If you're the kind of roadie that likes to look like a roadie off the bike as well as on, then the Carbonaut Classic jersey might be for you. It works pretty well as a leisure riding top too so long as you don't work up too much of a sweat.
Carbonaut say: 'Our dedication to the tailored fit and cut that flatters a rider's shape is central to everything we create: bringing together the finest materials, detailing and craftsmanship in every stage from design to delivery.'
Basically the tops they make look a fair bit like cycling tops but they're designed to be worn off the bike. This is the flip side of the coin from a lot of the clothing development we've seen in the last few years which is bringing us more casual-looking clothing that's designed to be ridden in. They sort of meet in the middle; sort of.
The Classic jersey is nicely put together. The thin cotton/Lycra material is comfortable and stretchy and the zipped rear pocket is just big enough for your phone; anything heavier makes the jersey sag. The tail is dropped a touch and the neck is high, but comfy. The sleeves are fairly short and fitted so you can top up your razor-sharp tan lines off the bike too.
So if it's a top that looks like a cycling top, would you wear it down the pub? Our straw poll of co-workers and friends said no, mostly. It seems that most people prefer technical-but-casual to the performance look without the technical fabrics. It might be just the thing you're looking for though. Everyone's different. However, with tops like Vulpine's Alpine Jersey and Café du Cycliste's range coming more into prominence, you can have casual looks and performance fabrics.
In the interest of completeness we did a fair bit of riding in the Classic Jersey too, and found it to be a comfy top for leisure-speed stuff. If you build up a sweat it'll start to soak – it is mostly cotton, after all – but for easy rides it's very pleasant. If you like going out with the family but want to keep a performance look, it might be just the thing.
Interesting top that's comfy and well made although the notion of performance looks for casual wear probably has less appeal than the reverse.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Carbonaut Classic Jersey
Size tested: Large
Born from the iconic lines of a racing jersey, this stylish top has a supersoft, carbonised finish, with side panels, a zipped collar and sleek, contoured lines for a great fit.
With distinct features including a dropped tail, secure rear pocket and a tailored cut, the Classic Jersey fuses a unique combination of design elements taken from a technical cycle jersey together with casual fabrics and stylish detailing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Contains 8% elastane for excellent shape retention
* Soft, carbonised finish with a fitted, ergonomic cut
* Zipped, secure phone pocket and dropped hem at the rear
* High, zipped neck with guard
* Woven chambray trim detail throughout
92% Cotton 8% Elastane. Machine washable
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well, I guess, though we can't see a massive appeal.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable and well made, good value.
Did you enjoy using the product? It's a nice top, sure.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends whether they want to look a bit roadie down the pub.
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.