SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
PRENDAS CICLISMO PARIS BORDEAUX LONG SLEEVE JERSEY
328g (Large) £79.99
The Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux Race Long Sleeve Jersey is designed for spring and autumn. Part of the lost race series of garments, the screen-printed detailing is timeless, smart, and fun. Given its designed for the cooler, changeable seasons, I was disappointed to discover a relatively small, stubby zipper but this is a minor niggle. Not one specific to Prendas Ciclismo, either.
Pros: Smart, yet funky design, lots of practical touches.
Cons: Zipper tags trickier to operate wearing full finger gloves.
Made in Italy by Santini, it’s the classic polyester/elastane mix. Its not a Raglan cut (where the sleeve extends in one piece, to the collar), rather “set in sleeve” or maglia per giro manica.
This sleeve pattern has a seam at the shoulder, which continues around the complete arm. There is some debate, whether this elegant pattern is more restrictive, than the increasingly popular raglan cut. Coupled with the subtle collar, the effect is certainly elegant, and I’ve not noticed any impairment on the bike, either.
Talking of standard, round the back we’ve four rear pockets. The traditional terrace and a zippered “hobbit stash” built in to the middle. Perfect for squirrelling cash and other small valuables, or indeed energy bar wrappers.
The others are a decent depth and will easily swallow 750ml trade bottle, banana 5.5-inch smart phone and/or big gaolers’ bunch of keys. Elasticated tops keep everything from leaping out, come the first bump, while enabling easy access.
The front features a full-length zipper for easy climate control, for those situations where the ride starts cool and dewy but turns mild. It’s a decent quality, teeth engage easily-great when you’re in a hurry. Being fussy, a longer tag would’ve made this simpler still, wearing full-finger gloves. However, its easily addressed by running a zip tie through.
Staying with the back, the base features a full silicone hem to prevent it creeping up during a ride. Standards of construction and stitching are uniformly good throughout. Screen printed logos bring some subtle reflective safety to the torso, and I’m very fond of the Tom Simpson caricature across the rear pocket. A splash of colour at the sleeves also adds some nice contrast.
I’ve moved towards medium in recent years but being an Italian brand, I wasn’t surprised to find large was best for my 1m81 70 kilo frame. Crucially, the Prendas Ciclismo sizing chart is very accurate. I’m long limbed, relatively broad shouldered but proportionately short in the torso.
Suffice to say it fitted me perfectly, in every respect. There’s ample room for a long sleeve winter weight base-layer, without any hint of bunching or restriction, or bagginess. Sleeves go right to my wrists, making it easy to form a weather cheating seal with light-middleweight gloves.
Our changeable, and often chill test period has been perfect testing ground. Predominantly paired with polyamide and similarly sophisticated synthetic base layers, I’ve been impressed with its ability to keep me temperate. With wind chill dragging the mercury down to 7-8 degrees Celsius, I was able to hunker down and battle headwinds.
Gusty blasts tugged at the outer fabric but with the zipper drawn closed, nothing snuck inside. On a couple of evening rides, the temperature plummeted from 11 to around 5, which though apparent wasn’t bitterly so. I was glad I’d packed my buff and wore it around my neck.
Early morning outings, (the sort that start cold, bright and dewy but quickly climb to the teens) were similarly pleasant. As the temperature climbed to around 13/14 degrees, cruising at 18-20mph, I tended to drop the zipper down to chest level to provide a quick cooling boost.
That said, I have only reached the mildly damp state around chest, pits and lower back. By this point, base-layers depending, quickly dissipates. Obviously, there’s no water repelling proofing, so anything more intense than a sustained drizzle is going to leave you feeling damp given twenty minutes, or so.
Old school 'condom' jackets will leave you feeling boiled in the bag. Water-resistant and breathable micro-jackets have kept me nigh on arid, without supressing the jersey’s wicking prowess. Generous pockets mean these shells are easily packed away, should the sun break through.
Though a road garment in the strict sense, I’m partial to leaving the maddening crowd behind, in favour of unmade roads and green lanes. Close encounters with thorny, scratchy foliage induced some unsettling noises but failed to damage the fabric.
Talking of which, “hossing” along lumpy dirt roads confirmed pocket tenure was up to scratch. Admittedly, I’ve primarily fed ours the back bottle (link) but bog-standard 750ml trade types have also stayed put.
Black sleeves are magic when it comes to hiding dirt 'n’ grime. However, I’m pleased to report ours has washed beautifully at 30 (and indeed, 40 degrees). Easily tossed in with the civilian wash-just avoid fabric conditioners and similarly ruinous additives.
£80 isn’t cheap but neither is it outlandish. There’s plenty of competition boasting comparable spec, some for considerably more. If price is your bottom line, Altura NV2 long sleeve Jersey comes in at £20 cheaper and might be a better option for colder weather.
All round, the Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux Paris Long Sleeve jersey meets its cool season design brief handsomely. It is also a winner in the style stakes, combining timeless practicality with a sense of fun. Cut and fit are also excellent, although I’d appreciate some slight revision of the zipper, making it easier to operate in full-finger gloves.
Verdict: 3.75/5 Classic jersey with a competitive price tag and some novel touches.
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH