What’s the best cycling jersey? Seeing as I’ve been dredging Spanish-language eBay for a replacement early Caja Rural team jersey for some time now; that would be my answer. However, assuming you prefer something fresh from the packet, your choice will be significantly wider, and your reliance on google translate less extensive.
Either way, whether fancy or workaday when it comes to cycling jerseys we’ve all got our favourites. These attachments are formed via a combination of things. First, both literally and figuratively, the jersey has got to sit right. What the aspiring 2nd cat racer wants won’t be the same as what’s prized by the more modestly paced among us.
Second, it’s got to make you feel good, both in terms of the image you present to the world, and the way it protects and serves you as a rider. Different fabrics suit different conditions, different styles suit different tastes, but everyone wants pockets of the correct depth and zips that are easily adjusted while balancing no-handed.
Bearing all this in mind, we’ve collected together seven splendid jerseys we think could be your new favourite.
£95, Shop MAAP
A yellow jersey, but not ‘the Yellow Jersey’. MAAP’s Training Jersey may also come in three other less storied shades, nevertheless, we enjoy how the brightest of these accentuates the jersey’s razor-sharp cut. Really nicely put together, everything from the panels to the pockets, to the collar and cuffs is just so. Low around the neck and longer than average on the arms, its lightweight fabric is suited to hotter days.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, the firm got a slingshot into the UK market by outfitting wunderkind Tom Pidcock and his Trinity Racing team. Taking tips from its athletes, if this jersey is anything to go by, the results seem to be both stylish and race-ready.
Gobik Short Sleeve Carrera
€85, Shop Gobik
Made for racing on very hot days. As a Spanish firm founded to produce kit for professional teams, you’ll be unsurprised to find this is something Gobik has got dialled down.
Made of a visibly textured mesh-like fabric, this not only helps its wearer avoid overheating during hot and humid conditions but also smooths whatever airflow you’re able to generate as it passes over you. Aerodynamic and with a slightly extended sleeve length, the Carrera is a speed-focused jersey with a correspondingly tight fit. Neatly detailed with features like a comfortable and close-cut collar along with an enclosed zip to prevent contact between rider and any metal or plastic elements, about the only element that will attract attention is its bold colour block design.
£130, Shop Isadore
With its block colours and accented sleeves, Isadore’s midweight Signature jersey recalls the team tops of cycling's golden era. The material is also somewhat retro, using 36% Merino wool to provide excellent wind resistance and breathability. Also imparting a pleasing solidity to its appearance, the addition of modern synthetic materials nevertheless allows it to provide a closer and more structured fit than that possessed by its stylistic forebears. Allowing its pockets to swallow heavier items without sagging is just one benefit of that modernisation. Finishing touches like hypoallergenic silicone tape on the sleeves, an extra zip pocket and reflective detailing are also assiduously modern.
Adidas Egle jersey
£85, Shop Adidas
If you’re going to go down the artist collaboration route you could do worse than linking up with Egle Zvirblyte. Generating an endless riot of block colours and chunky wanton characters, her work has featured everywhere from walls and canvases to advertising campaigns for OK Cupid.
Although slightly toned down for mass consumption, this commission from Adidas has still resulted in a more than averagely punchy jersey. Other than its striking print, you also get a top that due to price inflation is now actually fairly cheap at £85. Plus there’s a nod to sustainability courtesy of its PrimeBlue fabric which is made partly of discarded plastic picked out of the ocean.
Assos Mille GT Summer
£110, Shop Assos
Raw-cut sleeves, lightweight fabric, and a classic regular fit, Assos’ Mille GT is a comfortable top in which to pass a warm summer day riding. Especially as its breezy bespoke fabric still offers a sun blocking UPF 50+ rating. Recently refined, its long service history in the brand’s range also means you can be sure its details are well dialled down. Take the triple ramp pockets. Partially closed over by a fabric lid, they ensure that while it’s easy to get items into your pockets, they’ll find it less easy to escape when you don’t want them to. Available in plainer versions, this limited-edition Voganski colour way is inspired by psychedelic 70s LP covers.
£65, Shop Velocio
Congratulations Velocio, you’ve managed the three things I want in a jersey for general tooling about in. These are; one, not having logos plastered all over it, two, coming in a nice colour, and three, not being piss-take expensive. Despite being cut slightly looser, the key details seen on the brand’s posher models are still present, like the nicely tailored collar and the neat accent formed by the zipper garage. Pleasingly, just because you’ve not spent the earth, doesn’t mean the environment will pick up the tab. Made of ultrafine gauge Italian milled recycled polyester, Velocio has also signed up to give 1% of its turnover to environmental causes through 1% for the planet.
Rapha Pro Team Training
£85, Shop Rapha
Although we’re big fans of Rapha’s merino wool-based Classic jersey, for moth resistance and slightly more modest pricing head for the brand’s racey yet utilitarian Pro Team Training model.
Light on the front for ventilation, heavier on the back for sun protection and greater insulation, it’s a reliable choice on most days. Close-fitting but not excessively so, it further lends itself to everyday use through features like reinforced pockets and reflective detailing. Very nice to look at, offsetting its ubiquity is the fact that it comes in ten different colour combinations, each comprising contrasting body and sleeve colours accented by a third shade on the armband.
£128, Shop ashmei
We’ve got an entire Desire Selection packed with Merino jerseys if that’s your thing. However, this model from ashmei is nice enough to make the crossover and become a staple choice in almost any scenario. As subtle as you can be, it’s set apart by its cut and both the look and performance of its wool-based fabric.
Timeless without being backwards-looking, it’s pleasantly adult when compared to more lurid or synthetic designs. At the heart of this is ashmei's Merino + Carbon fabric. Highly opaque yet very breathable, it can also be worn multiple times before needing to be washed. Good for the environment, and good when you’re touring, it's something both you and your companions will appreciate.