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Verdict: 
A breathable, lightweight and aerodynamic jersey but the fit is on the tight side
Weight: 
115g
Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey
8 10

If you want a lightweight and aerodynamic top for racing or hot summer rides, the pro race-developed and tested Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey is a really good choice, though the fit is on the small side so you may need to size up.

Sportful updated the BodyFit Pro Race last year; the Italian company focused its efforts on making a jersey for racing in mountain heat, but says it was surprised when it found it was the most aero jersey it had ever tested when it stuck it in a wind tunnel.

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - riding.jpg

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - riding.jpg

Aero is the biggest buzzword in road cycling right now. Everything is getting more aerodynamic in cycling, and with the body producing about 80% of the overall drag you face when cycling, it's clear there are big savings to be had in upping your aero clothing game.

Achieving this jersey's claimed aero gain is down to the excellence of the fit. It literally hugs your body like a second skin. It's not at all baggy, there's no excess material to flap in the wind and cause drag, it's very streamlined. You feel fast just wearing it before you've turned a pedal in anger.

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - detail 2.jpg

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - detail 2.jpg

The sleeves, made from an Aero Stretch Mesh material, continue the aerodynamic theme. There are no hems or extra material, instead, a raw-cut opening ensures the sleeves lie flat over the arms. I found wearing a sleeveless baselayer best with this jersey – short-sleeve baselayers tend to ruffle up the very tight sleeves.

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - back.jpg

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - back.jpg

It is an extreme fit, and I found it a little tight across the chest between the shoulders when standing upright for the photos. Hunched over the handlebar with your shoulders rolled forwards a little, matters improved greatly. So remember that when you're trying the jersey on in the shop, and try to get into a cycling position to really test the fit.

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - chest.jpg

Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey - chest.jpg

Sportful makes no aero gains, and road.cc has no wind tunnel to conduct its own aero testing, but it's well understood that close-fitting clothing provides less drag than baggy clothing. So if you're trying to reduce your overall air resistance this is a good jersey to consider. It's also reasonably priced compared with other aero jerseys on the market.

Where the jersey also excels is in the heat. The material is lightweight, very breathable and excellent at mopping away excessive sweat. It's Sportful's own DryPro Light fabric and has a sort of mesh construction that helps it to dry quickly. A full-length YKK zipper provides extra ventilation when you need to get rid of more heat on the climbs. It's a great choice for hot weather riding, whether on those few rare hot days in the UK or a holiday to the French Alps or Majorca.

> Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best summer jerseys to beat the heat

You get three good sized pockets on the back of the jersey for storing all the food and tools you need on a ride. The outer pockets are slightly angled to make it a bit easier to get at the contents. I had no problems loading the pockets up – they didn't sag one bit, helped no doubt by the silicone gripper tape lining the hem.

To sum it up, this isn't the jersey you want for relaxed recreational riding, but if you're heading for hot climes where you'll be riding hard and fast, it's spot on – and you could pay a lot more for similar performance.

Verdict

A breathable, lightweight and aerodynamic jersey but the fit is on the tight side

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sportful BodyFit Pro Race Jersey

Size tested: Small

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?

Sportful says: "We developed this jersey for the riders of Tinkoff for racing in the heat and mountains of the Tour de France. We were surprised when we put it in the wind tunnel and found that it was the most aero jersey we had ever tested. Then we noticed the pro riders using it on cool and wet days because it dries so fast. It's really the ideal jersey for every condition. It's also one of our favorites for long, hot climbs in the Dolomites."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Sportful lists these features:

DryPro Lite for instant drying, excellent stretch, yet good pocket support

Aero Stretch Mesh seamless shoulder construction and raw-cut sleeve edge for comfort and aerodynamics

Extreme cycling position anatomic cut

Covered full-length YKK® Vislon® zipper

Silicone gripper elastic on waistband

3 external pockets sized for the rigors of pro racing

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Great hot weather performance, and feels fast even if the aero credentials are impossible to validate.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

The fit is extreme; it's designed to be skin tight and aerodynamic, and works best when in the tuck position.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

It's not as generously sized as other less racy jerseys in the Sportful range.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

It's certainly very light on the scales.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

On the bike comfort is good and the fabric does a great job of keeping you dry when you're working hard.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It's not cheap, but you can pay a lot more for this level of design and performance from other brands.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Goes through a regular washing machine cycle just fine.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Works well in the heat and feels very aerodynamic – great for high-performance high-intensity riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Aerodynamic fit, raw-cut sleeves and airy mesh fabric.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A little tight across the shoulders.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It's a very good race-focused jersey, ideal if you are all about riding fast in hot weather. If you're expecting a relaxed fit, look elsewhere – this isn't a jersey for relaxed cycling, but for going hammer and tongs.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

13 comments

Avatar
psling [235 posts] 4 days ago
3 likes

Blimey, is that Sportful BodyFit or Bodice?!?

Avatar
Grahamd [520 posts] 4 days ago
1 like
psling wrote:

Blimey, is that Sportful BodyFit or Bodice?!?

Can see what you mean, and now you've said it I can't see it any other way!

Avatar
BarryBianchi [156 posts] 4 days ago
2 likes

I would look absolutley great in that.*

 

 

 

 

 

* Not actually true in the slightest.

Avatar
MamilMan [58 posts] 4 days ago
4 likes

Expect to see these in the bargain bin.

 

That's going to appear in one of those 'what were they thinking' posts that turn up on a slow news day.

What's worse is the reviewer has not noticed that it makes him look like a cross dresser.

Probably OK to wear this for riding around the Basque country.

Avatar
AK_Ben [1 post] 4 days ago
0 likes

Nice! Do they make that in a men's version, too?

Avatar
Freddy56 [255 posts] 4 days ago
0 likes

Red and pink go down the sink

Avatar
StewartM [4 posts] 4 days ago
3 likes

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay

I put on Sportful clothing and hang around in bars

Avatar
Chris Hayes [123 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes

Looks slightly better in green - or, if you fancy a bargain buy a Tinkoff jersey: they're the same I think....but brighter, obviously....very bright. 

Avatar
I love my bike [201 posts] 2 days ago
0 likes

I'm not sure about the colours, but writing:

'It literally hugs your body like a second skin. It's not at all baggy, there's no excess material to flap in the wind and cause drag, it's very streamlined.'

Beneath a photo of it being worn in riding position, with wrinkles etc clearly visible, made me chuckle - how hard can it be?

Also, what's the point of wearing a helmet, if the chin strap is so loose? It's not due to UCI rule XXY subsection Q restricting modification of equipment is it?

Avatar
MattT53 [147 posts] 2 days ago
1 like

Ah yeah, because you can't wear pink if you're a guy right? I think it looks great, and "OK for riding round the Basque Country" seems like a pretty decent complement compared to most kit sported in the UK 

Avatar
The _Kaner [1093 posts] 2 days ago
1 like
MattT53 wrote:

Ah yeah, because you can't wear pink if you're a guy right? I think it looks great, and "OK for riding round the Basque Country" seems like a pretty decent complement compared to most kit sported in the UK 

I think that was a play on words, because it looks like a basque/bustier due to the panel cpolouring shapes at the front...

Avatar
BarryBianchi [156 posts] 2 days ago
1 like

A bit...

Avatar
davel [1334 posts] 2 days ago
1 like

I haven't got time for another Yo Momma thread