While there is a certain drive at the moment for retro-styled cycling kit, the Course Superleggera jersey by Louis Garneau is all about technology and performance. It excels in both departments.
Part of Louis Garneau's Road Elite range which they brilliantly describe as being for 'any cyclist whose passion fringes lunacy' the Superleggera is designed to be superlight and super breathable. Pretty super then.
Fit & Construction
The bulk of the jersey is made from coldblack Mondo, an 86%/14% micro-polyester/spandex mix so called because the material comes with a finish which reflects heat rather than absorbing it. Not so much an issue with the white version we've got here for test but on the similar Course Race jersey it worked very successfully in strong sunlight.
Garneau kit is split into various fit styles from relaxed through form fitting. The closest fit is Next to Skin, and that's how the Superleggera is designed.
Louis Garneau uses a fabric called Mesh 1001 for the chest, arms and mid back to wick sweat away from the body. It is a base layer material so obviously works better next to your skin where perforations create a layer of air that retains body heat.
The remaining panels are Lazer Rev which is a compression style material designed to offer support to the muscles and keep the jersey shape.
As far as fit goes all three of the various materials are very smooth and soft to the touch. Thanks to the Next to Skin fit the jersey looks tiny on the hanger, like a kid's jersey. The material stretches to fit and then stays put thanks to the wide silicone band at the rear.
The Lazer Rev material at the arms uses the compressive properties to keep things in place as you move about. The shoulders are shaped so the jersey actually moves very little as you move from a standing to crouched position.
A full length zip enables more ventilation if needed but to be fair the way the mesh panels work it's going to very hot before that's necessary. You find the usual three pockets at the rear and they are certainly plenty deep enough with the two side ones being angled making it easier to get stuff into them while riding. There is also channelling for headphone wires up through the jersey.
How does the Superleggera perform and does it justify its £110 price tag? For the latter part of that question it's a resounding yes. Compared to the competition at this price point the mix of fit, performance and comfort are about as good as it gets.
From 20°C upwards the wicking properties are very impressive and the wicking mesh panels are positioned in just the right place. Your shoulders are always in the wind flow whether you're standing or seated and you can actually feel the heat coming off of your body as you're riding. The material also carries a SPF rating of 50 so you shouldn't get burnt through the mesh either.
Riding in chillier temperatures isn't really an issue either. Starting a long ride early morning when things are a bit fresh, say 10 degrees is still comfortable once you get your body temperature up after a few miles.
The Superleggera feels like a second skin and moves with you without bunching anywhere. The materials are very soft to the touch and feel great against the body.
There is an impressive range of eight sizes with chest sizes from 34 to 48 inches. The are two colour options of white/black or black/white both with red accents.
The quality is also top notch, it just looks and feels like a high end bit of kit and literally makes you feel good while you are wearing it. Although it's pretty robust Garneau does recommend you do your best to resist snagging it as like any knitted material abrasive surfaces will pull on the threads.
Overall the Superleggera is a top end jersey with a top end price backed up by top end performance with nothing in the way of sacrifice.
Top performing jersey with great fit and comfort while stacking up well on the bang per buck scale.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Louis Garneau Course Superleggera Jersey
Size tested: Medium, white
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?
The Superleggera is aimed at performance riders who want something light and very breathable for hot days. The jersey is certainly both of those and an all round top level bit of kit
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
coldblack coated lycra to reflect heat (black version)
Mesh 1001 fro base layer breathability from a jersey
laser cut grippers
SPF50 sun protection
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
absolutely top notch performance, comfort and fit and the outlay of cash isn't going to be wasted
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
the fit and breathability on warm days
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
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,
With a background in engineering dabbling as a CNC programmer/machinist, draughtsman and product development engineer how a bike is made is just as important to Stu as how it rides.
He knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and has been chucking bikes around the west country ever since and the only reason he climbs is so that he can descend like a nutter down the other side. After years as a competitive time triallist Stu is on the lookout for a new form of competition after realising that the choice of a few glasses of wine in the evening versus riding up and down dual carriageways at 5am was becoming very one sided.