Altura's Peloton Short Sleeve Jersey nails its 'semi-fitted' brief really well, with a relaxed yet slim cut that works for all but the raciest riding. All the pockets you could hope for, excellent comfort and a reassuringly solid build make it ideal for long days too.
- Pros: Slim yet relaxed fit, lots of pockets, strong graphics
- Cons: Narrow entry to zipped pocket
It may come in at under £50, but it's not short of features. The full-length zip is neatly protected both inside and out, so it doesn't touch your skin or leak draughts. The big plastic gripper is easy to find in gloves, though as with any stretchy top you're usually forced to get your teeth involved in order to unzip anyway. There's a little zip garage in the collar to stop it rubbing your neck.
The seams between the jersey's panels are overlocked everywhere except for where they run horizontally, where they're flatlocked. I never felt any of them in use, and both fabrics – polyester for the main body, polyester/spandex mix for the mesh – are soft against the skin thanks to an almost fleecy, brushed white finish inside.
One unfortunate side-effect is that, should you snag it, the white threads pull through to the outside and look instantly scruffy. I caught a sleeve on a hedge on my very first ride (thanks, Audi driver), though the good news is that subsequent use and machine washes haven't caused the damage to deteriorate.
The sleeves don't get any silicone grippers, but stay put perfectly well on broad elastic cuffs with neat little Altura logos in them. Overall sizing is good – with one caveat I'll get to in a moment.
Personally I really like the bold, asymmetric shapes and hues (it also comes with blues instead of reds), as it works well if you want to stay visible in traffic but aren't extrovert enough to go colour crazy all over. The only other options are the five sizes, from Small to 2XL.
The whole top is secured at the bottom by a chunky, full-width silicone gripper along the elastic waist, and the pair work well to stop the dropped tail riding up.
You can also weigh it down fairly easily thanks to the six pockets (three main and two narrow horizontal ones, plus one vertically zipped one) that suit its likely uses well.
All the elastic-topped pockets are secure and easy to reach, and although the zip is too short to accept a phone upright, the pocket itself is big enough – you just have to poke your phone in sideways and twist it 90 degrees for comfort.
Another slight fly in its real-world-usable ointment is the minimalist approach to reflectivity. The two yellow stripes (one on the right arm, one on the left pocket) look stylish and match with Altura's bib shorts, but they're little more than token efforts. The sleeve cuffs do seem to have some reflectivity, turning white under bright lights, but the effect doesn't seem as strong as with Altura's officially 'Darkproof' garments.
So, that caveat on sizing: following Altura's guide gave me a slim, tight fit everywhere except across the chest from about nipple height up, where the jersey sits loose. It never actually became the windsock I feared – whether zipped or not, and on the drops or not – and though it did ripple across my shoulders at speed, it was never enough to feel draggy. That said, I do have quite broad shoulders. If you're narrow, you may want to size down to avoid excessive flapping.
Beware that if you're small and narrow, you may run out of sizes for anything other than a loose fit; I'm 185cm tall and quite broad, and can wear a Small for a nice snug fit all over. Neverthless, I stuck with Medium and enjoyed the unrestrictive, easy-breathing comfort of the looser chest. (It's not me in the photos.)
The Peloton jersey is cooler than the thickish fabric suggests, probably thanks to the mesh inserts running right from the armpits to the waist, but still gives reasonable wind protection on the way back down. It wicks sweat well, staying comfortable on long, hot climbs and can even deal with a couple of rides before getting too smelly to go anywhere but the wash.
At £50, the Peloton sits towards the value end of the spectrum, and performs well by avoiding thick fabrics, boxy cuts or dreary looks. It's a fiver more than the dhb Blok SS, another strong choice at £45, especially if you really want to go crazy with the graphics, but a fiver less than the Funkier Isparo Gents Elite, though that offers a proper aero fit and greater cooling. If the casual fit appeals but you prefer a more classic style, the Chapeau! Tempo Jersey is relaxed in both looks and cut, for the same price as the Altura.
Overall, the Peloton is a usable, comfy, sensible yet stylish summer jersey at a good price.
An effective, unflashy yet good-looking summer jersey at a really good price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Peloton Short Sleeve Jersey Mosaic
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says the Peloton SS jersey is a blend of "comfort, performance and styling," with a cut that's "semi-fitted".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Altura's list includes:
* Altura Dry™ technology is engineered to move excess moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable
* Altura ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility in low light conditions
* Altura Draft Venting™ strategically located venting zones allow for enhanced breathability and thermoregulation whilst in the riding position
* Integrated silicon grip detailing delivers enhanced fit
* 5 rear pockets with an additional zippered pocket
Sensibly weighted fabrics and solid stitching feel reassuring, though loose threads at many stitch ends are untidy.
Comfy, secure and a good safe bet for warm days.
Feels solidly put together, though whether the dangling threads – or the fabric where I snagged it on a hedge – will unravel remains to be seen. Use and washing has done nothing to deteriorate either so far.
Snug around the stomach and arms, the Peloton has just a little more space around the chest and shoulders for a relaxed-feeling, unrestrictive fit that still performs well.
Just right for a 'semi-fitted' fit. If you want skin tight all over, sizing down works.
At 164g it's not light, but given its semi-relaxed intent – and six rear pockets – it's perfectly acceptable.
It's the sort of jersey you put on and just forget about, in the best way.
Decent fit and performance, stylish looks and a solid construction for just under £50 is good value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washes up just fine, and can do a couple of rides before getting smelly enough to need it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Stayed comfy and pretty cool even on some very hot rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable looser fit flaps a little on the shoulders, but it never turns into a windsock.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Dislike is too strong; the zipped pocket could have a wider entry.
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 haven't docked marks for the loose threads, as they don't appear to affect the jersey's integrity, and don't show when it's on. The Peloton doesn't set out to excel in any area, it seems, and it nails it – it's good across the board, a solid 7.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking