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Le Col Sport Jersey II review

28 Sep 2020
Verdict:

A classy jersey that feels good on a long ride and looks even better on a coffee stop

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Supreme comfort • Inoffensive design • Lightweight • Breathable • Strong eco credentials
Against 
Some might baulk at the price

Every so often, someone nails the brief of designing a cycling jersey that not only looks unassuming but also supplies a brilliantly relaxed fit without the appearance and feel of a polyester windsock. The Le Col Sport Jersey II is one such item of riding attire.

It is cut, as the maker says, for ‘long days in the saddle where a coffee stop and social interaction mean looking good is every bit as important as riding fast’. And this is where the jersey has triumphed.

 

Loose but not baggy

The fit of the Le Col Sport Jersey II is right in the sweetspot of ‘relaxed but not too relaxed’. Pulling it over your shoulders for the first time, and hooking up the zip reveals perhaps half an inch more room at the torso than you’d get from a race-cut jersey, while the sleeve hems don’t so much grip your biceps as settle comfortably over them.

Doubled-over polyester fabric at the cuffs lends a silky feeling to the fit, with ample room for armwarmers, and the sleeves are cut a little longer than most, ending just a few inches from the elbow.

In practice, they’re utterly unrestrictive either on the bike or when reaching across the table to retrieve sugar sachets to drop into a sizeable flat white…

Buy now from Le Col for £95

Crucially, once crouched over the handlebars, there’s none of the irritating rucking up of the zip which I’ve found on many looser-fit jerseys over the years.

 

Performance without pose

One of the most satisfying elements to the Le Col Sport Jersey II is the way in which it delivers a higher level of technical performance than its less-focussed silhouette would suggest.

Eking out what felt like the final hot days of summer, some long ascents in 20-degree heat punctuated my ride, but while some jerseys would have had their zips undone to the navel, the Le Col garment was kept zipped to the neck, cooling air seeping through the chest panel, accumulated heat venting from the rear.

This is a laudable achievement from a cycling jersey that eschews the multiple fabric approach, instead employing its Bluesign-approved polyester across the whole garment.

Essentially, this eco seal of approval is only awarded to fabrics which, in the course of their production, are found to have had the lowest possible impact on both people (that is, factory workers) and the environment, and adopted the responsible use of resources.

So, the Le Col Sport Jersey II is classy, comfy and eco-friendly.

 

Stealthy practicality

Getting the simple things wrong is another common own-goal in the world of cycling jersey manufacture. But the Le Col Sport Jersey II has this in hand.

The triple-pocket layout to the rear is not positioned so far up your back that it feels like you’re in an arm-lock when trying to retrieve a gilet, while the zipped pocket behind the pouch to the right is the perfect size to firmly hold a smartphone without any distracting pendulous movement when you’re out of the saddle. A full circumference silicon gripper at the hem keeps the top firmly anchored to your bibshorts, too. 

Buy now from Le Col for £95

There are reflective panels at the rear, a subtle logo tag alongside one of these panels, and the only discernible branding is on the sleeves.

Some might say £95 is a lot of cash for a jersey that’s not shouty, doesn’t claim aero benefits, nor feature any step-changes in design. I’d disagree: it’s an example of a thoughtfully constructed everyday cycling jersey, and also one of the stealthiest, classiest items of riding apparel you’re likely to find.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£95

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