The Louis Garneau (LG) Performance Carbon Short Sleeve Jersey could be one of the most technically advanced jerseys we've ever tested here at road.cc judging by the specification list. Does it all work? Well it's hard to say for certain, but one thing is for sure, when the mercury rises above 20°C you still remain as cool as cucumber.
Bring back the heatwave!
The Carbon part of the name comes from the fabric used on the majority of the torso, Carbon Ion, a material by Resistex which is 95% polyester with 5% carbon fibre.
In its own words, the manufacturer claims “the electrical charges that are dispersed in our body are responsible for numerous adverse effects. Resistex® Carbon prevent the discharge of electrical charges on the body, thus preventing muscle twitching, cramps, and fatigue.
“Carbon improves the electric performance of human bodies by promoting blood circulation and the regular supply of oxygen to the cells.
“The characteristics of high conductivity Resistex® Carbon also allow to improve the dispersion of moisture favoring sweat evaporation.”
These kind of claims are difficult to confirm or deny without laboratory tests, but one thing I will say is it's doing something as the LG Carbon is one of the best wicking jersey I've worn, noticeably cooler in the latest block of hot weather compared with other jerseys. Mesh panels under the arms encroach round the back to aid ventilation even more.
If you go for one of the darker coloured jerseys rather than the white here, the material also incorporates ColdBlack technology. Basically, the fabric is designed to reflect heat rather than absorb it; I've tried it on other black garments and it seems to work, albeit by a small amount.
The cut is slim, Racer Fit as LG calls it; it's supposed to provide a tight, aerodynamic fit although I did feel it was a little short in the body – not helped by the fact the material tends to ruck up at the front around the full zip. To be fair it is designed to do this with the teeth being sewn in in such a way that they pull away from the body to avoid chafing and irritation. All it does, though, is touch in places and not in others – it just feels odd.
The Carbon Ion might be breathable but the fabric isn't as soft as some, which seems to hamper its ability to really contour to the skin. It's not uncomfortable, it just never quite felt right around the stomach and chest.
The shoulders are shaped for a riding position and these do feel like a nice fit, and the arms are kept in position by a laser-cut band. They grip the arm by compression rather than using seams and elastic or silicone grippers, much more comfortable. As far as the sizing goes, the jersey comes up spot on to the recommended dimensions.
Pocket-wise, you get the traditional three with the two outside ones being slanted for easier access, and as they sit quite high up on the jersey this does help a little. You also get an Enviro pocket – a small, lined pouch designed for sticking your empty gel wrappers in and keeping them separate from your jersey and other stuff in your pockets.
Overall the LG Performance Carbon is a great jersey for hot days, especially when it is humid and muggy as the wicking and ventilation properties are amazing. The fit and feel of the material less so, for me anyway. With regards to value, £65 is actually a pretty good price for the amount of technology on offer, and this together with the quality and workmanship easily justify it.
A great jersey for the summer months depending on how you get on with the fit
road.cc test report
Make and model: Louis Garneau Performance Carbon Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Black/White
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?
The jersey has a 'Racer Fit' so it is designed for the fast road rider and thanks to the use of the Carbon Ion fabric and mesh panels it's ideal for hot weather riding. LG focuses heavily on the technology of the materials but without laboratory tests it's hard to quantify these.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: CB Carbon Ion, 95% polyester, 5% Resistex, Power Mesh 80% polyester, 20% spandex, Endurexx, 80% nylon, 20% spandex
Fabric Properties: Provides excellent muscle compression and support, coldblack finish allows the heat to be reflected unlike common dark textiles, which absorb heat, allowing the wearer to avoid overheating even during physical activity, Antistatic, Enhances blood circulation and improves oxygenation of cells, extreme breathability, dries very quickly
Cut: Pre-shaped shoulders, Aero Laser band at arm Laser-cut, Elastic at hem
Fastening: Full length comfort zip
Pockets: Enviro pocket: Stores empty gel pouches separately to eliminate littering, 3 angled back pockets with reflective trim on centre pocket: Easy to access with enhanced visibility
Protection: UPF/SPF 35
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As far as the fabric goes the LG jersey is very cool and breathable even in warm temperatures. Not so sure about the fit and comfort of the material though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How breathable and cooling it is in the midday heat.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit and comfort of the material against the skin.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Performance Carbon jersey has a lot going for it; it's a good price, well made and very good in warmer weather, but for me personally the fit just isn't quite what I'd expect from a 'Racer Fit' top.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.