It’s been a long hard slog of a winter in the northern hemisphere, but you know that spring is definitely around the corner when all the cycle clothing brands unveil their respective collections for Spring/Summer. Over the last few weeks, both the big brands and the smaller independent manufacturers have been enticing us with new designs, updated classics and the promise of fabric combinations that will enhance and improve our road cycling experience in the sunshine.
There’s a myriad of jersey designs from which to choose, from classic simplicity to unadulterated gaudiness. We may share a love of road cycling, but one just has to cast one’s eye around the start line of a cyclo-sportive to see that we are complete individuals when it comes to our choice of jersey. Some riders seek anonymity in the bunch and err towards understated designs, whilst others are determined to be seen! Heinz baked beans, anyone?! Below are 10 stand out, quality tops from the current crop, picked to reflect different price points . . . and tastes!
Stolen Goat Croquet Jersey
Stolen Goat produce some of the wackiest jerseys out there, invariably served up with a heavy dollop of humour – just check out the design comprised of eyeballs and if you want to look like a yakusa riding a bike, then their Samurai inspired design will deliver. Floral designs have been a mainstay of some overseas brands for some time now, but here hibiscus share the limelight with flamingos to bring some tropical sunshine to your rides.
The Croquet Jersey is based on Stolen Goat’s figure-hugging Bodyline Jersey and retails at £75 and is available to buy from Wiggle and via the Stolen Goat website.
La Passione PSN
New for 2018 from the Italian direct-to-customer brand, La Passione, the PSN Jersey melds their high quality construction with simple, classic looks. Unfussy and perfect for those who recoil at brash branding and garish motifs, the PSN is also available in a wealth of colour options, including the pure white and deepest blue in the picture, which pair beautifully with La Passione’s dark blue bib shorts.
The PSN retails at £67 and delivery from Italy is super-quick. Check out the La Passione website for more information on the new additions to their stylish collection of jerseys and complimentary accessories.
This Limited edition jersey has been designed to celebrate the life and career of ASSOS founder Signor Toni Maier, the man who spearheaded the introduction of Lycra cycling shorts - an act of unprecedented kindness to the backsides of road cyclists everywhere.
The regular fit of the Fortoni should not mask the fact that this is a high performance summer jersey, utilising the Swiss brand’s high-wicking, quick-drying Dual Tex fabric for optimum moisture management. Timeless and understated, you’ll also look undeniably cool as you sip your macchiato in a sun-drenched Mediterranean square.
Kalf is a relatively new brand, launched in the spring of 2017 and the latest versions of their Flux jersey, available in both a men’s and women’s cut, are high performance garments, well-constructed, with a high level of detailing and hitting a competitive price point.
The Flux range is classed as 'form-fitting race wear' and takes its name from the word meaning “the action of movement or flow” and the respective garments 'have been painstakingly designed to fit close to body, helping you to cut through the wind while supporting your muscles through the force of the pedal stroke. No detail has been overlooked.’ You have been warned! For those who prefer a more forgiving cut, Kalf also have two other collections, the relaxed fitting Club and the Terra, which includes jerseys made with New Zealand merino wool.
Complimentary colours fading into one another may not be overly original, but what lifts the Kalf Flux jersey above similar designs is the richness and vibrancy of the colours, further enhanced by a subtle chevron pattern.
Dhb Blok Lava Lamp
When dhb, Wiggle’s in house brand, first unveiled their Blok Collection a few years ago, the ‘expressive contemporary’ designs were some of the boldest on market, but in the intervening years their designers have become increasingly inventive and those original garments now look rather conservative in comparison. Take the retro inspired Lava Lamp, which is kaleidoscopic feast of colour and great fun too. dhb consistently produce quality clothing at very affordable prices, with all the features and fabric combinations of far higher end clothing. And with the Blok collection you have eye-catching designs for both men and women, which are guaranteed to make a statement out on the road.
The Blok Lava Lamp costs £45 but keep an eye out for competitive deals on the entire range of dhb Blok clothing.
Rapha Souplesse Aero and Pro Team Aero Jersey
Rapha have packed a huge amount of R&D into their new Souplesse Aero, including innovative fabrics and bonded seams to provide unprecedented aerodynamics. Lightweight, aero, classic. Rapha have kept the overall appearance very simple to produce a jersey that not only performs at the highest level, but one that ensures you will look effortlessly elegant as you leave your rivals spinning in your slipstream.
The Souplesse Aero was born out of the Pro Team Aerosuit, developed in association with Team Sky and the same aero innovations have also used on the new Men’s Pro Team Aero jersey, which has a similar paired down look.
The Rapha Souplesse jersey costs £130 and is available in Light Blue, Black and Purple. It’s available to buy exclusively on the Rapha website. The Men’s Pro Team Aero Jersey retails at £145 and comes in three colours, including a wonderful dark green.
Café du Cycliste Francine
Available in both a women’s and men’s cut in blue or red, the Breton inspired Francine Jersey from French brand, Café du Cycliste, exudes Gallic sartorial cool and the high-wicking, luxuriantly soft fabric, combined with mesh panels under the arms and on the rear, ensure you stay cool on hot, sticky days in the saddle. It’s not an out and out summer jersey and is the perfect for warmer spring days too.
The Francine retails at £127 and both the women’s and men’s version is available to buy exclusively through the Café du Cycliste and if you are lucky enough to be in the vicinity, pop into their new London Store on Artillery Lane, between Liverpool Street station and Spitalfields market.
This colourful geometric design of Castelli’s Flusso Jersey marks somewhat of a change from the norm for the Italian brand. It’s certainly eye-catching without being overly brash and the blue/yellow fluro combination pictured is the most flamboyant version of the four available. At £80, it’s an ‘entry level’ price for Castelli summer jerseys, but it has an excellent combination of fabrics that optimise breathability. The full-length zipper, 3 rear pockets and mesh side panels ensure it ticks all the right boxes. Being Castelli, pay careful attention to the size – their jerseys do tend to come up a little smaller than some brands.
Sportful Diva Sleeveless
Some road cyclist might sooner take up mountain-biking than wear a sleeveless jersey, but for all the ladies, out there, embrace your inner triathlete and consider the Diva jersey from Castelli’s sister brand, Sportful. You would have to be an optimist (or very fortunate) to consider wearing this top when the daffs are in full bloom, but one to consider for your early season training in Mallorca?!
Sportful’s Diva Jersey retails at £65 and is available to buy online and UK Sportful stockists.
Mavic La France (Limited Edition)
If you find yourself cycling in France this summer, then the limited edition La France jersey, from the French company better known for its wheelsets than its clothing, could be one way of extending the entente cordiale in these days of Brexit. Sleek fitting and high-wicking, the jersey is a homage to French cycling culture, but it’s also a highly technical piece of kit. It’s essentially a version of Mavic’s Cosmic Pro Jersey, so it’s lightweight, ergonomic and the jersey to be seen in as you slog your way up the slopes of Ventoux or the local boulangerie this summer!
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