Windproof long sleeve jerseys are - or could be - a staple for many cyclists throughout the winter. It's a shame most decent ones need serious investment. Enter the Polaris New Niteride jersey. Just to clarify the name: the Niteride isn't new, "New Niteride" is what its current incarnation is called.
For a scratch under £45 (if you shop around online), you get a long sleeve jersey with a YKK full length front zip and 3 rear elasticated pockets, with an extra zippered pocket on the middle one. The jersey is made from Therma-Stretch which looks like your usual Roubaix brushed fabric, with the windproofness taken care of by a micro fibre front lining panel.
It keeps the wind out just as well as more expensive branded products, for me it worked fine down to about 4-5 degrees with just a light weight short sleeve merino base layer underneath.
The Therma-Stretch fabric isn't fantastic at wicking moisture away. It's not as bad as boil-in-the-bag waterproofs, but it's not quite as good as some more expensive windproof shells I've used. The only heat regulation you get is with the front zip; there are no pit vents.
The Niteride has thumb holes in the sleeves which I think are a bit pointless, well they were for me anyway as they create pressure points on my palms holding on to the handlebars.
In terms of sizing, the Niteride leans more towards the touring end as opposed to a snug racing fit, the back goes down quite a long way (and stays there thanks to a gripper hem) which really helps keep you warm. An added benefit of this is that the rear pockets are nice and low, making them easy to get things in and out of. To give some idea of sizing: I'm 5'10" and weigh 80kg; the large fits me fine.
If you're cycling in the dark, the reflective detailing should help keep you seen.
It's available in blue and red, and you can get it in small, medium, large, XL and XXL.
The Polaris Niteride will keep you toasty on winter rides and cooler days with some money to spare for a coffee AND some cake.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Polaris Niteride Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Red/Black, Large
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?
Polaris don't really say who it's aimed at all, other than the jersey living in their "road" section, as opposed to "trail" or "urban".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The new Niteride jersey boasts the following features:
- Windproof front panelled jersey
- Brushed Termastretch fabric for warmth & comfort
- Reflective print detail for safety
- Thumb loops & YKK zips
- 3 large rear storage pockets & 1 small zipped rear pocket
It is well put together, but some of the stitching, the stormflap under the front zip in particular, is a bit all over the place. This does not seem to impact the function of the jersey, and I don't anticipate it will shorten its lifespan. In fact you probably wouldn't notice if you didn't go looking for it. The YKK zips should outlast the jersey.
It'll keep you warm down to about 4-5 degrees with just a baselayer underneath, but it's not the best at wicking moisture away.
After quite a few washes, it keeps on going strong. None of the reflectives are showing any signs of coming loose.
It's quite a roomy cut. The large I tested fits me well in arm length but for a 80kg 5'10" man, the cut is generous rather than snug.
You get a whole lot of windproof jersey for your money. You could easily spend 3 times as much for an ever so slightly better one.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The back comes quite low down which helps to keep you toasty.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The thumbloops seem pointless, they create pressure in the wrong places.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, it's a bargain even at full price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I have and I would.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It's just a decent no-nonsense windproof jersey that'll keep you comfortable on your commute through the winter. And again next winter.
About the tester
Age: 32 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax