I've long been a believer that unless you're a hardcore speed demon focused on those elusive marginal gains, pretty much any jersey is going to do the trick to a greater or lesser degree, and if budgets are tight, this is a much better place to save money than on shorts, for instance. The Aldi Ladies Short Sleeved Cycling Jersey proves that for just £19.99 it's possible to get a genuinely stylish, effective and deceptively expensive looking jersey.
At first glance it would be easy to think this jersey was made by one of the prestige brands. The fabric is pleasantly silky and lightweight, and the boldly graphic black, white and red design shouldn't upset even the most style conscious of female cyclists.
On closer inspection, this full-zip jersey still gives the impression of costing far more than just 20 quid, with mesh panels under the arms and on the back, laser cut sleeves and hem, reflective accents and a triple rear pocket with small zipped security pocket. The contrast tonal panelling is a nice touch, with the white section giving an impression of an almost bodice-like detail, making it a bit more feminine than many.
The fit is spot on, with the medium fitting a 12-14 as stated, and the cut and fabric are accommodating of a variety of body shapes – although the lightweight silky fabric does mean that pairing it up with curve-flattering bib shorts rather than waist shorts is a good idea.
Out on the bike the fabric wicked moisture well and dried quickly, while the underarm and rear venting were great on a hot day. In essence, it behaved like a well-performing jersey – rather than a budget one – should.
The only niggle I had was with the size of the rear pockets. While the central one is large enough for a windproof jacket or similar, the two side pouch pockets are really only big enough for an energy bar or two at best. Not the end of the world, though, and with lightweight fabric like this, overloading usually results in a saggy fit anyway. There's a small zipped pocket too – it isn't lined to keep contents from getting sweaty but will just about accommodate an iPhone 5S sized smartphone in a freezer bag.
All in all, it's extremely hard to find fault with this jersey for the paltry sum of £19.99, especially as it easily looks like it could have cost four times that and it performs well enough for all levels of rider too. A genuine bargain.
Well designed and exceedingly good value for money – looks a lot more expensive than it is, with performance to match
road.cc test report
Make and model: Aldi Ladies Performance Short Sleeved Cycling 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?
Aimed at budget conscious female cyclists.
Aldi says: "Designed for women, this short-sleeved, high-performance cycling jersey is super comfortable and breathable. It features a moisture management system to keep you dry while you cycle, along with several pockets, including 1 with a YKK zip - ideal for keeping your valuables safe."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
88% polyester/12% elastane
Underarm and back mesh inserts
Gently grippy laser cut hem and sleeves
3 rear pockets, one with small security pocket with YKK zip
Rear reflective accents
Full zip front
Washable at 40 degrees
Available in S, M, L
Very well made for the price.
Comfortable and kept my body a good steady temperature and not clammy.
Washes well but the lightweight silky fabric and the main body colour being white mean it probably won't keep its looks for longer than a couple of seasons' hard use at most.
Very good fit with super-stretchy fabric accommodating a variety of body shapes.
Sizing was spot on as stated.
Very light indeed.
Both cut and fabric were extremely comfortable and the hem and sleeves both stayed put.
Superb value. This could easily pass for a jersey four times the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well indeed, particularly for the price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, colour, fit, fabric, comfort, price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Rear pockets were rather small.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Without hesitation.
Use this box to explain your score
This budget jersey has the looks and performance of a much more expensive jersey, offering genuinely excellent value for money for both beginners or more demanding riders.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.