With claims that Le Col’s HC jersey is the brand’s premium model – the go-to jersey for rides of all kinds – you might be forgiven for thinking that it might be a little conflicted. The fact is, however, that it’s a brilliant performer (albeit not without its quirks).
Let’s address those, because they really make the jersey what it is, to a large extent. The main fabric is ‘Meryl’ – a thicker-than-typical Lycra blend that feels more like fleece than anything else, yet this is a jersey design to work well in the summer. Worries regarding coolness are unfounded, though, because it does breathe remarkably well.
Accompanied by embroidered branding, it gives the jersey a real air of cruising luxury rather than performance – something you might expect of a jersey designed for an Audax, and not for pummelling the pedals on a weekend blast. Yet, it can do that too thanks to its ability to keep you cool in anything but the hottest weather.
Le Col HC jersey
Size tested: M
Colours: Red Hex, Blue/Gold Hex, Wiggins Blue, Wiggins Khaki, Wiggins Red
Website: Le Col
The arms are low profile with laser-cut sleeves, and these are backed with a textured silicone gripper that correspond to the hex design on the upper arms. Much like the HC-series bib shorts we tested alongside the jersey, it’s there to help with retention, although the jury’s out on whether it actually helps with this.
The contoured fit and shape of the shoulders is capacious, as is the body too. We’re a fairly slim lot in the RCUK office, yet the sample we tested yielded plenty of space around the waist and stomach even in a medium. Interestingly, it never looks baggy, save for arguably a little excess fabric just above the waist.
The cut is definitely long, although, all-in, this means that the pockets on the rear easily have the capacity for an all-day ride. They’re deep, while the flexibility of the fabric allows them to stretch to accept more bars and gels. On the right rear pocket, there’s also a zipped, lined security slot for valuables.
"It’s the finish that impresses most. From the soft flat seams to the comfortable ergonomic collar and the quality of the embroidery, this is a premium-standard product from top to bottom"
The hem is held in place by a standard silicone strip backed onto an elasticated band, which does its job well despite the space in the jersey, and we also spotted a reflective strip and earphone cable port too.
It’s the finish that impresses most, though. From the soft flat seams to the comfortable ergonomic collar and the quality of the embroidery, this is a premium-standard product from top to bottom. Given the £150 asking price, it had better be.
And, you can enjoy that finish and quality in more than just the summer, for which your best kit is often saved. The thicker nature of the fabric means that it can offer a level of insulation that means it could be used during the spring and autumn, and it should boast good longevity too, making it an investment a little easier to make.
It might not be what we were expecting from a performance garment, but Le Col’s HC jersey is more than capable while being enviably comfortable.
- Soft, luxurious fabric
- Spacious fit