If what you want this summer is a high-performance jersey that keeps you cool in the heat, fits really well while maximising your aerodynamics, is proven in the cauldron of pro racing and looks cool to boot, then Sportful's new BodyFit Pro Evo Jersey is a fine choice.
- Pros: Great heat management, good fit, sharp looks
- Cons: Not much really
Sportful's BodyFit Pro range has been designed to meet the demands of professional racing cyclists, with the Italian brand sponsoring the Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain-Merida teams this season. This year the range grows to three distinct jersey designs. There's the Classic for cooler temperatures, the Light for when it's hot and steamy, and the Evo tested here sitting bang in the middle as a really good all-round choice. It's the jersey favoured by the aforementioned pro teams, and based on my testing it's a really good pick for most typical UK spring and summer weather.
The jersey combines a lightweight fabric with an aero fit, low collar and laser cut sleeves. As you'd expect of a jersey designed for a race team, it's close-fitting, but the shape of the panels and the stretch in the fabric ensure it's very comfortable when in a riding position. No unwanted tugging or pulling, no constriction to speak off. The waistband is lined with elastic and silicone gripper to stop it riding up your back when in an extreme position.
The fit is nigh-on perfect. I've tested a few BodyFit jerseys over the years and always found them to be pretty much perfect for my height and body shape. The new Evo is no exception. It feels very much a race jersey and for riding fast, and indeed racing, the close fit ensures you're as aero as possible, with the material sitting flush against your body like a second skin.
As fast as it feels when going hammer and tongs, it is also cool and breathable in the heat. The fabric allows good air penetration, keeping you from overheating on long climbs without really even having to resort to opening up the full-length zipper. You might even need a lightweight windproof gilet if you're setting out early in the morning before the sun has risen sufficiently to warm the air.
As much as it's clearly focused on the needs of racing cyclists, it's ideal for non-racing duties as well. I've been wearing it for regular training and leisure rides and all the performance aspects that make it suited to the cut and thrust of racing are also appreciated when you're not going flat out. For a hilly ride or sportive, in particular, it's a really good choice.
It's as comfortable as you need a jersey to be. The three rear pockets are capacious for all your ride essentials. Given its race focus it's no surprise there's no zipped pocket – what use do pros have of a secure valuables pocket? – but for everyday riding, I'd prefer one. The three rear pockets have enough compression to ensure that no matter how heavily you load them, they don't sag down to your buttocks, and the pockets are also reinforced for good measure.
Sportful generally hits the value sweetspot but the prices do seem to have crept up in recent years. While £90 isn't exactly cheap it's in the ballpark for a jersey of this calibre and you are getting the same jersey that the pros are using, minus the logos. It's substantially cheaper than the Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey and Santini Redux, but it's a tenner more than the Castelli Flusso FZ that got a very good review.
Overall, based on my time testing the new BodyFit Pro Evo jersey, I'd say it's a really good pick for UK summer riding and racing, with a great fit and performance that is nigh-on perfect thanks to the feedback from the pro race teams. Add in a wide size range and nice choice of colours and bold designs, and a price that isn't excessive, and you have a solid jersey.
Very good all-round jersey for riding and racing in warm weather, with a great fit and sharp looks
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful BodyFit Pro Evo Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful says, "The jersey of choice of our pro riders for a wide range of conditions from racing in warm temperatures to fast training. Light but still with full coverage. Details enhance fit and give a clean sleek style. Fit and feel that are comfortable whatever you riding conditions are. Tested and developed by our World Tour riders."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists these features:
Multiple fabric construction
Minimal stitching on collar for comfort and clean look
Full YKK Vislon front zip
Waist elastic witll silicone for grip
Highly stretch Aero stretch on shoulders for perfect fit
Arm with lay flat elastic cuff with light silicone and laser cut finishing
3 rear pockets
Reflective accents and stealth rear reflective
For a pro race designed jersey minus the logos it's not bad value at all and packs in a lot of performance and attention to detail.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well in the typical UK spring and summer weather with good heat management and top fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks great, fits great, works great.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No zipped pockets.
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 overall score
The BodyFit Pro Evo scores well in every aspect other than value really, and while it's not overpriced considering the performance it offers and attention to detail, there are alternatives that don't give much away in comparison.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.