The Primal Lane Change Heavyweight Jersey keeps you warm when the temperatures plunge, although it does lack some of the tech that many will have become accustomed to in modern jerseys.
The jersey is aimed at keeping you warm during the cold, wet months (slightly colder and slightly wetter months in the UK) and is made from 'Sfero', which Primal claims is: 'the undisputed double-weight champion of the cycling world!' It also says it's made for a temperature range of 45-75°F (7-23°C) – which, unless you want to become a boil-in-bag dinner, seems excessive. Realistically I would be reluctant to use this jersey above 15 – it ain't that breathable!
It's certainly a warm jersey, with a fleece-like lining throughout that works really well to keep the cosiness in, but it's not totally windproof, so when descending you can certainly feel the cold getting in. That said, it isn't like wearing a string vest – it keeps out most of the bad stuff without too much effort, and isn't something you're likely to wear as an outer layer during foul weather rides anyway, not having any waterproofing.
Despite being warm it is still relatively good on breathability. It's not the best I've used, which isn't surprising given the thickness of the material, but in terms of being used as a mid-layer (which I believe is where it works best), it is more than capable for anything except the most exerting efforts.
Fit is on the relaxed side, with a fair amount of 'wiggle room'. It isn't like you're wearing a parachute when riding, but it's certainly on the looser side. The hem is elasticated, but unlike most modern jerseys it doesn't have gripper to keep everything in place, and moves around more than jerseys that do, though not overly so.
At the back there are three pockets, but the jersey also forgoes the zipped pocket you find on many jerseys at this price. It also doesn't have any reflective or high-vis elements, which sees to me like an oversight.
All of which makes the RRP of £60 seem a little steep. It does have some good points, such as the warmth and the breathability, but for the price I would like to see a little more on the tech side; some reflective material and a zip pocket would be nice, and gripper on the hem.
A decent jersey slightly let down by a lack of features
road.cc test report
Make and model: Primal Lane Change Heavyweight Jersey
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?
A cold weather jersey designed to keep you warm during the winter.
Primal says: 'Like that snuggly, cozy sweater that your Grandma knits you for Christmas, the Primal Heavyweight Jersey wraps you in a warm cocoon to protect you from the chilly fall and winter air to keep you riding all year long.'
This seems more or less correct, although given the limited windproofing it works better as a mid-layer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Primal website:
3 Rear Cargo Pockets
Full Length Hidden YKK Zipper
Tagless Label System
Sfero is the undisputed double-weight champion of the cycling world! Constructed for temperatures that range anywhere from 45-75 degrees F, warmth and breathability are a given. Versatility is accented by a mechanically brushed back and 2 way mechanical stretch.
Technical Specs: 100% Polyester | 210 gsm | SPF 35+
Seems well made with strong stitching throughout.
Performs reasonably well, although with limited windproofing it can still get a bit chilly if used as an outer layer in lower temperatures.
Seems well made and the thick fabric is unlikely to rip or tear easily.
It is a relaxed fit, which some like and others don't, it's certainly not one that you would use for racing.
Large fitted like I would expect.
267g is about what I would expect from the relatively thick fabric used throughout.
It is very comfortable thanks to the fleece-like lining and decent breathability.
Would like to see a few more features included for a £60 jersey.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, washed it at 30 degrees without any issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed relatively well, kept me warm and had a decent level of breathability, although best used as a mid-layer underneath something more windproof.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The warmth and breathability make it a great mid-layer.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of technical elements like a zip pocket or reflective elements.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent jersey but suffers a little from a lack of 'modern' touches for the price, such as a zip pocket, reflective elements and gripper. That said, it is warm, relatively breathable and makes a strong mid-layer.
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: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
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.