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Buyer's guide: best Spring cycling jerseys

BikesEtc
18 Apr 2017

The sun's about but it's still a bit chilly out. With these jerseys you'll look cool without feeling it

As the sun starts to shine a little bit more and the days grow longer, you can be forgiven for feeling more of an urge to get out and ride.

Well, with the new season comes its own set of requirements, especially as it is a season of transition.

Those colder days, those windy days, those start-cold-finish-boiling days, those rainy days, those mild days, those misty days and of course those sunshine-and-rain spring days.

It’d be stupid to say there is a jersey that will work through all of these and still look incredibly cool, so we’ve rounded up a range of paunch protectors for all conditions.

Outrider Monochrome jersey

What they say: Outrider’s Monochrome Jersey combines fine tailoring and a superb race fit to make it one of our favourite cycling jerseys for road riding.

The trend towards slightly longer arms is echoed here, complemented by wide arm grippers that offer great comfort and seamless pairing with the matching arm warmers (available separately).

At the rear, a wide silicone grip hem ensures that no matter how intense the ride gets, your jersey will always keep its cool.

What we say: Outrider’s ‘fine tailoring’ shows straight off the bat, fitting superbly, with arm grippers to complete a sleek feel.

The substantial material gives the top a real presence on your body compared to some of the more lightweight jerseys on test.

Some of us here at BikesEtc are big fans of navy and while our definitions of monochrome differ to Outrider’s, we really liked the colour and design.

This is a veritably cool-looking top. While it feels substantial, it’s a top to wear in later spring rather than the bitter cold mornings of early spring.

The ventilation panels on the side see to that with near wraith-like translucence for easy breeze access.

Verdict: As soon as we put this on we realised this is what all jerseys should feel like. Looks good too. 9/10

£90, alwaysriding.co.uk

dhb Blok Camo jersey

What they say: The dhb Blok Jersey is not only bright and fun, it offers outstanding function.

A naturally wicking fabric helps to draw excess moisture away from the skin and its anti-bacterial finish prevents the build up of bacteria to keep you feeling fresher and more comfortable.

It also means it will stay fresh between washes.

What we say: This jersey goes against the definition of camouflage and actually stands out with its design – which is fine, because it’s a jersey we’d want to be seen in.

This fairly lightweight jersey is good for warmer days as its wicking ability stands up well to getting rid of pesky back sweat.

However, dhb’s crafty design means this comes with matching arm warmers so you can still look the part when the temperature dips.

Our only gripe is the fit – we understand Blok isn’t dhb’s pro range but there was a little too much extra fabric on the sleeves and side panels for our liking.

Not that this affected our performance. Ultimately though, a big win for us was the value for money.

Costing £60 for what is effectively a short-sleeve and long-sleeve jersey, is a bargain!

Verdict: Once again, dhb's Blok range comes up with a jersey that isn't boring but is functional. 9/10

£50, wiggle.co.uk

Rapha Brevet jersey

What they say: A comfortable jersey inspired by long-distance brevets – self-supported, round-the-clock rides.

The highly reflective stripes of the accompanying Brevet Gilet provide even greater visual impact on the road. Designed for endurance rides, the jersey features ample storage for food and tools.

What we say: Rapha’s brevet follows the old adage that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and we commend that.

The simple colouring works well with the iconic styling – this is a jersey that is simple and complete, and perfect for those mid-spring days with a slightly thicker build.

As the name suggests, it was designed for long hours in the saddle, and its relaxed cut does its bit to ensure all-day comfort while the wicking material keeps you cool even when you’re putting in a shift.

This jersey claims to have ‘ample storage’ but upon closer inspection it’s no more than some of the other jerseys in this test.

Having said that, the pockets are more secure than most, ensuring that any ram-packed pockets won’t leak energy bars after a bumpy descent.

Verdict: Rapha sticks to its guns for this highly functional and comfortable jersey. 8/10

£130, rapha.cc

Velobici Continental Thermal LS jersey

What they say: The ‘Continental’ is a genuine high performance three-season jersey.

The medium weight VB/Pro–VR1 fabric still provides our superior comfort and stretch, but with a soft thermal loop on the inside to help keep the chill at bay.

With thumb loops and a full length zip you can choose exactly how insulated you want to be. Seamless silicone gripper on the hem keeps everything where it should be, regardless of the conditions.

What we say: Hailing from Leicester, Velobici has one rule in mind: all products must be made in England.

Velobici, has an army of seamstresses here in ol’ Blighty that work their magic on crafting some fine wares and it shows in the Continental jersey.

As soon as you pick this up, you feel the durability, the design, the simplicity. The jersey’s aesthetic oozes class from the embroided VB on the chest to neat red lining of the collar and minimal amount of gold.

Velobici takes cool and classy and treads a fine line between the pair of them. The jersey itself is labelled as a ‘three season jersey’ aimed for autumn, winter and spring, making it perfect for those crisper spring morns.

With five pockets on the rear (two of which are waterproof) and thumb holes, this jersey isn’t just stylish but functional, too.

Our only con would be the price tag but supporting Made in England products is always a massive plus and you can’t deny the quality of this treasure.

Verdict: A superb jersey although the price tag shows that being handmade in Britain comes at a cost. 9/10

£185, velobici.cc

Pedal Ed Narita Carbon jersey

What they say: The Narita continues PedAL Ed’s commitment to performance- level tech married to a modern style for everyday riding.

A double layer fabric creates a casual, comfortable feel, and the cut and fit mean the Narita is an ideal partner for everything from quiet cafe runs to the hardest of training rides.

What we say: Pedal Ed originated from Japan but has since moved a lot of work to Italy and this is the result: a neat jersey handcrafted in the home of cycling, showcasing both prestige and quality.

The unique two-layer mesh-like design not only looks cool but claims to help control body odour and wick away sweat better. While no one wanted to sniff our pits after a long ride in this, it certainly did the trick in wicking away sweat without leaving any noticeable damp areas.

One feature which we really liked and want to see more of in jerseys is the zipped front pocket. While the Rapha Brevet jersey has one it’s designed more for your brevet card, hence the name.

The Narita’s front pocket is a bit more meaty, which is great for storing a little snack or even a phone or – we find we miss a few too many calls from the other half when the phone is shoved in the rear pockets. And that never ends well!

While £97 may be a bit pricey for some, this jersey exudes quality, from the stylish design to the neat stitching of the logo on the rear pockets, this is close to perfection.

Verdict: The Narita's unconventional design isn't just cosmetic, it helps make this a superbly comfortable jersey. 10/10

£97, alwaysriding.co.uk

Morvelo Birds Thermoactive LS jersey

What they say: A highly versatile jersey designed to cope with a broad range of conditions, Morvélo’s Thermoactive jersey is the perfect addition to any cyclist’s Autumn, Winter and Spring kitbag.

The form is slim but by utilising stretch fabrics Morvélo’s designers have created a close-to-body fit without being restrictive. This also allows for layering underneath and for the use of outer shell layers in wett er conditions.

What we say: From the off we were big fans of this jersey. Its close, tailored fit, and subtle understated design that sees a dark navy blue exterior dotted with dabs of bright colour (that are actually songbirds on closer inspection) give it a cool, yet understated look.

Did we have any gripes? Well, we’d have liked a waterproof pocket ideally – but the three rear pockets (plus a zipped security one) proved plenty of room to store our phone in a plastic bag.

The jersey’s itself has a smooth fleece lining inside, making it perfect for cold snaps, while the jersey performed well in slightly milder spring temperatures, too, thanks to the fabric’s efficient wicking abilities.

Verdict: A lightweight fleece-backed jersey that's ideal for colder spring mornings, with a pattern we love. 8/10

£90, morvelo.com

Gore Element Stripes jersey

What they say: Highly functional jersey with modern striped print. A comfortable fit and collar tailored to the bike position make this jersey ideal for ambitious amateur riders who want to ride in comfort and style. The 3-part back pocket has room for necessities.

What we say: Reminiscent of pro team Trek-Segafredo’s kit, Gore has come up with something that is different but not outlandish.

One cool feature is the miniature pocket hidden inside the rear pocket on the right-hand side. To overcome the problem of annoying zips that don’t always undo with ease while riding, Gore has created a mini pouch in there that has an entrance with overlapping lips, which is perfect for securely secreting keys or a credit card.

Although the price is cheaper than many of the other jerseys on the test that isn’t noticeable in the quality of either the material or the construction which are, as you would expect from a Gore product, both excellent.

Definitely one for milder spring training rides, however, as it proved a bit thin against the skin on chillier outings.

Verdict: A subtly stylish jersey, which features a novel alternative to the zipped security pocket. 7/10

£60, goreapparel.co.uk

Ashmei Classic jersey

What they say: This jersey will keep you cool, dry and performing at your peak for the duration. How so? The MERINO + CARBON fabric offers incredible thermo- regulation and moisture management.

Thanks to its natural wicking capabilities, the Merino blend dissipates any moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the fabric, keeping you bone dry. This luxurious blend of fabrics also boast 10 times faster wicking than normal Merino wool – and also dry twice as fast.

What we say: A lightweight merino long sleeve jersey has spring written all over it. While the colouring is loud, the design is subtle and the jersey’s material speaks volumes.

While we couldn’t verify the claims of the Carbon Merino wool blend wicking 10 times faster than regular Merino, it certainly felt dry quickly after a shower. Complementing the overall look, it fit us well and was nice to wear even in warmer conditions making us think this could be a perfect all-round spring jersey.

Looking at the price, you may be forgiven for gasping but we’d say it’s bang on for what you get. The elegant design, loud colours, strong functionality and lightweight nature all come together to really sell this as a complete package.

Our only criticism is that despite the two rear pockets being large, compartmentalising ride food, waterproofs and other amenities is something we don’t want to give up.

Verdict: The high-tech merino material keeps you warm when you need it, cool when you don't. A fantastic jersey. 10/10

£139, ashmei.com

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