PRENDAS CICLISMO BORDEAUX PARIS SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY
179g (Large as tested) £64.99
Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux Paris Short Sleeve Jersey is part of their forgotten races range. A classic, some might say timeless design with some modern touches. Standards of construction, cut and fit are very good. However, competition is extremely fierce and there are jerseys offering higher spec, for similar money.
Pros: Lovely fit, nice blend of classic and contemporary.
Cons: Spec slightly lower than some wearing similar price tags.
Made in Italy by Santini, it’s 100% polyester and features a set in (maglia per giro manica), rather than Raglan sleeve. Arguably trading outright freedom for a more tailored effect, but, this hasn’t greatly affected comfort, in the everyday sense.
Now, a quick history lesson. The Bordeaux-Paris racestarted in 1891 and was a motor paced event covering 500km.By the 1980s it had fallen into obscurity. Back to the design. Screen printed two-tone BP lettering runs front and back, tempered with black sleeves and pockets. On the right-hand pocket sits a Tom Simpson caricature, complete with Bowler hat and riding a derney (Simpson won the race, in 1963).
Three pockets follow the traditional terrace narrative with a fourth, zippered “hole in the wall” for change, keys and other little valuables. All are very generous hosts, able to swallow 5.5-inch smart phones/long zoom travel compact cameras, 750ml trade bottle, spare tube etc.
Crucially, without bounding around like a playful Labrador puppy, or otherwise feeling overburdened. The valuables pocket isn’t waterproof. A moot point if you’ve remembered a waterproof micro jacket, otherwise, pop sensitive electricals inside a resealable freezer bag.
Full length zippers are the rule these days and Prendas Ciclismo haven’t skimped here, either. More interesting, is the collar length. Though subtle, it offers a decent amount of coverage from the elements without encroaching. The hem features a silicone gripper to prevent incremental creep and the elasticated sleeves are similarly effective.
Talking of subtle, the fabric’s tog weight feels slightly heavier than some but the jersey is actually lighter than some I’ve tested recently, including Tenn Global Eurosport GC Jersey.
Increasingly, even budget garments are boasting UV repelling weaves, so some were slightly surprised/disappointed by its omission here. On the one hand, I can see their point. That said, while these are a definite plus, said yarns are no substitute for sun screens and/or covering up (depending on your skin type, and other risk factors)
The cut is snug, though more compassionate, than “racing snakes” designs, to those regions we might be more sensitive about. Sizing is also a little more traditional than some. These days, medium is my default, but I was a large by Prendas Ciclismo’s chart, and this proved perfect.
Typical of that I’ve come to expect from polyester garments over the years. Given 25 minutes at 90 odd rpm, a familiar misty dampness forms around the pits, chest and lower back. Shortly afterwards, the fibres pick up, wicking dampness away. By this point, the inner climate regulates and never exceeds that faint “glow”.
This will depend to some extent, on base-layer choice. Merino wools being superior to polyesters/polyamides. Jerseys with lighter tog weights and vented panels also have an edge, in the cooling speed stakes.
While climate control can be tweaked by dropping/raising the zipper to suit, this may be a consideration if you’re riding in particularly hot climates. Talking of which, though the tag could be bigger, given the Spring/Summer narrative, chances are you’d be wearing mitts.
I’ve had no issues adjusting ours at 20odd mph. Worn directly against the skin, the fibres also feel less synthetic than some contemporary yarns. Another plus, albeit subjective.
Thanks to Lycra arm warmers, summer weight jerseys are realistic choices in cooler weather, typical to that of early spring and late Autumn. With a short sleeve base layer and arm warmers, I’ve felt perfectly temperate when the temperature’s dipped to 11 degrees.
Continuing this theme, the seams, silicone hem and elasticated sleeve cuffs strike the right balance between control and comfort. No hint of bunching, or gathering, despite regularly alternating between tops, hoods and drops. No unsightly branding after a day’s riding, when its time to strip off and hit the shower, either.
To test its odour management, I’ve worn ours 8 hours a day, three days running. By this point, things were turning a little funky but nothing a tour de Zanussi doesn’t sort.
Couldn’t be easier to live with, for the most part. Pop in with the civilian wash at 30/40degrees and it’ll be line dry in around 30 minutes.
Persistent washing, wearing and moderate trail antics hasn’t revealed any bobbling, loose threads or similar degeneration. Zippers are still performing impeccably too. Nothing less than I’d expect from garments at this price point, but bodes well for the long term.
By no means poor, competition has become really fierce in the past few years. Driven in part by store brands offering high spec at very modest prices. Ribble Nuovo Men’s Short Sleeve Jersey is £10 cheaper, and still in rude health, two years down the line. The short sleeve counterpart to The Light Blue Classic Road Jersey comes in at £44.99. This is also made in Italy, features Raglan Sleeves, SPF factor 50.
Ultimately, the Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux-Paris Short Sleeve Jersey is a well-made, competent road jersey that marries style and function very well. The tog weight is well suited to the British climate, pockets are more generous than many and the unique design are other definite selling points. However, if these aren’t top of your list, there are several jerseys offering similar spec, for quite a bit less.