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The Cafe du Cycliste Georgette jersey brings together some strong performance elements with great ventilation and breathability. The look won't be for everyone, but personally I like it; just make sure you sun screen all the way up.
The British summer may not have been the hottest (so far), but there have still been some incredible days to fully test the Georgette jersey. It is very much a warmer weather top, and I wouldn't want to be wearing it in a standard British summer downpour.
This is because it is one of the best ventilated jerseys I have used, simply on account of how much mesh is used throughout. Not only the arms, but there is also a strip of mesh running up the back. This has been designed to allow heat to escape quickly and easily, and it works. Opinion will no doubt be divided on the look – I'd have to agree it is a bit of a strange one and takes a bit of getting used to, but I like it.
One slight downside of the amount of mesh used is that you do need to make sure you are fully sun lotioned up, or you end up with Chris Froome skinsuit-esque sunburn, as I found out. However, the ventilation it provides is worth the effort. (Check out the road.cc guide on how to avoid sunburn while cycling, here.)
Away from the mesh, the jersey is made from a merino wool blend; merino, as many people know, is fantastic for wicking (the fabric details list 32% merino, 63% polyester, 5% polyamide). I used it a couple of times without a baselayer and it moved sweat away from the body quickly and easily. I was worried that with the grey colour, I would end up with classic V sweat marks, but this was not the case, even after several hours of riding in the heat. Cafe du Cycliste claims it's a mid-weight technical merino blend, but it was more than adequate for the warmer conditions I used it in, and certainly worked well around 28°C.
The jersey has a full zipper at the front, which also helps with ventilation. The YKK zipper is well made, seems robust and adjusts easily on the move. At the top there is a zipper garage to stop any chafing when it's fully closed, which is always a nice touch.
At the back the jersey has three regular pockets and a valuables pocket. The left and right pockets are both a thick mesh material, which seems like an aesthetic choice as I couldn't find any technical reason for this. The valuables pocket has a decent zip and was easily big enough for my iPhone 6, so would likely fit all but the largest phones. Each pocket is a good size and there is also an elasticated band across the top which means the jersey keeps its shape even if the pockets are fully loaded.
The medium that I wore seemed about standard in terms of sizing and the fit is close, giving it a classy look. Helping with this is the strong silicone gripper running along the bottom of the jersey, which kept everything nicely in place throughout test rides.
The jersey comes with an RRP of £118, which seems a fair price to pay for a well-vented merino blend jersey. It's up alongside some elite offerings in terms of price, but I would say it deserves its place there.
Overall, I really like this jersey. Performance-wise, it has great ventilation thanks to the mesh combined with the merino blend fabric, as well as a close cut that helps with aerodynamics. The amount of mesh used won't be to everyone's taste, but personally I think it looks great, even if you need to apply a bit more sunblock.
A strong performing, innovative jersey that's great for warmer weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cafe du Cycliste Georgette
Size tested: 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?
Cafe du Cycliste says: "A mid-weight jersey constructed from a technical merino blend that is specifically designed for excellent moisture transfer and thermoregulation. Ideal for warmer weather riding, it provides a superb ventilation and allows the jersey to be worn across a wide range of temperatures."
It works well, keeping me cool despite riding in some relatively hot temperatures.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
32% Merino | 63% Polyester | 5% Polyamide
Moisture Management Properties
Zipped Key Pocket
Three Cargo Pockets
Full Zip with Guard
Made in Europe
Very well made, with some innovative design features, especially the use of elastic to keep the pocket shape even when full.
Performed very well, kept me cool and dry throughout the test period.
Well made, but with the amount of mesh there is always a danger of snagging, despite it being particularly thick mesh.
Fitted very nicely, not too tight, not too loose.
Fits well based on a medium size as listed on the website, although wouldn't be a medium in traditional European sizing.
It's a jersey with a considerable amount of ventilation, so it is naturally fairly light.
Very comfortable, thanks to good material choice.
About what I would expect for a merino blend jersey with some good technical qualities.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It washed well in a regular 30 degree wash without any kind of shrinking or discolouration.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, kept me cool and dry throughout. Fit was good and material choice is strong.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
My favourite part was the elastic used to keep the pockets a good shape; a small thing, but it was a good design choice.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The mesh was good for breathability, but I did get sunburnt through it the first time I wore the jersey.
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
A strong performing jersey that kept me cool and dry while riding in some relatively hot conditions. The fit is good, it is fairly priced and the material choice is excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.