There are a lot of clothing brands vying for your hard-earned these days, more choice than five or ten years ago, and the latest brand hoping to make it to the top of your shopping list is Saikel. This Segments jersey has both a bold style and a high-quality finish, but it's not just about the looks, with good performance and fit marking it out as a top contender.
Saikel is the newest clothing brand on the market, created by two cyclists based in Switzerland who wanted to inject a bit of va-va-voom into the cycling market. Using bold designs it has certainly managed that, with this Segments jersey – one of two designs available – really standing out from others we've been testing this summer at road.cc. And it's pretty much a universal thumbs-up from everyone I've asked for an opinion.
More important than looks are how it performs, and the Saikel is close to faultless in this regard. I've been testing it loads in all the warm sunny weather we've been enjoying recently, and it works well, with the quality feel you'd expect of a £95 jersey.
It's constructed in Italy from Italian fabrics; no detail is given on the exact identity of the fabric, but it's soft next to the skin, very thin and lightweight and the 'four-way' stretch helps with the fit, allowing it to hug the body without restriction, for that essential aero edge.
Breathability is very good in warm weather. Toil up a long climb with sweat pouring off your brow, and the jersey copes well, helped by the mesh side panels for extra airflow. It dries quickly between such sweaty efforts too, so you never get that horrible clammy feeling you can with some cheap jerseys.
It works well when it's not stifling hot, too; it's not one of these super-airy mesh jerseys that are nippy when the temperature falls. Saikel describes it as a three-season jersey and I'd agree: just stick on some arm warmers when you need a bit of extra defence against cooler temperatures.
The fit is a little looser than other jerseys of the same size (a small on test and in the pics) but the stretchy fabric and multi-panel design ensure it sits well on the body, with the wide elasticated waistband really anchoring the jersey in place. The front is cut shorter, the rear lower, for a good fit when you're down in the drops.
Long (short) sleeves are the fashion at the moment, and the Saikel jersey has really messed up my tan lines! The raw cut edges are comfortable and there was no issue with them sliding up or down my arms.
The full-length zipper works smoothly and it's slightly concealed by the jersey fabric, while the collar sits comfortably around the neck.
Three regular sized pockets provide all the space you need to carry a ride's worth of food and supplies, and there's a hidden zipped side pocket for valuables. The stretchy nature of the pocket material, the same as the main jersey, did make getting things in and out a little tricky, even sliding my phone back into the pocket proved difficult sometimes – it seems to get caught against the stretchy fabric. The pockets are supportive when fully loaded, though – no sagging to note.
I also like the thick ribbon of reflective material across the top of the pockets for evening rides chasing the fading light home.
Saikel sells directly through its website and shipping adds another £3.99 to the £95 price tag (free on orders over £150). A quick glance at the latest jerseys we've tested shows there's a lot of competition at that price – the Monton Lifestyle Mustang and Morvelo EFX Nth Series, for example, though you can save £25 with the very good Castelli Entrata 3 FZ or Kalf Flux, and the Craft Monument is a tenner less at £85.
If you want an alternative to the more common choices, though, the Saikel Segments has the performance and quality to back up the bold looks.
Fantastic styling backed up by very good performance from a new clothing brand
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Saikel Segments Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Saikel says, "Our segments range comprises two colour ways for you to decide between on the morning of your ride. With a striking, bold design, the contrasting colour palette will turn heads for the miles you're riding.
"The unique multi-panel design features soft-touch moisture wicking fabrics both front and back with mesh sides to allow your skin to breathe. The four-way stretch fabrics allow for aerodynamic excellence and raw cut sleeves give a clean look. A shorter front and Saikel signature gripper ensures the jersey is comfortable and stays in place all day long. The long, raw-cut sleeves continue the clean lines and add to the jersey's aesthetics."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Our jerseys and bib shorts have quick-drying fabric meaning the kit can be worn time and time again.
All our jerseys feature three deep pockets perfect for stashing fuel for the ride and a waterproof zip pocket for more precious cargo. The pockets are topped with a reflective strip to give that extra bling during those evening summer rides.
Manufactured in Italy from high quality Italian fabrics.
Our segments jersey is the perfect 3-season jersey designed to be your go-to throughout the spring, summer and autumn. During fresher days, complete the kit with a sleeveless baselayer and arm warmers.
Evidently a very high quality jersey with good attention to detail.
Very good performance in a range of weather conditions including high heat, with good breathability and quick drying.
Really good so far.
The fit is good.
The sizing is ever-so-slightly larger than brands such as Rapha, Castelli and Sportful.
It doesn't weigh any more than a similarly priced jersey.
I found it very comfortable on short and long rides.
Quite expensive but compares favourably with similar-priced jerseys in terms of performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy in a regular wash cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keeps you cool and dry when it's warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Stretchy pockets made it occasionally tricky to take things out and put them back.
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 overall score
It's a very good jersey that does everything you'd want a jersey to do – and expect it to at this price. You're probably going to buy this jersey based on its looks, but the performance backs up the unique styling.
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.