For £65 (or closer to £50 at the time of writing) the Craft Grand Tour jersey is a pretty nice bit of kit. The collection of features and fit deliver a product you'll be as happy with on a six-hour sportive as you would be on a quick chaingang or summer-evening crit – a lightweight jersey with just a few sizing caveats.
First off, this jersey is light – at 156g in Medium there's not much to it. The front and back panels are made from a semi-translucent material that protects modesty when against the skin, yet allows dollops of air through at speed. Across the shoulders and sides there's more traditional lightweight jersey Lycra, brought together with a pretty robust zip that feels like it'll last the life of the garment.
The Medium is a good fit around a 37in chest, but the arms do come up a bit short – so if you're more Gollum than Goliath and want a sharp mid-bicep tan-line this might not work for you. They were long enough to pair with some arm warmers on cool mornings, but after an hour or so some re-adjustment was needed to avoid the Nora Batty support-hose look.
Craft's sizing chart says with a 94cm chest and 84cm waist I'm a Small – possibly explaining the less-than-snug chest fit in a Medium, but a Small would probably mean even shorter arms. The chest panels did flap a bit when in the drops on fast descents – it's not sprayed-on, but then I'm no Atlas (as the missus often laments). Again, if you followed the sizing guide to the letter it would be a pretty snug garment, so maybe try one on or buy from an outlet who do free returns.
The stiffness of the zip (definitely two-handed operation) acts to hold the collar proud of your neck, meaning there was a few fingers' worth of gap for breeze to find its way down. Under the arms the fabric is borderline string-vest, it's so breathable. The rear hem is a very grippy elasticated job.
The three pockets aren't the deepest at 6in, but hold a thin gilet or warmers no problem. The centre one has a zipped front that will take a medium-size phone in a case no problem. The open pocket in the centre has a small headphone/earpiece hole at bottom right (looking at the rear) for those of you needing to get your fix of The Archers Omnibus, or instructions from the DS that the cake stop is only two miles away so it's time to get on the front lest ye be 10th in the clacky-shoe coffee queue.
Style-wise, the Grand Tour isn't a bad looker, with Craft logos down the side panels and across the chest. The collar might not win everyone over with its deep, almost V-neck look, but when you're out on the bike it feels fine and – as already mentioned – does a good job of directing a bit of air about the place.
This jersey is breezy – you should be able to take on any UK midsummer all-day effort without issue. The pockets can take a gilet to layer up as needed, but being so lightweight if you loaded it down with gels, tools, pump and warmers it would get pretty full.
Inside, only one of the seams is flatlocked, across the back, but it's really not an issue – the fabric is so soft and light that the seams aren't evident.
Over a month of rides earlier in the season the Grand Tour was a bit of kit I looked forward to pulling on. Worn with a gilet, the previously-reviewed Lusso Wind Block T-shirt and a pair of arm warmers, it was good for single-digit morning starts that got up into the teens, and for a few all-out TT sessions it was perfect on its own. And for a full Craft outfit you could pair it with the Puncheur Bib Shorts we reviewed recently.
At £65 the Grand Tour is a good buy; at closer to £50 it's a very good deal. Just be aware of the shorter arms/fit.
Delivers good hot-weather performance for a reasonable price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft PB Grand Tour SS Jersey
Size tested: 1902615 colour 9810 Black /White/Gecko Medium,
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?
It's for spring/summer riding, possibly paired with a gilet/arm warmers for all-day low-to-high teens use.
- Functional fabric that enhances cooling and moisture transport
- Ergonomic design for a perfect riding-position fit
- Soft, elastic fabrics for a perfect fit and comfort
- Moving Wing Technology™ for total freedom of movement
- Bodymapped Mesh Superlight panels at hot spots for active cooling and moisture transport
- Soft, ergonomic sleeve endings
- Silicone print at back bottom hem keeps the jersey in place
- Hole in back pocket for headset wire
- Four back pockets (one zippered), full front zipper
- Sublimated, classic race design
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The fabric is very breathy, and the collection of features are well-thought-out.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
It's not a premium-assembled product, but then it's not a premium price.
Rate the product for performance:
Can't complain - it kept me cool on long / warm rides and held kit in place.
Rate the product for durability:
Over a dozen or so washes it still looked new - no concerns with longevity
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
It's very light for the feature set / price.
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
It's comfortable, but I did wish the arms were longer.
Rate the product for value:
At £65 RRP it's good value, at closer to £50 online it's destined to be a summer favourite. If the arms were an inch longer I'd give it an 8.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well. Kept me cool, paired with other kit well (arms mentioned already).
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lime accents really finish it off.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The arms. Another inch would make all the difference.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes. But possibly not at RRP.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but would advise to shop around and to be aware of the arms.
Age: 42 Height: 183cm Weight: 71KG
I usually ride: Charge Juicer My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, singlespeed and Dutch bike pootling
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