This jersey was a welcome arrival during the Easter break, heralding warmer days ahead. It has had a few runs out over the last two weeks, from a balmy 16 degree long afternoon ride to a cool and blustery morning commute.
[related_articles] Sportful describe this as a jersey “made from extra-comfortable Lycra fabric which allows it to retain its attributes over time." They claim it “provides a snug fit without constricting the muscles, facilitating the pedalling motion."
On first inspection, the jersey is light and bright; its E-lite multi-denier polyester jersey fabric promised excellent wicking. The sublimation printed stripes made it stand out whilst maintaining that element of Italian class one would expect from Sportful. There are three, equally-sized pockets at the back and an invisible zipper halfway down the front. A hidden elastic gripper in contrasting colour sits inside the hem.
The contrasting colours made me nervous when putting it in the wash, but after three washes at 30 degrees with other coloured clothes it still retains its glow.
I had read in previous reviews that Sportful's sizing isn't exactly generous, and this jersey is no different. I’m normally a size 10 or medium, but this medium was straight and indeed snug; in fact one of my fellow riders commented that I looked like a 10 year old boy, so it’s not one for the more curvaceous rider.
Whilst I wouldn't have normally chosen such a close fit, it actually felt good on the bike, both on its own and with a base layer underneath. There were no gaps or flaps and I didn't feel like the air was running through it with only a sports bra underneath. This was despite the fact that it proved to be completely breathable during a few prolonged periods of exertion.
The stitching around the sleeves was such that they didn't rub even though they sit close to the skin, and there was no riding up at the back thanks to the silicone grippers. The pockets were big enough to hold my coffee money, keys, mobile and, on separate occasions, a spare long sleeve top and a small waterproof.
A zip or Velcro fastening pocket would have been an added bonus, but I think it would take away from what is a very streamlined garment.
On the matter of streamlining, find herewith my only gripe. The zip on the jersey is small and almost completely hidden. It's like the kind of zip you'd get up the side of a dress.
It looks great, but it's not at all practical. I had no mission of getting it down with one hand save getting the collar between my teeth and pulling at the zip and this caused me some consternation when I was climbing.
The verdict: A classy, comfortable piece of summer kit which wears and washes well.
Pros: High quality fabric which performs well and looks good.
Cons: Zipper is a pain to manoeuvre.
Price: £45 (RRP £50), available from Wiggle.