Le Col's Sport Short Sleeve Jersey is a high-performing option for the summer with some neat little features.
Le Col was set up by long time pro rider Yanto Barker, currently on Team Raleigh. The Sport collection is the most affordable clothing from Le Col, although it's not what you'd call budget. Le Col is aimed at experienced cyclists who are 'prepared to invest in themselves' (according to the PR), and this jersey is made in Italy using good fabrics, so they're aiming at high quality here rather than going for cheap 'n' cheerful
I've used this jersey a lot lately, first for a few days in Lanzarote, then on many more rides back in the UK, and it has performed very well throughout.
It's entirely polyester, the main panels being almost (but not quite) mesh – a bit like a teabag. Although not all that much like a teabag, to be honest. Whatever, it lets loads of air through to keep you cool in warm/hot conditions. Of course, you're going to get a bit sweaty on a hot climb in the sun, the same as you would in any jersey, but this fabric is lightweight and very breathable so it dries quickly on the descents.
The fabric used for the arms, collar and side panels is a uniform thickness, rather than being textured, and it's as stretchy as the main fabric so you get a close, non-flappy fit even if you're skinny. That's not to say that you won't get away with it if you're a bit more bulky because of the elasticity, but don't expect acres of space because the cut is pretty slim here for people of a classic roadie build – you know, slim and chiselled. And handsome.
Le Col always do the details well. I went for a ride with Yanto a few years ago (oooh, get me!) and that was one of the key brand features that he was keen to emphasise. They're not big on cutting corners to keep the cost down. So, for example, you get a full-length zip with a zip guard at the top to stop it irritating your neck, a couple of high visibility tabs around the back, and there's a silicone gripper inside the hem. The seams on the body are flatlock stitched and look like they're made to last. You get the usual three rear pockets along with a fourth zipped one back there for your keys, phone, money for a mid-ride coffee, or such like.
Unlike some of the Le Col clothing I've used in the past, the Sport jersey has the logos heat-pressed on rather than embroidered, but after quite a few trips through the washing machine these don't look in danger of peeling off any time soon.
All in all, this is a well-made, highly breathable jersey with a few little details that add to the overall performance.
Highly breathable summer jersey with neat details
road.cc test report
Make and model: Le Col Sport Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Small, Blue - Red Medium also sent
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Le Col say, "The Le Col Sport jersey has been designed to sit below our "Pro" level jersey but still deliver a quality cycling jersey for the summer. We have gone to great lengths to deliver value for money with the Le Col Sports range including features.
Flat locked seams for comfort
Fitted sleeves with elastic easy fit material.
Full length zip with zip guard
3 large pockets
4th security pocket with zip
High visibility strips on pockets"
That all seems reasonable enough.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's very breathable, and that's a key feature of a summer jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability and the non-flappy fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Spot on 7 really - a good, well detailed, summer top at more or less the price you'd expect to pay for it.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.