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BUYER'S GUIDE

Best cheap cycling jerseys 2024 — get comfortable on the bike without breaking the bank

Want to stay comfortable without spending a fortune? These great cycling jerseys all cost less than £80

This article contains links to retailers. Purchases made after clicking on those links may help support road.cc by earning us a commission but all of our reviews are fully independent. Find out more about road.cc buyer's guides.

While arguably not quite as vital as some quality padded bib shorts, a cycling jersey can really help enhance your on-the-bike comfort. When you're looking for one of the best cycling jerseys for your money, you can see the price tags range from as little as £20 to as much as £300 for very high-tech jerseys. It can be difficult to distinguish between 'cheap', and good value, but as a general rule in 2024, if you just want to stay comfortable on the bike, you don't really need to pay more than £80 for a great cycling jersey.


All the jerseys listed below have impressed our reviewers due to their performance, quality and value, and achieved high review scores. All of them also cost less than £80, some considerably less; although if your budget is greater, or you just want to compare a wider price range, then you can also check out our overall guide to the best cycling jerseys

Do you really need a cycling jersey? 

A cheap cycling jersey doesn't have to mean poor quality, as this guide demonstrates. Cycling apparel brands such as Van Rysel consistently produce affordable, yet great-performing products, amongst other manufacturers. 

Cycling jerseys usually come in a gender-specific cut, but casual jerseys that aren't meant to be close-fitting are sometimes unisex. We've included both men's and women's jerseys in this guide, and many of them are available in two fits even if we haven't reviewed both.

If you've landed on this guide in the winter months, be sure to check out our winter cycling jerseys guide and bookmark this page for when the weather brightens up. Without further ado, here are our top affordable jersey picks! 

How we review cycling jerseys

Beyond just a single outing, road.cc reviewers use products for at least one month before submitting their verdicts, ensuring that the jerseys undergo extensive wear to gauge their overall quality, performance and comfort. 

Our cycling jersey reviews assess various factors such as construction quality, durability, fit,  pocket space, weight and value, taking into account similar products when assessing how good or bad something is versus what else is available. We believe that this comprehensive evaluation provides valuable insights into what the jerseys are like to wear regularly, across different riding styles and weather conditions.

Why you can trust us

When it comes to road.cc buyer's guides, we will only ever recommend products that fared well in reviews. All the jerseys here are not only affordable, but also scored 4 out of 5 stars or more overall from our reviewers, indicating very good, excellent or exceptional quality according to our reviewers' opinions. 

Our reviewers are all experienced cyclists, and so are the road.cc team members who put these guides together. That means you can be sure the product selections are our genuine top picks, not just a round-up of things we can make a commission from.

We've picked a best-of-the-best selection which you'll find in the quick links, plus some more recommendations and finally, a Q+A section with plenty of handy info about cycling jerseys. 

Our top picks of cheap cycling jerseys

Galibier Regale Ultralight Jersey

Galibier Regale Ultralight Jersey

9
Best cheap cycling jersey overall
Buy now for £46.88 from Galibier
Lightweight yet robust
Very comfortable
Good value
Thin enough to be see-through in places

The Galibier Regale Ultralight Jersey is very thin, designed for warmer days and, of course, indoor training during the darker winter months. In our review, it impressed us with its comfort, durability and lack of compromise, especially in the pockets, which are deep and stretchy yet surprisingly secure. Not to mention, the sub £50 price is also very appealing.

Galibier says its goal with the Regale was to produce the lightest jersey on the market while still offering sun protection (SPF30). With premium, lightweight materials come slight see-throughness, though, so if you feel sensitive about showing your skin (or more likely, base layer) through the jersey, then a little darker or heavier-weight jersey might be a better option, 

Despite the thin fabric, this jersey still seems well-made and durable, and considering the price, it's an excellent option for the summer months. 

Van Rysel RCR Women’s Short-Sleeved Cycling Jersey

Van Rysel RCR Women’s Short-Sleeved Cycling Jersey

8
Best women's budget cycling jersey
Buy now for £34.99 from Decathlon
Lots of pockets (seven!)
Breathable mesh fabric
Price
Good value for money
Washing lost a little of the tension in the fabric
Long sleeves won’t suit all

The Van Rysel RCR Women's Short-Sleeved Cycling Jersey is a great, slim-fitting top for hot summer days or intensive riding, and it comes with oh-so-many pockets!

For just under £40, Van Rysel, Decathlon's premium brand, has managed to make a good-looking, wearable jersey that works really well on those double-digit days. The key feature of this jersey is a mesh panel that runs down the full length of the underarm and body, and also at the back of the neck. Although the whole jersey is pretty light, with a material that wicks sweat well, the additional mesh makes for a well-ventilated ride and the stripy nature of the mesh means it isn't overly see-through, so doesn't highlight bra straps. 

