PRIMAL EVO 2.0 WOMEN'S SHORT-SLEEVED JERSEY
171g XL Neon Ink (as tested) £65
A race fit jersey, coming in a wide – often colourful range of designs – the Evo Jersey also comes in men’s versions. As you’d expect from Primal, quality in all respects is very good. Sizing is tight – as you’d expect – so go larger if you are self-conscious, or take a look at Primal’s more relaxed ranges.
Pros: striking design, comfortable and stays in place.
Cons: check the size chart carefully.
Polyester, 100%, is pretty much the norm these days, and nothing wrong with that. Having said that, double knit fabric may offer some small weight advantage, but more important, in my humble opinion, offers superior stretch to some. That’s good for a comfortable fit around the bust
There’s a Sun Protection Factor of 35 plus. Just bear in mind, that how much sun protection you need isn’t just about the fabric. You’ll find higher, for example, the short-sleeve version of the men’s Light Blue Classic Road Jersey.
The short sleeves end in broad grippers, no less than 6cm broad. A really nice touch, keeping things in place – which both test riders praised – but not marking the skin or threatening the circulation.
Around the waist, there’s a narrow silicone gripper, sufficient to stop riding-up. The hemmed collar is soft against the skin, even with the full-length zip pulled up tight. On that front, there’s no zip garage, but I’ve not suffered any chaffing. In any case, the collar isn’t as tight as you’d find on a winter jersey. Likewise, the zip fob is small, but difficulty manipulating a zip gloved up isn’t, in my opinion, much of an issue on a primarily summer garment.
Three elasticated pockets follow the traditional pattern. They are standard in size and take all the normal stuff without threat of ejection when on the road. There’s no zip-pocket for valuables, as there is, for example, on Prendas Ciclismo Bordeaux Paris Jersey.
One of the favourite features is a discrete mesh panels on each side of the garment. A real plus for climate control on hot days and when cooling down on the descent after a tough climb.
The design is striking, though that’s personal opinion.
As you’d expect, a race fit means tight and sleek. Our XL was certainly that. I’ll not blame Primal for the fact that I might have found the 2XL a better fit – let’s just say that testing was early in the season. Whilst the sizing chart is spot on, a more relaxed “sport” cut, aimed at general riding, commuting, and touring, can be found in Primal’s Rambler and Alula jerseys.
Equally, a second test rider, found ours spot on. They usually take a large/extra-large. So, bear in mind, it’s a sports size.
Cut-wise, there’s no flesh on show at the back when hunched over the drops, but it’s just as snug in more relaxed positions.
There’s no doubting that this is a very comfortable jersey against the skin.
Perfect under a long-sleeve jersey, and a waterproof jacket on breezy spring jaunts with the wind-chill down to about 4C – maintaining a steady 13-15 mph – the wicking properties seem very good.
As things have warmed up, it’s been cool at 20C, confirming that it does wick well.
Staying in place when bent over the bars on the road bike, it’s also been on recumbent adventures with equal aplomb.
Just machine wash, following the instructions. It’s been dry in thirty minutes. Handwash and you’re looking at around three hours before absolutely dry.
Frequent use and regular washing have yet to induce any bobbling, fraying, or fading; so, at this early stage, longevity is promising.
With shop brands offering decently specced-out jerseys, there’s a lot of competition. The Ribble Nuovo, tested a while back is still going strong and is considerably cheaper. Likewise, the Light Blue mentioned above. The Prendas Ciclismo Bordeuax Paris is less sporty, has a zip-pocket, but no SPF yarn, and comes in at roughly the same price.
When pushing myself hard, those mesh panels have been worth a lot.
Much about value comes with the style and image the design projects. Personally, I found Primal’s designs leapt out at me at 2018’s NEC Cycle Show. I also found the cut and size good, and for me that pushes up the value, though much of the time their Rambler line is more my mark.
Well-made with some very fetching features and a range of designs available; pretty much what I’d expect form a brand like Primal, and at this price point. I like this and will be even happier with it when the season warms up more and more miles have ticked by.