Of the three new Bodyfit jerseys launched by Sportful this year, the Pro Classic is the one that seems best suited to the most typical UK weather conditions. It offers a bit of extra warmth compared to a regular summer jersey to keep chills at bay, and it's very breathable if the weather warms up, but it's perhaps not as versatile as wearing a regular jersey with a gilet, or a wind and rain resistant jersey like one of the company's Fiandre range.
It's probably the most versatile jersey in the new Bodyfit range. The best way of thinking of the Pro Classic is as a jersey that bridges the gap between the company's lightweight Evo, a conventional lightweight summer jersey, and something like the short sleeve Fiandre Light NoRain, which is warmer than a regular summer jersey with added wind and rain resistance.
As the name suggests, it was developed for the pros to race in the Spring Classics when they need a bit of extra insulation, but the UK often serves up that sort of weather right through the summer, which is why I think this jersey has a lot going for it as a solid three-season top.
It's made from a material with a lightly brushed inside that provides extra insulation in cooler temperatures. It's ideal for those fresh early morning rides or days when the temperature never really rises that much. The extra warmth over a regular jersey is sufficient that you can do away with a gilet, making dressing before a ride easier, though it does remove some of the versatility such a combination provides.
The fabric is neither windproof nor water resistant, but it does keep the wind at bay more than a summer jersey, and while it won't keep you dry, it saves you reaching for a rain jacket for a little longer than if you were in a typical summer jersey; it'll survive a light shower better.
It manages to provide this extra insulation without compromising breathability too. Even during one all-day ride when it kept me warm for the first couple of chilly hours, it provided sufficient breathability when the temperature increased later.
The fit is ever so slightly more relaxed than the Evo jersey, mentioned above, and the Pro Light, both from the same Bodyfit range, with generous room in the torso and adequate stretch to ensure it's comfortable when crouched over the drops in an aggressive race position.
It's well appointed on the details front. There's a flap of material covering the full-length YKK zipper for extra cold air protection…
…and the sleeves are fashionably long, with laser cut and silicone-lined openings. They're made from a stretchier material, as are the side panels, to enhance the fit.
The waist drops lower at the back to provide extra coverage and the rear section has a large elastic band lined with silicone tape to stop it riding up when you're hunched over the bars.
There are three rear pockets with plenty of capacity for all the stuff you need on a short or long ride, although there's no zipped pocket for valuables. It does have a smattering of reflective details to boost your visibility to other road users.
The Classic is an interesting jersey. As the name implies, it's intended for the early Spring Classics when it's cool and you want extra warmth, and this jersey provides that without needing to wear a gilet. It's summer now, but the funny thing is this jersey is still pretty useful on cooler morning rides, saving you layering up, and it's breathable enough that you won't overheat. I've found it a good choice for long all-day rides, like a long audax, say, as you can carry less extra clothing to cope with the unpredictability of the UK weather.
Extra warmth for chilly rides without adding extra layers but good breathability and good fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Bodyfit Pro Classic jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
DEVELOPED AND TESTED WITH THE HARSH CLIMATE OF THE SPRING CLASSICS IN MIND
"Working with some of the best classic racers in the world has inspired us to create a technical jersey specifically for cooler temperatures. Jerseys keep getting lighter and the perfect jersey for a scortching hot Tour de France stage may not be what you want for cooler weather. Partial stretch fabrics with peached inner surface offer light insulation without compromising breathability. This may be a favorite for spring rides but with also be a great outfit on early mornings or in areas where even the summer weather is never too hot."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists these features:
Lightly brushed fabrics for light warmth
Full YKK Vislon front zip
Front zip over flap for light wind protection Waist elastic with silicone for grip
Highly stretch lighter fabric on sides and 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
Very nicely made jersey, as is typical from Sportful.
Adept at keeping you warm on chillier rides, ideal in the spring, summer and autumn when the UK weather isn't being all that nice.
Very good so far; it's well made, and I like the reinforced pockets, a nice detail.
It's a good fit, a little more relaxed than the other Bodyfit jerseys.
Size is good, and there's a wide range to choose from.
A bit heavier than a lightweight summer jersey but lighter than a Gabba or similar.
The brushed material is comfortable next to the skin, as are the stretchy sleeves.
It's not cheap, but for the extra warmth it provides without compromising breathability there aren't many jerseys to compare it to really.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems going through a regular wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provides extra warmth when it's cooler than expected.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good fit, comfort and extra warm, saves buying/wearing a gilet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd love a zipped valuables pocket.
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
I've gone for 7 to reflect that it performs well, with a good fit, a little extra warmth for chilly morning rides and decent breathability, but it's a bit pricey and not as versatile as a wind and water resistant top for mixed weather riding.
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.