Judging by the kit coming through for testing, UK brand Lusso is revamping a lot of its range, especially those for use in changeable weather conditions, and the Version 2 Repel Corsa Short Sleeve Jersey is one of them. It's a jersey that is ideal for the spring or autumn months thanks to both its resistance to the elements and its being impressively breathable and comfortable when the temperature starts to rise. It's well priced compared to most of its direct competition too... Gabba 3 anyone?
- Pros: Impressive barrier to the wind and rain, breathable, excellent fit
- Cons: You can have any colour you want as long as it's black
Lusso says this new version uses a new and improved Windtex fabric, and it offers excellent levels of windproofing and, more importantly, water ingress.
I put the Corsa jersey on for a test ride when there was a lot of that heavy drizzle going on and, as expected, everything was fine to start with. The rain just beaded on the surface of the fabric before running off or getting swept away by the air as I rode.
Two hours later, though, when I finally stopped outside the front door, I realised just how heavily it was now raining and, thinking back, it had been for a while. I'd noticed the puddles on the road and the passing spray from the traffic, but because I was dry and warm I hadn't really paid much attention.
Even in that heavy rain the fabric had continued to keep the rain out. It gets to a point where it is no longer beading on the surface, but it doesn't get through. It's breathable too and you avoid that boil in the bag syndrome until at least the mid-teens centigrade.
This is helped by the fact that Lusso has used one of its Repel panels for the back section to increase breathability where it's needed. The Windtex is highly breathable for such a waterproof fabric but there is always a compromise and the Repel counteracts that.
It's a Lycra style, fleece-backed material that uses a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to keep the rain out. They don't last forever, but after a fair few washes it is still going strong.
Some extra thought has gone into its design over the original, most notably that rear tail. It's dropped considerably more than a normal jersey to give plenty of coverage over your rear end should you get caught out in the wet while riding a bike without mudguards.
The jersey has quite a close fit without being totally race orientated so it's quite flattering if you aren't race whippet thin, and the sizing is realistic for the British cyclist. What I mean by this is that you won't need to size up like with some European brands.
At the rear you get three deep pockets which'll swallow a lot of kit without any sagging whatsoever, plus there is an external zipped valuables pocket which is plenty big enough to swallow a smartphone.
Behind the full length zip you get a baffle to stop cold breezes and the water from getting through, all topped off with a high neck and a zip garage for comfort.
The Corsa jersey is designed to be used with the Repel Corsa arm warmers, so mild winter days are catered for too. It can be dark too, especially if you are a commuter, so you'll see there are plenty of reflectives on offer.
The bottom of each cuff and beneath the pockets gets the same sewn-in reflective dots as found on Lusso's Termico tights which works really well and just looks like a simple pattern in daylight.
Alongside those you get a strip of reflectives from the neck to beneath the shoulders, and another running along the top of the pockets, plus another along the bottom of the tail.
In addition to this all of the logos are also reflective.
This leads to my only small criticism about the Repel Corsa: it's only available in black. Castelli's Gabba 3, which is a direct competitor of the Lusso, comes in brighter colours like red for daylight riding in spring and autumn.
While we're talking about the Gabba, it's probably time to mention the old value for money. The Gabba was the jersey that started this whole idea of a weather resistant racing top off, and there have been many imitations, many quite pricey.
A Gabba 3 short sleeved jersey currently has an rrp of £150, and then there are others like the Ashmei 3 Season Jersey that I tested last year. I was impressed, but it's a cool £220! (See more options below.)
The Lusso is £129.98 so a bit cheaper than the Castelli but its resistance to rain is way better than both I've just mentioned, which for me is a massive plus point. Windproofing is great but thanks to its breathability you can use it in a large range of temperatures.
Lusso is proud of its 'designed and manufactured in Manchester' products and so it should be as the quality here is right up with the best. The stitching is neat and tidy, plus the attention to detail really stands out.
Keeps the wind and rain out at a competitive price – watch out Gabba there's a new kid on the block...
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Repel Corsa Jersey V2
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
The Repel Corsa is a three-season jersey offering excellent resistance to the elements.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Fabric is Windproof & Waterproof
* Aero Fit – High Stretch
* Lightweight & Breathable
* 360° Reflective
* 4 pockets (One zipped)
* Full Front Zip – with Zip Flap
* Made in UK
The sizing is realistic to UK riders and is spot on to the website size guide.
Slightly cheaper than the Gabba but with better performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine or handwash cool, 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For cool spring or autumn days when the weather is iffy it can't be knocked.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent at keeping the wind and rain out without feeling like a sweat box.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd like to see more colour options.
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 overall score
This new version of the Corsa jersey is an excellent take on a theme. It's great for use in everything but the warmest of summer days and its water resistance is better than the opposition for a competitive price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike 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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.