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Buyer's guide to summer jerseys

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean technical bike wear isn’t important, you can loose litres of sweat on a long ride and summer chills are easy to catch. Having a technical jersey with high wicking properties is essential for warm weather riding, especially with the high temperatures we’ve seen over the last few years. Ok, so there’s not much sign of them this year, but here at RCUK we’re always optimistic, so here’s a few things to bear in mind before parting with your cash.

Campagnolo classic jersey

Fabric

Standard short sleeved jerseys come in different fabrics: lightweight fabrics are best for summer use and can double up for a base layer in winter too.

The fabric should have high wicking properties to draw sweat away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable whilst you concentrate on staying hydrated and pedalling hard. Fabrics such as Coolmax and other man-made fibres are best for this as they dry exceptionally quickly and are lightweight even when wet.

Natural fibres, such as cotton and wool, hold moisture and take ages to dry, working against your body’s temperature regulator and allowing chilling on descents etc. A standard cotton T-shirt may feel comfortable and cool at the beginning of a ride but you’ll have sweat patches on the back and under the arms in a short space of time and the sweat won’t dry, or smell good either…

Features

A good summer jersey should have plenty of ventilation by means of a front zipper – one long enough to help getting the top on and off as well as helping regulate temperature – and preferably some mesh panels to allow good airflow and quick drying.

Pockets at the rear are useful for spares and sticking a lightweight windproof jacket in. Elasticated waist and arm bands help maintain a close fit and prevent the jersey riding up your back but more casual styles tend to have a loose fitting hem that can flap around in the wind.

If you plan on riding after dark then look for a jersey with reflective strips, piping or logos – they’re more common than you’d imagine.

Colour choice can help in really hot weather, black absorbs heat and you’d be better off sticking to lighter colours if you’re going to be working hard. Scott’s Jasper Endurance Jersey costs £39.99 is available in plain white with pale grey panels for a stylish and cool jersey.

Styling

Pearl Izumi sleeveless jersey

The style of the jersey is up to you and what’s best will depend on the type of riding you plan on doing. Short sleeved jerseys come in all shapes and sizes from baggy to super slick fitting, we’d recommend tighter fitting for more performance riding and a looser fit for more recreational riding.

If you don’t want a traditional cyclist’s tan, then you could even opt for a sleeveless version or vest style. These often have the same technical details, such as pockets for bottle and spare tubes at the rear.

Women

Cannondale’s women’s Cadence. They also do a men’s version

Women get a great choice in summer apparel, sporty and fashionable jerseys are provided by most cycle clothing manufacturers and a great deal of thought has been put into the design of the garments too.

Little vest tops and cropped tops look great on and off the bike and equally stylish in the gym or on the beach too. Most of the close fitting vest style tops have built in sports bras constructed of lightweight but supportive fabrics such as highly breathable mesh, a perfect way of hiding unsightly bra straps.

For a more casual and loose fitting jersey with all the technical plus points you’ll need check out the Cannondale Cadence Jersey £40 with stylish V-neck and collar, you could wear this round town and nobody would guess it’s a cycling top.

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