The Contest SE Lady Jersey from Gore Bike Wear is intended to be an ultra lightweight, cooling jersey with a slim fit for hot summer riding. It's also designed to be an eye-catching design led jersey for those who like to stand out.
The Contest SE is undeniably lightweight, at just 126g for the size Large/40 I tested. It's a simple design, made from super light vented fabric, with a full-length zip and three rear pouch pockets. There's no elastication and no gripper tape anywhere, but there's reflective trim on the pockets at the back. The design is refreshingly different, with a bit of flamboyance and flair to get you noticed and not a single pastel shade to be seen anywhere.
The cut is indeed 'slim' so if you like your jersey a little on the looser side, especially given that this one doesn't have a hem gripper so might migrate if too snug, then consider choosing a larger size than usual.
I found the 40 to be comfortable, allowing for a pleasantly airy fit to make full use of the venting fabric, but I would have been equally happy to wear a 38 as more of a race fit. It's a nicely shaped jersey, with a well-shaped tail that makes up for the lack of gripper tape at the hem. With shorts that were higher at the lumbar area of the waistband, I had no problem with gaps developing.
The soft mesh fabric was superbly comfortable in hot weather conditions, wicking moisture quickly and effectively and always giving a feeling of coolness, no matter how hard the ride, while the full-length zip was great for ventilation options.
It's just a minor detail, and common in such lightweight jerseys, but I'd have liked to have had some sort of zipped key pocket somewhere, even if on the sleeve.
£49.99 isn't at all bad for a super lightweight hot weather jersey with good looks and great performance.
Looks cool and it'll keep you cool.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Bike Wear Contest SE Lady Jersey
Size tested: Size EU40/L
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 hot weather riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% polyester microfibre mesh
Full-length zip at front
3 pouch pockets at rear
Washable at 40
Available in sizes 34-44 (XS-XXL)
Very well made using excellent quality fabric and components.
Spot on for hot weather comfort.
Should last well as machine washable at 40 which will keep odours at bay more easily, given that it's synthetic.
Very comfortable indeed. Depending on personal fit preferences consider going up a size.
Very good value for such a well made good-looking jersey.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of zipped pocket for key.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, if I knew they wouldn't be riding with me!
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A stylish and super lightweight summer jersey at a good price.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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, general fitness riding, mtb,
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.