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Santini Redux Istinto aero jersey review

13 Sep 2021

Truly aero jersey for the obsessive windcheater

Cyclist Rating: 
Amazing fit • Clever pocket design • Quick-drying fabric • Abundant aero tech • Utterly secure in use
Frightening price tag • Pockets are less than practical • Only for the committed

To my mind, aero jerseys have a lot to offer the recreational rider. For starters, if you look fast you often feel fast, and go fast. Also, we love to feel like we’re wearing the same kit as the WorldTour stars who rocket through our town in races like September’s Tour of Britain.

Sitting on the front of a group ride in aero kit, putting in a serious shift whilst punching through the warm summer air is one of the finest feelings we can experience as cyclists.

The boundaries between skinsuits and everyday riding kit were first blurred many years ago, and since then we’ve been chasing marginal gains on the nation’s back roads. And if you’re looking to do just that, you’ll not find many more suitable items of kit than the Santini Redux Istinto aero jersey.


Close for comfort

I can say, hand on heart, that there is barely an inch of material on the Santini Redux Istinto aero jersey that doesn’t hug or grip your body. The torso of the jersey clings all the way from chest to ribs to paunch (just me?), while the stretchy, dimpled fabric of the arms is like a second skin on your biceps, the ‘thermo-welded’ cuffs of which are compressive in the extreme (though not at the expense of comfort).

The woven material lets cooling air through, and vents hot air more than adequtely. Even the rear is designed with aero gains in mind, with three pockets engineered into the back of the jersey, accessed only by slits in the material. There are no bulging pouches here and the elasticated rear hem – covered with a strong silicone gripper – is very tight.

On warmer rides this summer, I’ve found myself on the drops more than usual when I’ve been wearing this jersey, and that’s no coincidence.


Practically there

Striking that balance between racewear and recreational kit is a hard task, and the Santini Redux Istinto aero jersey falls just short in this regard. It feels compressive and comfortable once you’re hunched over the bars, but the minute you need to stash or retrieve anything from your pockets, the practical shortfalls appear.

Buy the Santini Redux Istinto jersey now

My wife often tells me I have ‘women’s hands’ but even I’ve struggled to locate the entrances to the three pockets of the jersey without grasping around with my hand behind my back, feeling for an opening in the fabric. Seems there really is no reinventing the wheel; there’s a reason triple pouch pockets are ubiquitous: they work, and they work well. The one upside to the tight-fitting nature of this jersey’s pockets is that there’s no chance of anything you put in them falling out while you’re riding.


A fine balance

There’s a very narrow slice of Venn diagram occupied by potential buyers of the Santini Redux Istinto aero jersey. If you’re that guy who turns up for the group ride ‘full aero’, you’ll struggle to retrieve your gels from the pockets of this jersey, and won’t want to ruin the effect by stuffing a gilet in any of them. And if you’re a racer, the chances are you’re doing it in team kit, which rather limits this jersey’s use in competition, too.

Occasional club time-triallists who enjoy rocking up for a Wednesday night ten might benefit from its ability to at least stash your car key and phone in case you get a flat midway round the course.

Buy the Santini Redux Istinto jersey now

All of this aside, it is a supremely cracking fit; I just have a few too many misgivings about its practicality for the kind of riding most of us do. And, regardless of the jersey currently being reduced from its £185 at (to £129.50), it’s still – for me – a lot of money for a jersey that’ll need to be reserved for special occasions and very specific rides. Or maybe there is a case for applying the ‘n+1’ rule to jerseys, too…


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