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Sportful Fiandre Light No Rain SS jersey review

23 Apr 2018

The 2017 Fiandre has got a makeover making it much more versatile

Cyclist Rating: 
Really light and fits just like a jersey, with a racey cut keeping things slick and aero.
High neck needs to be unzipped to aid breathability if you’re riding hard

A jersey should be a simple, yet functional garment and Sportful has delivered on both counts with its latest Fiandre Light No Rain Short Sleeve, part of the new spring summer 2018 range.

I was a fan of its predecessor, in 2017, which was then basically an outer garment – hence Sportful refers to it as a “top” not a jersey.

It offered good protection from a cold wind and a brief rain shower, worn over a standard jersey, with some arm warmers.

Think of it as similar to how you would wear a gilet, only the Finadre Light No Rain SS has the benefit of short sleeves for some additional protection.

Buy the Sportful Fiandre Light No Rain SS top from Wiggle here

So what’s changed for 2018?

Basically the biggest thing the previous version lacked was any rear pockets.

Having no storage of its own basically reduced its versatility and prevented it being a standalone piece. It needed to be worn over another jersey if you wanted to take food or spares on a ride with you.

Thankfully this new Spring/Summer 2018 version now has three rear pockets which has dramatically increases its usefulness.

Now the Fiandre Light No Rain SS works in its own right, great for spring conditions, with just a base layer to accompany it.

The cut is typically on the racier side, as Sportful takes a lot of cues for this type of garment from the pros its sponsors.

There is plenty of stretch in the fabrics, though, which allows the slick looking, close fit (which keeps things aero and non-flappy) without being at all restrictive.

Less stretch on the rear panel though supports the pockets such that I could stock them to bursting and the jersey didn’t sag.

The jersey has a very lightweight feel considering how well it protects (claimed 161g, although my size medium actually weighed slightly less at 157g)

I’ve found the Fiandre Light No Rain SS really useful in the last month or so (March/early April) when the onset of Spring seems to be somewhat delayed and low temperatures and regular showers stubbornly prevail. Combining with Sportful’s No Rain arm warmers has been a regular go-to for me.

The windproof fabric used in the Fiandre Light short Sleeve jersey covers the areas you would expect – the chest, the front of the arms and shoulders and across the very top of the back, which also offers a reasonable degree of water resistance too, such that a brief shower will bead off.

A prolonged dousing will eventually see rain penetrate its defences, but even then the windproofing continues to stave off the chills, plus the jersey never gets overly sodden, thanks to the Polyester construction.

I did find the underarms can get a little clammy on days when the sun does make an appearance, forcing the temperatures into double figures, which I put down to the lack of air flowing through the garment to evaporate and dry out sweat.

On one particular ride using the Fiandre Light No Rain SS jersey I actually had sweat dripping out of the sleeves, as it ran off the fabric rather than soaking in. It felt slightly odd at first, but thinking about it after, this is actually preferable to a saturated jersey.

The neck is cut quite high, which means almost certainly needing to unzip it at times so as not to overheat.

The flipside is that zipping back up for a chilly descent, it really seals out the breeze from going down the front of the jersey.

The sleeve length is spot on – just a little longer than an average short sleeve – so it sits just on top of the elbow. It ensures (thankfully) there’s no chance of a skin gap forming with arm warmers, even if they slip down.

In a nutshell, wear the Fiandre Light No Rain SS jersey exactly like a standard jersey on days when you need an extra level of protection from cold winds and the chance of showers.

Buy the Sportful Fiandre Light No Rain SS top from Wiggle here

The only point to note is it’s not overly well insulated – so it is best suited to riders who ride hard, and generate their own heat, and less so those who want to just go for a plod in the lanes, although it would cater for the latter too, perhaps, with the right undergarments.

Colour is largely subjective, but this new orange for SS 2018 really does pop and it’s a strong and bold look that I, for one, really like.

This new version is now a much more versatile piece of kit that’s perfectly suited to the British climate.


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