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Aldi's Men's Performance Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey is a cheap but generally cheerful staple, with decent tailoring and some nice touches.
Aside from feeling acutely synthetic, the polyester/polyamide weave is surprisingly comfortable. Seams are well stitched given the asking price, and silicone grippers mean the back and sleeves stay exactly where you want them. There's decent overlap here, too, even with non-bib longs, while most cool/cold weather gloves slip neatly over the sleeves.
The longish fold-up collar continues this chill-cheating theme – perfect for those sunny autumn afternoons when it's just that little too warm for the softshell jacket-cum-jersey.
Somewhat predictably, moisture management is good rather than great, especially worn with synthetic baselayers although, thoughtfully, the weave is slightly thinner at key points, specifically beneath the armpits.
Twenty minutes at around 20mph and things turn a little clammy around the pits, chest and lower back, at which points the fibres kick in, keeping moisture to an acceptable minimum. Dropping the zipper a few inches helps, but I must say that a little additional warmth was welcome when the temperature dipped sharply on mid-October evenings. Zippers can be a weak spot on budget kit, and I'd appreciate a longer tag for easier mid-flight climate control, but YKK is a dependable brand
The jersey isn't remotely shower resistant, so you'll need to carry a wind/water repelling jacket if rain's expected (or even if it isn't).
As standards, and so expectations, of budget garments have risen, I've become less forgiving. Pockets can sometimes be an afterthought, but I'm pleased to report that the heavier duty weave used here translates as a really supportive terrace. They're deep enough to swallow a mini pump, spare tube, bananas, energy bars and mobile phones/similar tech. Integral to the middle is a zippered section for money and other valuables.
Only a spare lithium-ion battery for a high power light tipped the balance: powering up climbs, out of the saddle, I could feel it bounding around, like unruly teenagers in a school science lab, although I wasn't conscious of it when just churning away in the saddle.
In terms of sizing, judging by this and other brands I'm thinking Chinese manufacturers err on the generous size. Traditionally a large in jerseys and jackets, I'm finding medium my new default. This one's no exception – a perfect length and plenty roomy enough in the shoulders.
Ultimately, bearing in mind that it's a budget garment, there is a lot to like here. True, wicking prowess isn't on par with pricier synthetic weaves, and it does feel decidedly synthetic, but it is a warm, lightweight and generally pleasant staple for the cooler months.
Relatively cheap but very cheerful long-sleeve jersey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Aldi Performance Cycling Jersey
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?
Aldi says: "A high-performance jersey to keep you warm and dry while you're cycling. Features include a full-front YKK® zip, 3 open back pockets and reflective details to make sure you're seen on the road."
No quibble here – it does exactly what it says on the tin and to a reasonable standard.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Breathable: Yes
* Iron: Do not iron
* Material: Polyester/Polyamide/Spandex
* Size: S, M, L, XL
Regulates moisture and transfers it away from the skin
* * Thermal fleece panels
* * Stand up collar
* * Storm guard
* * Optifit sleeve border
* * 3D air - structure
* * Glow in the dark
No reason to think it won't stand up to a good few seasons' regular use.
Much better than I was expecting.
Bang on for my 1.81m frame.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to live with, has even survived the odd accidental 40-degree machine wash with no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Aside from feeling decidedly manmade, it's a surprisingly competent jersey for training and general riding. Comfort and moisture management is good rather than great, and I've avoided pairing it with the most basic polyester baselayers for this reason, but otherwise it has few vices.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good sizing and fit, decent pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Decidedly manmade feel but this is to be expected – and largely forgotten when riding.
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
It's a worthy staple for training and general riding, but decidedly synthetic texture may be a turn-off.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)