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Alé PRR 2.0 jersey – review

Ah, the difficult second album. Or series. Or, in this case, jersey. The first generation of Alé’s clothing was extremely good and this had the obvious knock on of increasing anticipation for their second generation bike kit. Calling it PRR 2.0 shows they haven’t wasted valuable R&D money on the name, but have Alé managed to avoid the sophomore slump?

Visually, there are obvious differences between the 2.0 and the original jersey. Alé have used three different fabrics for the main body of the 2.0, and given that the different fabrics coincide with the colour changes on the front and back of the jersey, it’s pretty easy to see.

The first fabric is ‘Rib’. This is what the two main panels on the back are made of (the white ones in the pictures). Alé say that it ‘adapts when closely fitted to a body in motion’ which, in plain English, means that it’s really rather stretchy. The ribbed construction also lends itself to rigidity down at the pockets because although it stretches a large amount in one direction – up and down the back from the collar to the hem – it doesn’t stretch as much laterally, meaning the pockets have a little extra support. If you look carefully at the pockets, you’ll notice that the central support seams are joined to this fabric, rather than the far more laterally stretchy mesh panel in the middle of the back.

That central panel, as you’d expect, is focused on breathability. It’s an open mesh material that does the billed job of providing breathability, but also wicks well to keep the middle of your back relatively dry. The shape of the panel is interesting, too. It’s wide at the shoulders but tapers down to fit through the middle of the central pocket at the bottom.

The sleeves are another ribbed fabric, one Alé call Microcostina. It’s another thin, fast wicking fabric and the sleeves and shoulder panels are all once piece of material with a single seam on the underside of the arm. The stretch means that unless you go far too big with sizing, or have the arms of Leonardo Piepoli, the fit is fantastic. This is why the grippers are more elastic than grippy. They’re a different material from the rest of the sleeves but a far cry from the silicone covered offerings you’ll find on most jerseys. Instead, they simply tighten the ends of the sleeves around the bicep, making for a very comfortable sleeve that doesn’t move about at all when you’re riding. It shows, frankly, that nothing beats fit when it comes to bike clothing, and if the fit is right, you don’t need super powerful grippers on your arms as they move about far less in comparison to the legs.

The fabric on the front is slightly different again, and has been chosen to be quick drying and lightweight. And it does the job very well, finished off with a good quality zipper that has a docking station at the top and bottom.

The gripper at the hem is very good too, and it’s width helps to add a little rigidity to the bottom of the jersey at the back and sides, with only the last few inches at the front being a standard silicone band. The pockets do their job very well and have no noticeable sag in use but, being picky, the one criticism of the jersey I would have is that the capacity of the pockets is a little low. For example, the two side pockets don’t quite fit my LG G3 mobile and while I’m not the sort of person who likes to overfill my pockets for rides, I definitely found fit a little tight for my standard test ride kit.

The overall fit is definitely race cut, as the jersey fits closely against the body and the drop at the back is pretty big, but the stretch of the jersey means it’s perfectly comfortable whether you’re sat up with your hands on the tops, or down in the drops in the classic racing position, and there’s no excess material to flap about in the wind.

Conclusion

Rather than a replacement for the original jersey, Alé’s PRR 2.0 should be seen as more of an evolution. It’s a lightweight jersey made for hot weather riding, and fulfils that criteria superbly, keeping you cool even on really hot days. I rode this one on that crazy 36 degree day a few weeks back and felt comfortable and dry over the course of a three-hour ride. If you’re a fan of the original, the Ultra jersey in the new line-up is a closer match and the PRR Ponente is still available too, whereas this jersey is a dedicated piece of warm weather summer kit. And a very good one, at that.

Pros

– Excellent use of different fabrics
– Very good, close, race-cut fit
– Extremely comfortable against the skin

Cons

– Pocket capacity is a little low

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