De Marchi's aptly named Pure Classic Italian-made Merino wool mix jersey is an absolute beauty – the styling is so cool it’ll freeze your fingers. It might not make you ride like Jacques Anquetil or Fausto Coppi, but at least you’ll look the part.
Made from a blend of lightweight merino wool and acrylic, it’s soft next to your skin – not at all scratchy – and it’s stretchy enough for a classic close fit without any tightness. It feels really good on.
It’s a fairly loose weave compared to some wool jerseys – not mesh-like, but open enough for good ventilation in hot conditions. That means it doesn’t get as heavy as some when you work up a sweat and it dries out reasonably quickly, although no wool jersey can compete with a synthetic option on that front. Unlike many synthetics, though, it still feels comfortable when damp, and it doesn’t take on a perma-stink aroma a few rides in.
The front zip is full length so you can open it right up for the complete air-conditioning effect when you’re gunning up Alpine cols or just your local one 1:5, while the ribbed collar sits nice and snug around your neck when you want to keep the draught out. The rear isn’t extended but we found the cut long enough to keep us fully covered, while the pockets back there are neatly buttoned… and that’s it as far as features go. Classic, see. This is a jersey that doesn’t need to try too hard.
It's easy to look after too. You just bung it in the machine on a cold setting although you need to let it line dry. As for the price, well, you can certainly buy cheaper. Endura’s BaaBaa Merino Tech Jersey, for example, is £44.99. Rapha’s Sportwool (merino and polyester blend) Club Jersey, on the other hand, is £95, so the De Marchi is pricey, but not outlandish.
It's also available in grey with a green stripe and there's a women's version too in a choice of colours.
Lightweight merino/acrylic jersey with a decent performance and masses of style
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Make and model: De Marchi Pure Classic Merino jersey
Size tested: chocolate
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 39 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
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: time trialling, commuting, 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.