Expressions of style, technical masterpieces or rudimentary pieces of cycle wear, a cycle jersey says as much about the cyclist as the bike he or she chooses to ride. Whether you buy a cycling jersey motivated by emotion, features, or perhaps just a great colour, read our thoughts below on some of the rider favourite brands from around the site and how to choose your perfect jersey.
What suits one cyclist may not in fact suit another. From environmental conditions to how often you actually manage to get out on the bike, a cycling jersey, or indeed any piece of cycle clothing should be bought with your ride in mind, and nothing else. For example, if hot conditions are prevalent in your area, then clearly a lighter weight jersey would be a better choice than a more 'early season' bike jersey designed for cooler conditions. Likewise, if you are lucky enough to be able to ride 3-4 times a week, a more feature rich, technical bicycle top would be more appropriate, whereas for the rider who pops out for a quick weekend spin every once in a while, a simpler, less technical jersey would be a prudent choice.
In the past few years it has become common for brands to produce what they they would class as a vintage cycling jersey. Despite their best efforts, most come off as poor relations of their original namesakes. However, all hope is not lost, for brands such as De Marchi are holding true to original detailing, fabrics and production techniques. In fact, with the popularity of retro inspired 'yesteryear' races such as l'eroica, making riders ever more demanding (quite rightly too) in their quest for more accurate recreations of the jerseys that adorned the shoulders of the cycling greats, there's never been a better time to wear a vintage cycling jersey.
If you talk about Research & Development, Craft & POC of Sweden are right up there with the best. Not so well known in the UK (we're working on that), but highly popular in Europe, their cycling jerseys are both beautifully fitted and feature rich. If you want great performance, fit and function then Craft or POC are the brands for you.
A longtime favourite on the site is the Spanish (or Basque) brand Etxeondo - pronounced 'etchy ondo' as one word, not two as you frequently see online. Very popular in Europe, Etxeondo are revered as the makers of the highest quality bicycle apparel in the world, and are getting better known for their sponsorship of the Giant pro cycling team. Choosing a bicycle jersey from Etxeondo is always going to be a good idea, and is the mark of a well informed and experienced rider.