Cycology is well known for its striking designs, and the Grimpeur jersey – a tribute to climbers everywhere – is no exception. Besides that, it's also a very capable technical jersey, with all the key features you'd expect and a slightly more generous fit that'll appeal to a wider range than just super-slim racers.
Precious few of us are built like a pro racer, so it's great to find a performance jersey tailored for more 'ordinary' body shapes. That's definitely where the Grimpeur jersey plays its ace. Its slim cut is certainly performance-orientated but provides plenty of space if you're carrying around a few of life's kilos. And if you are lucky enough to be a relative beanpole, you won't find yourself experiencing any spare fabric flapping in the wind.
The entire fit seems to be designed around a sturdier build. I generally wear a medium or large size jersey, and in this medium on test, from the neckline to the waist, there's plenty of space, while the sleeve grippers don't clamp down on the arms uncomfortably at all. The neckline is relatively high but very spacious; the collar sits gently against the skin, and the jersey can be zipped all the way up without any restriction or tightness around the upper shoulders – not something I can say for every jersey I've worn.
The unavoidable side effect for a slim rider is a small amount of bulging zip when bent over in a racier position, like the one I tend to hold, but the extra length pays dividends at the coffee stop.
Technically it's strong too. The two-way-stretch fabric is very breathable and shapes well to the body, while the arm grippers are textured for comfort. The extra diameter at the arm holes means you can be carrying a fair amount of extra gym muscle in this area without being too big for it to fit, while the hem features the same gripper style too.
It holds firmly against the skin and bib shorts very well even if you don't fully fill it, and is very comfortable even when salt and sun cream get into the mix. Flatlock seams are also used, boosting comfort and reducing the chances for chafing successfully.
The only oddity was that I found the pockets slightly difficult to reach into while on the move. The openings are a touch small for easy access, though the capacity is easily big enough for long-distance sportives. The elasticated tops causing this are also helping to keep your pocket contents securely inside, so it's not all bad news.
Additionally, there's a small zipped security pocket centrally mounted over the middle cargo pocket. The zip fits under a reflective top flap – the only reflective feature on the jersey, incidentally.
The good stuff continues when you consider the quality of the jersey and marry that with the cost. The Grimpeur jersey retails at £55, yet it looks, feels and performs like a jersey that costs far more. It's proving resilient so far too, with no fraying or seams unravelling that I've noticed, though I'd suggest keeping it away from abrasive surfaces.
And then there's the striking design, refreshing in a world of restrained asymmetric bands and block colours; if you want to stand out this summer, that could well be the clincher.
A very good jersey for summer riding, even for those who aren't natural climbers, at a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cycology Vintage Grimpeur Men's Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
"Inspired by those hardy souls who live to climb any mountain, any time.
"Made with superb thermal regulating Italian fabrics this light-as-air, second skin jersey is the most comfortable jersey. Beautifully cut, with rear pockets and an extra zippered pocket for valuables with reflective safety strips. Matches with our plain black or black/orange Logo Bibs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Full YKK brand zipper with Cycology logo puller
- Miti Italian Gripper elastic on sleeves & hips
- Three rear pockets with reflective strips, one zippered valuables pocket
- Sun Protection Factor 50 fabric treatment
- 2-way stretch Italian thermal fabrics
- Flat stitched seams to keep chafing away
Strong construction, seams all seem sturdy and well finished.
Wicks extremely well.
The main fabric seems a little susceptible to snagging on rough surfaces, but due care and attention should avoid this.
It's slim but does have space for the 'average Joe', which will widen its appeal.
It sizes up well, but err on the small side if you're worried abut the generous fit giving too much space.
172g is by no means featherweight, but it's not a deal breaker.
The generous (yet slim) fit means it is very comfortable and unrestrictive to wear. I like the textured arm grippers too.
These days, £55 for a quality jersey like this is (relatively) difficult to find.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliantly, especially if you need a little extra space in your performance jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Slim but generous fit, comfortable, cool, striking design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not much, but I found the pocket hems could be a little tight.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, absolutely.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Grimpeur jersey performs really well for a great price, and the fit means it'll appeal to more than typically rakish climbers.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding