Some of the newest offerings to come from Italian company Sportful are part of its SC labs project. With a previous Tour de France stage winner on board along with input from current riders including one Mr Contador the research and design team has been set up to allow the brand to push boundaries and experiment with new materials and techniques that will become mainstream in the future.
The R & D jersey jersey certainly has a stealthy, futuristic look to match the technology that is being used. Straight out of the packet it looks like it should make you go fast, all black with subtle flashes of colour here and there make this a very stylish and sleek stop.
As a size 10 I tested a medium and while not baggy I could happily have dropped down a size for a tighter fit. The jersey feels great next to the skin and has a very flattering cut. One of the most noticeable things about it are the sleeves and the lack of seams and elastic at their ends.
They are made from a stretchy fine mesh which doesn't budge at all while you are riding, they just sit very comfortably against the skin. As a whole the material wicks very well and dries out quickly once you've stopped working hard. A mesh panel between the shoulder blades helps to assist air flow and cooling as well as adding a nice splash of colour and design feature.
The no sew technique is also used around the pockets and the hem of the R & D jersey. I've always been a little dubious when there are no grippers with visions of the top flapping about in the breeze but this and the DeMarchi jersey I recently tested have dispelled those fears.
This jersey takes the no gripper one step further and has no stitching or bulky elastic either. Instead there is a hot welded, gently elasticated seam which like the sleeves hugs the body, doesn't flap about and gives a nice seamless look between jersey and shorts. It just shows what good design and a proper cut can do for a garment.
There are three good sized pockets, but no zip, which due to the material have plenty of stretch to fit in everything needed for a long day in the saddle but also sit flush against the top when they aren't used.
A reflective strip around the pockets and also a reflective logo on the front means you'll be visible riding home if that cafe stop lasts just a little too long. The R & D jersey is completed by a flap which covers the zip totally to continue the seamless look.
All in all this is a technical jersey that delivers in every department.
Very comfortable, flattering cut
A little pricey but lots of technical features
Best PriceL £81.00, available from Wiggle.
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