The Lucienne lightweight merino jersey from Cafe du Cycliste offers great materials & features but it isn't cheap.
The mix of materials combine well to provide a jersey that feels light and soft to the touch; ideal for summer rides when you can forgo a base layer and just get away with a jersey. Using 73% polyester, 20% merino wool and 7% polyamide allows the jersey to feel good next to the skin but retain merino's moisture wicking properties.
This is essential if you don't have another layer to assist. If the temperature climbs you want to ensure that if you're working hard then the jersey will regulate your temperature.
The Lucienne is billed as Cafe du Cycliste's summer jersey and you can see why. With these properties it does a good job of allowing the body to breathe and expel sweat without feeling as if the jersey is soaked in water. The other advantage with this is the lack of odour retention.
The back of the jersey is split into three panels with the middle one having a thinner construction to allow you to breathe better. This lightweight paneling is also used under the arms. The sleeves are finished with a stretchy cuff that gives enough grip to keep it in place.
On the rear you have your standard three pockets although it has to be said they are a little narrower than on others. You also get a zipped security pocket which is big enough for a phone, money or card. On the extreme edge of the band of pockets you get a a reflective strip on each side. On the left hand pocket as you look at the Lucienne there is a small eyelet on the inside of the jersey which allows you to run a headphone lead to the shoulder on the same side where there is a second exit point. Another little feature that is included with no fuss. A small embroidered Trois Cols badge on the rear is a nice touch.
On the front you get a full length zip with a decent size collar to keep out early morning chill should you need it.
The final thing to mention is the colour. Described as Dusty Green it is offset by the black bands on the sleeve cuffs and the zip. There is another colour variant on offer, last year's version which is available in grey. To be honest the dusty green is much more in keeping with today's cafe culture look.
When you put the jersey on it does feel soft and is a good snug fit. The medium was fine for me and I normally take a large when it comes to Italian brands so the Lucienne is more in keeping with everyday sizes.
Even on particularly warm days the jersey has been a rewarding wear. Keeping its shape and style it did a good job of letting the heat and moisture out so I didn't over heat. After several washes it still retains the same feel. Having reviewed last year's version of this jersey it is good to see the good work continue although very little has changed.
The only point of contention is the cost, you're paying £117 for this jersey and while it is very good some will baulk at the price.
Good-looking jersey that performs well in hot weather but the price may cause you to overheat
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cafe Du Cycliste Lucienne Lightweight Merino Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Green
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?
The Lucienne jersey feels good next to the skin and is very capable in the moisture management area but you are paying a premium price for it, in what is a very competitive category.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The mix of materials they've used combine well to provide a jersey that feels light and soft to the touch. Ideal for summer rides when you can forgo a base layer and just get away with a jersey. Using 73% polyester, 20% merino wool and 7% polyamide allows the jersey to feel good next to the skin but retain its moisture wicking properties. You don't want a jersey that moves the sweat away from the body but retains it within the fabric. The Lucienne does this effectively by allowing the body and material to breathe.
I am impressed with the quality and finish of the Lucienne. It is well made but in this price bracket you would expect nothing less. There is attention to detail and thought has gone into the design and styling. The seams are smooth and the finish to the sleeves is a nice contrast to the remainder of the jersey but also a practical one.
The mix of materials provide a well balanced jersey when it comes to thermo regulation as it is called in the industry. Basically if you get hot the jersey will do a good job at preventing you from over-heating. The full length zip could also be useful to allow for a greater flow of air and the extra ventilation under the arms and down the middle of the back are well thought through and executed.
After several warm rides and subsequent washes the Lucienne has retained its shape and performance. There is no problem with any catches on the material despite the greater use of polyester.
This isn't a climber's jersey but it certainly doesn't weigh in on the heavy side either.
Next to the skin the Lucienne from Cafe du Cycliste is very pleasant, the fit is shapely and the jersey does not feel awkward or irritating in any way.
The style is great, the quality is top notch but you struggle to perhaps justify the large price tag in comparison to other products on the market. This is undeniably a top jersey but the price tag is hard to justify now in view of the competition.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A rider looking for a light, mositure wicking jersey that has style.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The look and feel are quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is hard to take. The pockets on the rear are on the narrow side.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Not at this price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly to take a look.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Quality comes at a price but probably not this level.
About the tester
Age: 45 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT