The Le Col HC Jersey is a high-quality option for the summer with some very good features.
What are those very good features of which we speak? First, it has a full-length zip, and you can't beat that for maximum air circulation on hot, sweaty climbs.
The zip in question feels like one that's going to last the distance rather than one of those that's going to fall apart at the slightest provocation, and it locks firmly in place wherever you want it. A fold of fabric at the top of the zip means it can't irritate your neck.
Around the back you get three deep pockets with elasticated tops to keep all your stuff from flying out, along with a zipped fourth pocket. This one is large enough to take one of the new generation of large mobiles like an iPhone 6, and it comes with a reinforced port for an earphone cable.
The tops of the sleeves – the orange panels on our review jersey – are made from stretchy Lycra Shield, the back of which is covered with hundreds of little silicone dots. These give the fabric a tacky feel and, more to the point, they keep the sleeves perfectly in place. Even when you sweat lots, they don't ride up a bit. Spot on! A silicone strip inside the elasticated waist does a similar job down there.
The quality of the Italian workmanship is well above the norm, with excellent seams, taping around the inside of the collar and binding at the edges of the zip. These are little things but they all add up. The logos are embroidered rather than heat transferred on so they're not going to crack and gradually flake away. The reflective stripe that runs down the central pocket is a heat transfer, but it's showing no signs of ageing after a couple of months of use and many washes. All in all, I think the HC jersey is going to maintain its good looks for ages.
The main fabric is a polyamide (91%) and elastane (9%) mix from Jersey Lomellina. I'd say it's a medium weight for a summer jersey. I've known fabrics that shift moisture and dry considerably quicker, but I've been very comfortable wearing this in temperatures around the mid-20s centigrade. You might want something lighter and more airy if you're heading up big Continental climbs in hot weather, but it's a decent option for most UK conditions.
The fabric stretches massively both widthwise and lengthwise, so although the jersey is cut slim, it'll suit many riders of a medium build as well as stick-thin racers.
Strong features and high build quality make this a very good jersey for the UK summer
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Le Col HC Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Navy/Orange
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?
Le Col says, "The HC range has specifically been designed to be a combination of performance function and style!"
It's a road-style jersey in a slim fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Le Col lists these features:
* Full length zip
* Zip guard
* 3 Large pockets
* 4th security pocket with zip (Fits new iPhone 6)
* Interior iPhone/Mp3 port for threading headphone cable
* Oversized silicone dot gripper
* Reflective hi-viz safety stripe
It's a very well put together jersey.
The fabric is good rather than exceptional, in my opinion, but very good features add to the performance.
The high-quality workmanship is sure to add to the longevity.
As is usually the case, you pay a lot more for a high-end jersey for a relatively small step up in performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performs very well in UK summer conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The sleeves are comfortably held in place and I always like a full-length zip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably not pay this much for a summer jersey.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yeah, if they're cool with the price.
Use this box to explain your score
No doubt about it, £150 is a hefty outlay for a summer jersey. The quality of the workmanship – very good seams and embroidered logos – is well above the norm and that goes some way to justifying the price. Treat it well and this jersey could last you years. If you're willing to pay extra for higher quality, this is well worth considering.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.