And we mentioned those pockets... as well as the usual three-pocket combo along the back, there are two additional zippable pockets which run underneath the main pockets. If that were not enough, there are then an additional two 'bin' pockets which are located above the hip, bringing the total to a mighty seven pockets. We say we want more pockets so, clearly Van Rysel listened to us! 

Madison Roam Men’s Merino Short Sleeve Jersey

Madison Roam Men’s Merino Short Sleeve Jersey

9
Best merino jersey
Buy now for £39.99 from Madison
High-performance fabric
Relaxed, yet tailored fit
Decent price
Some more eye-catching colours would be nice
Outside pockets are a little snug

Madison's Roam Men's Merino Short Sleeve Jersey really is a high-performing jersey for those who want a more relaxed fit, and is brilliantly comfortable for days off the beaten track. A balance of merino wool and polyester means it's highly breathable and very fast drying. The relaxed fit makes it ideal for gravel or adventure riding, or for those times when you aren't in race mode.

The breathability and ability to keep our reviewer cool received high praise, even at temperatures above 20 degrees. The 150g, 65% merino and 35% polyester fabric allow the breeze to flow through, which is lovely on fast, flat sections or when descending. While you can still get a bit sweaty on long stubborn climbs in this jersey, once your speed picks up the Roam dries impressively quickly.

Specialized Women’s Trail Thermal Jersey on a mannequin

Specialized Women’s Trail Thermal Jersey

8
Best casual long sleeve jersey for women
Buy now for £39 from Specialized
Nice, relaxed fit
Lightweight
Polartec Power Grid fabric works really well
Only two colours
Kangaroo pouch pocket can stretch

If you're looking for a more casual cycling top with long sleeves, the Specialized Women's Trail Thermal Jersey is a great versatile and warm option.  The Polartec Power Grid fabric performs well in making this top suitable for various activities in cold weather without compromising on breathability. Despite its lightweight feel and comfortable fit, the kangaroo pouch pocket tends to sag a little when loaded. This one is also sized slightly larger than expected, though that offers a relaxed fit ideal for layering if you want to do that. 

Van Rysel Men's Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Summer Jersey Racer Ultralight on a male mannequin

Van Rysel Men's Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Summer Jersey Racer Ultralight

9
Best men's long-sleeve jersey
Buy now for £44.99 from Decathlon
Impressive build quality
Good attention to detail
Very breathable
Sizing is small - this is one for the racers

The Van Rysel Men's Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Summer Jersey Racer Ultralight is a top pick for performance and quality at an affordable price. Though it has long sleeves, it's ideal for warm conditions from spring to autumn, as the lightweight construction and breathable fabric make it comfortable even in high temperatures. Thoughtful details like zip garages and angled pockets add to its functionality, while the racer's fit provides a sleek, aero profile. And despite that slim cut, this jersey still offers ample stretch for movement. 

Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey on a male

Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey

9
Best lightweight, affordable jersey for men
Buy now for £78 from Rapha
Low weight
Highly breathable
Very comfortable
Competitive price
Sleeves loose compared to the torso

Rapha is a bit of a classic when it comes to cycling apparel, and the brand's Core range is known for its more affordable price tags. Though this Core Lightweight Jersey has gone up in price to £78 since we reviewed it, it's performance remains the same.

We found that this jersey offers exceptional performance in hot and humid conditions, thanks to its lightweight and breathable design. The Core Lightweight jersey is made with two ultralight fabrics, and those give you great ventilation while maintaining Rapha's renowned quality and style. The pockets are well-supported and the top is finished with a secure waist grip. 

While it's not 'cheap', the Core jersey provides a more affordable way into Rapha gear, and you can sometimes pick one up for less on sale. 

Galibier Sentinel Foul Weather Jersey

Galibier Sentinel Foul Weather Jersey

9
Best all-weather cycling jersey
Buy now for £68.32 from Galibier
Impressive water resistance
Plenty of reflective detailing
Decent breathability
Great price
Pocket access a little restrictive

The Galibier Sentinel blurs the lines on what defines a jacket and jersey thanks to its mixture of weatherproofing, lightweight race styling and short sleeves. It's not a new concept, but one that Galibier has executed very well indeed, and at a relative bargain price.

According to Galibier, the Sentinel is a jersey designed to work with just a baselayer, within an outdoor temperature range of 7-16°C. We found that at about 5°C with just a summer baselayer underneath and a pair of arm warmers, it performed well. The jersey is coated with a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, but rather than it being applied at the end of manufacturing, the fabric is treated before production starts, which makes it longer lasting according to Galibier.

The fit of the Sentinel is performance orientated, so it's cut close. The main outer fabric used in the jersey isn't quite as elastic as a standard Lycra jersey so it's worth taking a close look at Galibier's comprehensive size guide to get it right.

More great budget-friendly cycling jerseys

Altura Icon Men’s Short Sleeve Jersey

Altura Icon Men’s Short Sleeve Jersey

8
Buy now for £65 from Tredz
Impressive breathability
Good value for money
Eye-catching designs
A bit rough around the edges in places

The Altura Icon Men's Short Sleeve Jersey comes with some clever fabric which really helps on the breathability and anti-whiff front. The semi-relaxed cut means you don't need to be a racing whippet to wear it, either.

This latest has what Altura describes as a full silhouette redesign, and uses a high-wicking fabric for the main body and a carbon material for the underarm panels; the latter is made by Italian manufacturer Miti, which claims it draws toxins away from the skin to keep you feeling and smelling fresh in key areas. In our review, we found that both fabrics feel soft against the skin and work well, equally so when paired with a another layer on top. 

The sizing on this jersey is on the more generous side, so we'd recommend sizing down based on our review sample. However, if you prefer a more relaxed feel, then your regular size in this jersey might be just perfect! It's a lot of jersey for the money too.

Chapeau Club Jersey

Chapeau Club Jersey

8
Buy now for £28 from Chapeau!
Good value
Good sized pockets
Nice fit
Not as breathable as some
No zip pocket

The Chapeau Club is a great choice for a year-round jersey, at an attractive price (especially at the time of writing, as it's on sale for under 30 quid). The fit is excellent and it's available in a large range of styles, though it lacks a zip pocket for valuables.  

This jersey is a mid-range summer top that copes well in a variety of conditions. It may not be at the pinnacle of performance but at this price point, it's an attractive proposition. In our testing, we found that the pockets are large enough to carry plenty of cargo – though there's no zipped one for valuables – and the fit is excellent. It's also available in all sorts of colours and styles if this 'Denim Coral' style doesn't take your fancy.

The fit of this jersey impressed in our review, offering a relaxed fit without feeling too baggy. 

Primal Chameleon Women’s Evo 2.0 Cycling Jersey

Primal Chameleon Women’s Evo 2.0 Cycling Jersey

8
Buy now for £40 from Primal
Available in sizes XS-3XL
Price
Bold design
Fast-drying fabric
Race fit won't suit all

The Primal Chameleon Women's Evo 2.0 Cycling Jersey punches above its weight in terms of performance at this price, making it a good choice for sportier riders on a budget and those who like a bold design. Made from Primal's super-stretchy 100% polyester Q3 Elite fabric, this short-sleeved jersey features laser-cut sleeves, mesh panels at the back of the neck and down the sides, a full-length YKK zip, and three pouch pockets at the rear.

The fit is performance-orientated so you can expect it to be snug, and when testing this jersey our reviewer found that the fit is very different from other Primal jerseys. The cut is proportionally much larger at the bust than the hips, making it best suited to more athletically-shaped women (but with a bosom) rather than more hourglass shapes.

Galibier Bordeaux Wind Jersey

Galibier Bordeaux Wind Jersey

8
Buy now for £49.78 from Galibier
Wind-resistant panels keep you warm
Highly breathable elsewhere
Comfortable, soft material
Deep pockets
Could do with more drop at the rear

The Galibier Bordeaux Wind Jersey is described as a piece of spring and summer kit, but with a bit of layering and accessories, it works well into the winter too. It blocks the wind, has deep pockets, a bit of reflectivity, and a cut that will suit those who want to wear it for early-season racing or fast training. You get all of this at a bargain price, making this jersey an excellent choice if you want a versatile top that you can wear nearly all year round. 

We tested the jersey from the end of summer and well into winter and concluded it was ideal throughout. The chest and shoulders of this jersey feature Carvico wind-resistant fabric for the chest panels and over the shoulders, and you find the same material on the middle back pocket for some spray protection. These materials do a great job of blocking the breeze from hitting the front of your torso, keeping it warm and toasty, yet the thickness doesn't affect the stretchability.

MAAP Alt_Road Ride LS Tee 3.0 on a male mannequin

MAAP Alt_Road Ride LS Tee 3.0

8
Buy now for £53 from Maap
Impressive wicking
Soft enough to wear against the skin
Highly breathable
Not cheap

If you don't want a skin-tight aero jersey for cycling, then Maap's is a comfy option. Crafted from high-wicking Polartec material, it excels in managing moisture and maintaining comfort across various temperatures. And compared to your regular long-sleeve t-shirt, the Maap Tee's snug yet relaxed fit reduces flapping while providing stretch for movement. There are also cycling-specific elements like the breathable side panels and a scooped rear hem which add to its functionality.

At RRP, this top is just under the £80 mark, but at the time of writing it is on a very good sale.

Budget cycling jerseys: how to choose and everything you need to know

faq-icon
What cut and shape should my cycling jersey be?

Compared to a t-shirt, a cycling jersey usually has a longer back, shorter front a higher neck and sleeves shaped to fit when you're reaching for the handlebars.

There's a lot of variation in how closely a cycling jersey fits. Some are very close and tight-fitting, especially if they're intended for racing. You don't want excess fabric flapping in the breeze if you're trying to go as fast as possible. This is usually called something like a 'race cut', so avoid jerseys with this kind of description if you want something with a bit more give... similarly, you wouldn't buy jeans advertised as 'skinny' if you like them baggy!

Other cycling jerseys are looser and a more leisurely fit if you're not a racer. Look out for 'sport', 'city' or 'casual' designations.

faq-icon
What size cycling jersey do I need?

As mentioned above, cycling jerseys fit very differently depending on their cut. You can usually fit multiple sizes, but it's partially down to your preference which size will fit you best. 

If you're new to cycling or a specific brand, look at the size guide available and compare it to your own measurements. One manufacturer's size large cycling jerseys will not be the same as another's, so try before buying if possible; or perhaps ask on the road.cc forum or a cycling friend for some hive mind. To give some examples, Italian manufacturers tend to come up small, and American-based brands (manufacturing in the US or in Asia) tend to be more generous when it comes to sizing, but this isn't always the case. 

 

faq-icon
Should my cycling jersey have sun protection?

UPF protection is something that most cycling apparel brands now build into their products, and for a reason. We all know the hazards of prolonged exposure to the sun, and some summer cycling jerseys are so thin they don't protect your skin adequately. 

Even if your jersey has protection from UV rays built-in, it's essential to apply some sunscreen, especially on your neck and upper back where your jersey won't provide any coverage. 

faq-icon
What fabric is the best for cycling jerseys?

Many summer cycling jerseys use different fabrics in different areas, such as more breathable mesh under the armpits, and on the back. Synthetic fabrics are popular because they're designed to quickly carry sweat away from your skin so it can evaporate from the outside of the jersey. This is where cycling jerseys really beat your cotton t-shirt. Cotton soaks up moisture and retains it next to your skin. 

By moving sweat away from your skin, then, jersey fabrics help maintain a constant temperature - especially when paired with a good base layer

That said, natural materials work well in cycling jerseys, too, and you are likely going to find fine Merino wool jerseys on the market. Wool is still warm when it's wet, but surprisingly comfortable in warm weather too. Smell-causing bacteria grows far more slowly on wool than on synthetics, so a wool jersey can be worn multiple times between washes before it gets smelly. That makes wool popular with commuting and multiday-touring cyclists who don't want to have to wash a bunch of cycling jerseys every week.

In short, it all depends on your cycling habits. If you are performance orientated, a synthetic, sweat-wicking material might be the best, but if you prefer to not do the washing so often, merino is a better idea. Bear in mind that regular washing of the kit also impacts its performance, so if your jersey has synthetic treatments, those might weaken overtime - and your merino jersey should always be washed with a wool-specific detergent. 

faq-icon
Do I need a women-specific cycling jersey?

As we mentioned in our introduction, there are unisex cycling jerseys out there and these will often be more suitable if you're after a casual cut. Fitted jerseys for sport cycling and racing tend to be gender-specific and cut for male or female body shapes.

faq-icon
Do I need pockets on my cycling jersey?

Nearly all cycling jerseys have pockets, for a reason. They're where you stash your puncture repair kit, extra clothing, gloves, snacks and your phone. Different jerseys have a different number of pockets and how many you need depends on how you like to carry things. Many pockets are a good thing, but don't overdo filling them. 

Having a lot of things stuffed in your back pockets in hot weather is bound to make your lower back more sweaty - but at the same time, you don't need any additional accessories such as a saddle bag or bar bag on your bike. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

Add new comment

2 comments

Avatar
Saxtoo | 1 month ago
1 like

Suvi is getting paid way too much. Needs a wages review. And quick.

Cheap is £10-£20 matey. That's all our price range. Not Rapha. About time you cycled outta here. 

I pay £8 for a Muddy Fox luminous jersey. £11 for a Ralpha winter fleece thermal long sleeved jersey. 

Avatar
Freddy56 | 1 month ago
1 like

Dont think "cheap" is the correct word. The correct price, non rip off.  I've 'expensive LeCol, Rapha and PNS (bought for me) jerseys and the quality is similar and in one case much lower than my stock Lusso and Galibier jerseys. 

The extra cost must be simply marketing and BMW spend for the brands.