of time into composing innovative, quality items and cyclists soon recognise the benefits of spending a bit more to achieve long lasting, comfortable clothing. The Castelli Privilegio Jersey is possibly the ultimate long sleeve jersey. Using the new Thermoflex fabric it weighs only 260grams but will still keep you warm with the brushed fabric on the inside. It is also anatomically cut to ensure you will not feel restricted and its breathability will allow continuous air flow so you do not overheat.
Whatever the weather conditions are there will be a jersey to suit your needs, from waterproof , windproof, fleece lined, mesh, lightweight, breathable, full zip, half zip etc manufacturers are constantly coming up with more materials and cuts to give you hundreds of items to choose from. The trick is to buy a jersey suitable for the type of ride you do. Commuting jerseys don’t need to cost the earth and will likely get the most use, having a few decent summer and winter training jerseys is important and of course, a few that just look fantastic will do too.