The Ribble Nuovo Thermal Jersey is a versatile piece of kit, thanks to its windproof and water resistant fabric, and offers a unique and bold visual style, with good level attention to detail. However, it's let down a touch by the fit, due to the multi-discipline cut.
From the very start, the jersey's fabric felt really warm, and yet surprisingly lightweight considering its thermal properties. It offers a good range of movement and flexibility when riding, plus it’s windproof and water resistant. If the heavens do open, I also found the jersey to dry out pretty quickly.
My main issue is with the ‘sporting fit’ - aimed at racing or general riding, road or cyclo-cross. I found the jersey to be unexpectedly baggy around the waist and the arms - a medium fitted much more like a generous large. But it’s put together well, with solid stitching and no loose ends, and held its looks after several washes and plenty of muddy, winter rides.
- Price: £75
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Size tested: M
- Colours: Fluoro Fade, Charcoal Fade, Mauve Fade (W)
- Website: Ribble Cycles
At its core, you'll find all the features you would want from a good winter jersey. As well as being windproof and water resistant, the main fabric is also fast-wicking, while the generous reflective detailing is both well-placed and effective.
It also has a chunky zipper and well-sized rear pockets, with a fourth, zippered pocket for your valuables - though this is not waterproof. The pockets held all my usual ride essentials and offered easy access with no issues.
The fluoro colour ensures it looks good, too, adding up to a blend of functional performance and visibility. And if you prefer not to stand out quite so much, a more refrained charcoal grey colour is also available.
Back to the fit, however, and it feels like a compromise to appeal to multiple disciplines, but perhaps unnecessarily. The jersey should offer a closer fit, whether that's to stop snagging while riding 'cross, or to improve aerodynamics and warmth on the road. Instead, the baggy fit can compromise the thermal performance of the jersey (even if the fabric is undoubtedly warm in itself) .
On top of that, the cuffs are quite unique - designed to be breathable, they felt too loose in my opinion, and I wasn’t sure why you’d need breathable cuffs when moisture build up doesn’t often occur here in any real quantity. They should be a little smaller and stretchier to be really useful - with a better fit for warmth as the main jersey fabric breathes pretty well when riding.
On the plus side, the neckline is higher at the reverse, adding that touch of protection from the elements, and the zipper features a chin or beard guard, and has a wind baffler on the inside to add to the windproofing.
All things considered, I found the jersey to be good for colder, mixed-weather days as it can shake off some drizzle, and coupled with a waterproof shell would offer enough protection for most winter conditions.
The Ribble Nuovo Thermal Jersey feels warm, there’s no mistaking that, but it’s not without its faults, particularly regarding the fit. This is a decent winter jersey given the price tag, with all the essentials and plenty of versatility, but a more considered cut would help elevate it above the crowd.
- Warm, breathable and water resistant fabric
- Excellent visibility
- Well-sized pockets
- Questionable fit