Madison's Sportive Thermal Roubaix jersey is a classic winter training top that does an excellent job of banishing late autumn chill.
The cut is more precise than some, which is something to be aware of if you're buying online. Madison describes it as 'pre-curved', although size-wise it comes up slightly generous – generally speaking I'm a large in most jerseys, being broader across the shoulders than my height and build suggest, but medium was ideal for me.
The manufacturer's blurb talks of high performance fabrics designed to keep us comfortable 'when active'. Essentially, this boils down to a nicely executed polyester shell and micro-fleece lining.
Worn with a short-sleeved merino or better quality polyamide baselayer through increasingly chill October afternoons, the thin pile lining is extremely tactile and more than adequate for single figures. Somewhat predictably, more basic polyester baselayers under the Sportive jersey left me feeling clammy over comparable distances, though never uncomfortably so.
A strong autumn sun left me feeling much warmer than thermometer readings would have suggested, but after a short delay the fibres of the jersey kept reasonable pace with my own efforts on late evening, middle distance rides. In any case, climate control is easily tweaked by the front zipper. Speaking of which, given that it's a winter garment a stodgier zipper tag would have made access easier in full-finger gloves.
Haring along windswept 1-in-4s at 40mph, things felt temperate and the jersey neck is just high enough to prevent wind whistling inside without having to resort to buffs and similar garments. The cuffs sit just the right side of snug, but check that your chosen gloves offer sufficient overlap – I found that some allowed a small gap when cruising on the hoods, permitting cold, blustery weather inside. Thankfully, the sensible neck and tail, complete with silicone gripper, prevented further intrusion.
Persistent drizzle is about as water repelling as things get, so you'll need to stuff a micro-jacket into one of the rear pockets if the forecast looks changeable.
The rear pockets follow the traditional three terrace design, and although they aren't as cavernous as some they will manage the usual essentials – tube, multi tool, CO2 cartridges, energy bars and so on. There's also a nifty zippered valuables stash for change/keys that'll just about swallow a small wallet.
Ours was the seasonally appropriate fluoro yellow with sensibly positioned retro-reflective logos, zipper and diagonal stripes across the middle pocket. There are black and red versions, should you fancy something more subtle.
Nicely designed and generally comfortable jersey for cool weather training
road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Sportive Thermal Roubaix jersey
Size tested: Medium
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?
Madison says: "The Sportive Thermal Roubaix jersey is perfect for Spring, Autumn or Winter conditions."
I can attest to autumn and it's shaping up well as the days become progressively darker and cooler.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The pre-curved shape offers real comfort when in the riding position.
Three rear hand pockets offer enough space for spare tubes, tools, food and a race cape, and the concealed zipper pocket keeps your phone and keys safe
Reflective tape on the main zipper and around the biceps combined with several reflective prints ensure great night time visibility
Constructed from Italian Thermal Roubaix Lycra, this long sleeve jersey keeps the chill out without letting you over heat
Mesh panels in the underarm prevent you over heating
Elasticated hem with silicone gripper keeps the jersey firmly in place
Limited lifetime warranty
Nicely made, and on a par with others of a similar price.
Wears and washes well, easy to live with.
Comfort is generally good, although it's best paired with a baselayer and a jacket.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It has lived up to expectation and is a very nice take on the classic winter training jersey. Moisture management is reasonable, even in milder conditions, and while you can feel icy winds licking at the shell, those fibres retain welcome warmth.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Classic design, good cut and some nice touches.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Certainly lives up to its hype and is a good mid-price option.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your score
Overall a good interpretation of the winter training jersey narrative with some nice features. Competition is pretty fierce at this end of the market, though.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking