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With a racy fit and cooling areas built in, Altura's Podium SS is aimed at the higher performance end of the market than the UK brand's usual fare, and it's spot on for hot summer rides.
I've always associated Altura with good basic kit that works and is inexpensive to boot, but at first glance this jersey's four-way fit material, generous levels of mesh around the armpit area, and on-trend black/fluoro highlight combo suggests a premium price tag. It looks great and feels like a race jersey with a significantly higher asking price.
The medium size contoured well to my tall and skinny frame without coming up short around the waist. It could perhaps be slightly tighter around my shoulders and chest, as I tended to get a smidge of flapping at higher speeds out on the bike – but I'm nitpicking really. I found the sleeves excellent – a good length and with the right amount of elastic that they stayed put even on my rather weedy arms.
At the back is the standard three pocket arrangement, with an additional zipped storage space for a phone/iPod on top of the middle rear pocket. Either side of the main three there are also extra narrower pockets that are useful for stashing sticky gel/energy bar wrappers, a nice touch that I was definitely glad to have on longer rides where bins weren't readily available. (Others tell me they're also handy if you're carrying a backpack, which can restrict access to your rear pockets.) The secure zipped pocket also has an audio port if riding with music is your bag.
This is definitely a jersey for hot days. The sheer mesh on the underarms works really well at keeping you cool when it's 20 degrees or more out. Equally, it's not a jersey I'd choose for a chillier day out on the bike; even with arm warmers I found it a bit cooler than others I've used on early morning or late evening rides.
Compared with other racing/performance jerseys, £59.99 is pretty good value for what you are getting with the Altura Podium. I've enjoyed wearing it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a jersey they can ride fast in on hot summer days.
Good looking and performing hot weather jersey that won't break the bank
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Make and model: Altura Podium SS Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Black/Neon green
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Altura's site:
Aggressively cut stretch fabrics for optimal performance on the road.
* 4-way stretch underarm mesh for breathability
* 5 rear pockets with mesh construction, plus 1 with autolock zip
* Silicone hem gripper
* Autolock front zip
* Long skin fit stretch arms
* Reflective detail
* Ultra high wicking Interlock fabric
* Audio port
Nicely put together jersey.
Great in really hot weather, but consider a base layer if the sun threatens to be hiding behind clouds all day.
No problems during the test period.
Very comfortable, fitted me well, just slight looseness around the shoulder area.
Not as cheap as your basic jersey, but cheaper than most performance jerseys.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The wide range of pockets available, and the smart colours.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit around my chest/shoulders could have been marginally better.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 21 Height: 182cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: On-One Carbon Whippet Single Speed MTB/Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
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: cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking