Cycling jerseys are probably the most distinctive part of a cyclist’s wardrobe. Unlike a run-of-the-mill fitness top, these jerseys are designed with cycling in mind: the fit hugs the figure to help you slice through the air more efficiently, a full-length zip allows you to modify air flow to hot spots on the fly, and pockets on the back are ideal for stashing tools, innertubes and the all-important mid-ride snacks.
However, not all cycling jerseys are cut from the same cloth. Key things to look out for include breathable fabrics, moisture-wicking technology, comfortable silicone grippers that help things stay in place, and UV protection.
While some jerseys can set you back close to £200, it shouldn’t cost the earth to get something that ticks all the above boxes. Here are some of the best cycling jerseys that look and feel just as good and yet remain budget-friendly too.
DHB Aeron Short Sleeve Jersey
Wiggle’s in-house brand DHB has built a reputation for offering great kit at a far lower price than its more “premium” rivals. The Aeron range is its more performance-focused clothing line, but its fit is forgiving enough if you don’t quite have the physique of a professional cyclist. Its stretchy and breathable fabric quickly wicks sweat away from the skin so you’re not left with any damp, uncomfortable patches. It’s available in a wide range of block colours and sizes (XS to XXXL for men, UK 6 to 16 for women), so there should be an Aeron Short Sleeve jersey that meets your taste and measurements.
Rapha Core Jersey
Don’t adjust your screen – your eyes aren’t deceiving you. High-end British brand Rapha is renowned for its top-tier kit (and wallet-burning prices), but its Core range offers up its well-known design motifs and quality in a more affordable package. The material stretches to you (rather than you to it) and is held in place on your shorts – whether you’re sitting upright or tucked into the drops – by a tacky silicone grip. Premium additions include a zip garage to stop it rubbing against your neck when fully zipped up and a secure fourth zipped pocket on the rear – a safe place for your keys.
Morvelo Counter Standard Jersey
Brighton-based Morvelo might not be the most well-known brand, but its designs will turn heads for all the right reasons. The Standard jersey has been at the heart of its road cycling clothing line for more than a decade and the latest iteration is the best yet. Its sleeves are long and “aero” (AKA snug), but the polyester used is stretchy enough to not cause any discomfort. The material has antibacterial properties that will keep that gym-kit funk at bay, wash after wash. It’s one for year-round riding too: reflective detailing on the back adds visibility on low-light and night rides, and UPF 30 adds a bit of protection from the sun on day-long rides.
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- Reflective Cycling Gear To Keep You Riding In The Dark
- Why You Should Add UPF Sun Protection Clothing To Your Wardrobe
Stolen Goat Noizey Bodyline Jersey
Another brand that has the everyday cyclist in mind when crafting its jerseys, Stolen Goat’s Bodyline range is the ideal top to wear on a warm summer’s day. Although aerodynamics-focused, the fit is forgiving and designed for all-day riding, meaning it’s as comfortable at the end of your ride as when you first put it on – its fabric efficiently wicking sweat away from your skin while simultaneously drying. Like the Morvelo offering, it too offers UV protection: the brand says it’s rated UPF 50.
Endura Pro SL Short Sleeve Lite Jersey
The raciest inclusion in our round-up (in terms of cut rather than how revealing it is), the Pro SL Short Sleeve Lite by Scottish bike manufacturer Endura is perfect for scorching days and turbo training sessions, when maximum sweat-wicking capabilities are a necessity. Lightweight mesh panels on the front and sides keep your torso cool without letting you get cold and high wicking panels on the back help stop the build-up of sweat. Grippers on the sleeves prevent them from bunching up, and the same technique is used at the hem. The jersey is available only in a men’s cut and comes in sizes from XS-XXL.
Buy from Wiggle (opens in new tab) | From £77.99
Charlie Allenby is a journalist with a passion for pedalling. He contributes features and buying advice about cycling, and is participating in RideLondon in 2022 as well as covering it for Coach.
As Charlie is also training for a triathlon, he has become Coach’s chief whey and casein protein powder tester, trying as many brands as possible.
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