Sportful shook up its BodyFit Pro line-up this year with the addition of the Classics jersey to the range. As the name suggests, the jersey is designed for cooler conditions – it’s a versatile piece well-suited to spring or autumn rides when there's a bit of a nip in the air. Maybe even summer, too.
The Italian firm’s BodyFit Pro range offers the same clothing worn by Sportful’s WorldTour teams, Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain-Merida, but without the sponsors' logos. Within the range, you’ll find three jerseys: the Evo is designed for day-to-day summer use, while the Light is unsurprisingly intended for the warmest days. The Classics jersey sits at the other end of the spectrum. We've taken a closer look at the full range here.
Sportful BodyFit Pro Classics jersey
Size tested: M
Colours: Raspberry; grey; black
As fabric technology moves on apace, summer jerseys are getting lighter and lighter, and better equipped at keeping you cool when the sun shines. The trouble is the sun doesn’t always shine, nor is is it always warm – not least here in the UK – and that’s where the Classics jersey comes in.
The short-sleeve jersey has a lightweight brushed interior. It really is lightweight – the Classics isn’t comparable with something like a Castelli Gabba, for example – with the aim of maintaining breathability. As a result, there’s no windproof membrane – this is a jersey design to take the edge off a chilly breeze or even for those bright days when the temperature stubbornly refuses to budge past the mid teens.
In use, breathability is excellent, with enough air allowed to pass through the fabric to stop things getting sweaty when working hard. We used the Classics jersey on a sunny spring day in Girona when shooting videos the RCUK 100. It was an early start, with the temperature well down into single figures, before climbing to around 17c. A lot of the time we were riding – climbing, descending and sprinting – but sometimes we were standing around while the film crew setup, and the Classics jersey provided an extra layer of protection above and beyond a standard summer jersey.
"The Classics jersey is ideal for those rides when you want the fit and flexibility of a short-sleeve jersey, but a lightweight summer piece will let too much cool air through"
Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll be standing around much during your rides (hopefully not, anyway) but the point is that Sportful’s new jersey is ideal for those kinds of conditions, when you want the fit and flexibility of a short-sleeve jersey, but a lightweight summer piece will let too much cool air through. That’s continued to be the case during testing back here in the UK. Needless to say, you can also pair the jersey with arm warmers, plus a gilet if it's particularly cool out.
One thing to mention is that the BodyFit Classics jersey offers no real rain protection. The fabric won’t immediately become saturated by drizzle or road spray, but you’ll want to look towards Sportful’s Fiandre range for lightweight rainproofing. Something like the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain SS, for example, offers additional water resistance, but it’s not as breathable as the Classics, which is much more of an outright jersey. For some riders, that might raise a question mark over the Classics jersey – is it a niche too far? We don’t think so, given how rarely the British climate produces the goods, and the key here is the lightweight thermal lining and breathability.
What else is there to mention? Well, the fit is excellent, as we’ve come to expect from the BodyFit Pro range. It’s a close cut – no surprise given the pro background – but it’s close in all the right places and the fabric used on the sides and shoulders is slightly different to the front, with a bit of extra stretch. Just be prepared to move up a size if you want a more generous fit.
Other features include a flap over the front zip to stop the wind creeping in, laser-cut sleeves that closely hug the arms, and three rear pockets (though there’s no zip pocket, which is a shame).
Playing up to the BodyFit collection’s pro heritage, Sportful says the Classics jersey is ‘developed and tested with the harsh climate of the Spring Classics in mind’. In reality, it’s a thoroughly good jersey for regular riders like you and I, through spring, autumn and quite possibly (depending where you live) summer. We'd like to see a zipped pocket and riders also seeking water resistance may be better served by the most versatile Fiandre collection, but the Classics jersey's lightweight, breathable protection makes this an excellent if niche addition to the Sportful range.
Lightweight protection for cool conditions
No zipped pocket
Less versatile than Fiandre range