Bontrager Circuit Jersey

8
£49.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Great-looking summer jersey for a reasonable price – what's not to like?
Weight: 
204g

Bontrager's Circuit jersey is a lightweight summer top that's comfortable and breathable. You can have it in a range of relatively inoffensive monochrome shades or this, the Geo-Scope, which with its bright asymmetry is quite obviously the one you want.

Coming in at a relatively competitive £50, the Circuit jersey is from Bontrager's "fitted" range, so it's designed for a relatively close but not race-fit cut. I'm a tall, thin sort of a chap, and the medium was a comfortable fit on me. If you want something more aero, you're looking at Trek's "pro-fit" cut, as seen on the Ballista jersey which Stu liked so much. Getting a tight aero fit in your cycling clothes is one of the biggest changes you can make to go faster (see here) but I'd argue that's not what this jersey is about.

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For my money, and perhaps despite the name, the Circuit isn't really a jersey for racing in. It's a jersey for looking sharp on hot summer rides, while remaining comfortable and relatively streamlined.

I've worn it for some fast all-dayers now that things have warmed up, and been impressed with the breathability of the Profila fabrics used. There are actually three different fabrics used here, with the main body an airy mesh that is plenty breathable, the patterned part made from a stretchy Lycra fabric, and the third fabric – a more open mesh – just used for vertical strips at the sides of the torso, giving a little more stretch to aid fit.

Bontrager Circuit Jersey - riding.jpg

Bontrager has got the details right, too, as well as the graphics. There are the regulation three pockets at the rear, of a decent size, and made more usable thanks to the lower edge being folded back underneath (like on the Ballista). As is increasingly becoming standard, there's a fourth zipped pocket on the right; it doesn't offer any water resistance, but it's a proper size, big enough for a modern phone.

Bontrager Circuit Jersey - pocket.jpg

To either side of the pockets are vertical reflective strips, sewn in and positioned such that they're visible from the sides or the rear. Textbook stuff. There's a quality full-length zip, and a gummy gripper around the bottom, which keeps everything in place.

> Check out our guide to the best summer cycling jerseys here

Details like that make a jersey nicer to wear but they're probably not why you'd buy this – my feeling is that it's largely going to sell just because it looks great. If you like the colours but want something more aero, it's worth pointing out that there's a Geo-Scope version of the Ballista jersey too.

Bontrager Circuit Jersey - sleeve.jpg

Yes, maybe it's a little Morvélo-influenced, but when was looking a bit like a Morvélo jersey a criticism? The Circuit is a dashing summer jersey, with the stylish design complemented by well-crafted details and fabrics that keep you comfortable. I like it a lot.

Verdict

Great-looking summer jersey for a reasonable price – what's not to like?

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Bontrager Circuit Jersey

Size tested: Medium, Geo Scope

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?

Trek says: "Position yourself for a more productive ride in the Circuit Jersey. Profila Cool paneling delivers stylish all-purpose cycling performance. A mix of function, top-level comfort, and a bold style make this jersey ideal for every kind of ride.

"Mixing sensible features, top-level comfort and a bold style, the Circuit Jersey delivers practical performance for rides of varying length and intensity."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Key features

Lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking body fabric

Full-length YKK zipper for ventilation on long climbs or warm days

Three open back pockets and one zippered credit card security pocket

Rear branded gripper with silicone print keeps jersey securely in place

Drop tail design for cycling-specific fit

Reflective elements enhance visibility for maximum safety

Fitted cut provides streamlined body fit for enhanced performance

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Full-length zip is welcome and there are some other nice touches like the reflective strips to the sides of the pockets and the folded up bottoms to the pockets to increase their capacity. The main fabric used is comfortable and very breathable. Seams are not flatlocked.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Comfortable and breathable, if not a particularly refined fit.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No concerns so far.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

This is from the "fitted" range, second only to the "pro-fit" in Trek's terminology. It's a bit loose around the arms and shoulders for me but is perfectly comfortable.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Fairly standard American sizing, so a medium is fine on me. Trek doesn't give a sizing chart.

Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10

Normal sort of weight for a summer jersey.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10

Fabric is very breathable and dries reasonably quickly after a shower. Lack of flatlock seams wasn't bothersome.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Stacks up well against similarly constructed jerseys from main brands.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No issues at all.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well - comfortable and stylish for warmer days.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The graphics are ace.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'd have preferred better fitting sleeves.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

There's no box to score a review on style, as this is a subjective area, but if you don't like the look of this jersey, you're wrong. Ticks the other more objective boxes too, so gets a solid 4 stars.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 188cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh  My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS

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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

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