Launched by former professional cyclist Yanto Barker, Le Col is a young UK clothing company that draws on the founder’s years as a professional cyclist to offer a premium and contemporary clothing range.
The long sleeved jersey here is a good place to start to get to know the brand. It uses a medium weight Sportwool fabric that is just right for this time of year, providing great warmth when worn over a Merino base layer and an appropriate outer layer for the conditions.
Le Col clothing is intended to be slim-fitting and as such very definitely comes up small in the traditional Italian sizing sense. I’ve found it to be just a smidgen smaller than Assos (if we’re to use the Swiss brand as a benchmark) but the Medium has fitted me comfortably. Le Col point out that this top is intended for spring and autumn, but it makes an ideal mid layer through the winter, with a jacket worn over the top or a shell on warmer days.
The upshot of Le Col’s sizing approach is that you get a proper ‘race fit’ with a snug, body-hugging fit, which is my preference for cycle clothing. It should be said that this sizing approach doesn’t mean it’s aimed at the racers reading this, but those cyclists who want the sharp and (sometimes flattering) close fitting style. I found the fitted sleeves too tight to allow the wearing of a long sleeve Merino base layer underneath, which restricts its use during the winter to warmer conditions.
Features include three rear pockets. These are sized well for carrying all your essentials for a typical Sunday ride. There’s a small zipped pocket on the outside of the rear pockets, an ideal place to keep your house keys. I really liked the internal zipped chest pocket; it proved the perfect place to accommodate my mobile phone or music player with quick and easy access. A bonus of the tight fit of the top is that, even with loaded pockets, they stay ‘in place’ and don’t cause the back of the jersey to sag down over your bum. A definite thumbs-up in my book.
Style is a subjective matter but chatting to several people while testing this Le Col clothing, it’s clear that people either love or hate the combination of black with gold details. I can’t argue with the understated look, I like it, and it’s very different to most of the other high-end brands available. It’s tough standing out in an overcrowded market but Le Col has managed just that.
As I’ve been testing this jersey for quite a while now, I can report that the build quality is first class. The fabric has proved to be excellent in a range of conditions and temperature. The only issue I’ve found is that wearing a long sleeve base layer underneath leaves a tight fit around the sleeves.
The jersey is a solid performer, and has proved itself to be well designed, well fitted and durable. Only the high price, which puts it right in Assos and Rapha’s path, might make some think twice.
Le Col Derboun Long Sleeved Jersey, Black only, sizes S – 3XL, £134.99