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The Alé PRR Arcobaleno is a close-fitting, highly breathable jersey that's ideal for racing/training/sports riding in summer conditions.
The Arcobaleno – it means 'rainbow' in Italian, language fans – is made from lightweight polyester and elastane fabrics that are very stretchy, so it'll accommodate a range of shapes and sizes comfortably. It's definitely a slim, performance-type fit, but you can afford to be a bit more stacked than a typical bike racer or a few pounds over your fighting weight and still get a decent fit. There's some stretch to the seams too, so I didn't get any particular tightness around my swimmer's shoulders, for example.
The front and shoulder panels are micro-perforated so plenty of cool air can get inside and all that damp, sweaty air can escape easily. Plus, the full-length front zipper allows you to go for maximum ventilation if things get really hot on a long, demanding climb. A fold or fabric at the bottom of the zip stops it from scratching away at your shorts fabric.
The side and rear panels are made from what Alé calls a 'carbon fabric' – still mainly polyester – which shifts sweat well too. I certainly didn't ever notice it getting wet through and uncomfortable while riding. Quite the opposite.
The wide bands used for the bottom of the front and the ends of the sleeve aren't as stretchy as the other fabrics, adding some tension to hold the jersey in place when you're in your riding position. Alé calls this its J Stability System. Whether or not it warrants its own name, the design works. A tacky-feeling silicone strip inside the elasticated waistband that runs around the sides and back helps here. I've always felt that the jersey is sitting flat to the body without any riding up or flapping, and not much bunching around the middle when you lean all the way down to the drops.
You get three pockets around the back, the tops of the side ones slightly angled for easier access. The fact that the jersey sits close means that whatever you store in there is held right next to your body. It would be virtually impossible to lose your energy bars mid-ride and find yourself riding home on fumes. The back doesn't sag down when you have those pockets fully loaded either, which is a pet hate of mine.
You also get a fourth zipped pocket back there that's big enough to hold even a large mobile phone like an iPhone 6s Plus, although you might struggle if it's in a chunky case (the pocket measures about 105mm x 160mm). There's no water resistance to that pocket, so you'll want to put your phone into a bag or wallet to stop sweat getting to it.
Something you can't fail to have noticed is that Alé goes for bright, in-yer-face designs. I prefer a little more subtlety, but that's a matter of personal taste. From a technical/performance point of view, this is an excellent summer jersey for performance-orientated riders. It comes in a women's fit too, which we reviewed here and the matching women's shorts here.
Lightweight and highly breathable summer jersey in an excellent cut for performance-orientated riders
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ale PRR Arcobaleno Jersey Mens SS16
Size tested: Large
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 a lightweight and technical summer jersey.
Alé describes it as: "Short sleeve jersey with ergonomic fitting made of super light weight fabrics for maximum comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Alé lists these technical specifications:
* Bottom sleeve and bottom hem shaped for the bike position thanks to the exclusive Alé J Stability System.
* Micro perforated Lycra for the front and the shoulder
* Carbon fabric for the side panels and the back of the jersey
I'm sometimes a medium, usually a large. I had a large here and it was only just big enough – right on the cusp!
You can certainly get jerseys much cheaper than this but the design and construction justify the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. You sling it in the machine at 30°C. You're not supposed to put it in the dryer. It dries very quickly when hung on a rail.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It offers a close to the body fit and breathes well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The close to the body fit when in a riding position.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I struggle with Alé's colour palette! It reminds me too much of the 1980s. There are several different colour options, of which this is the least bright. If that yellow doesn't look particularly bright on your screen, trust me, it is.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely, especially if it was offered in more subtle colouring.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The average of the above scores is closer to 8 than 9. However, not all of those scores have an equal weight, to my mind (performance is much more important than sizing, for example). I think this jersey puts in a very high level of performance and, although pricey, it's not exorbitantly expensive.
About the tester
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 been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.