Polish boutique cycling brand Podia has produced a stormer of a performance jersey here with its Club Colours. It's superb quality, keeps you cool in the heat, fits beautifully and looks great. It's not the cheapest jersey out there, but I'd say it's well worth the money.
At its core is a race-ready but rider-conscious fit, put together using highly breathable mid-weight fabrics. If you want to go lightweight for the hottest days, Podia's Dust Super Light jersey is apparently the one to opt for, while the Club Colours jersey comes in at 187g.
On the face of it, it does seem relatively bulky, but to wear it doesn't feel anything of the sort. In fact, thanks to the technical Lycra-polyester blend main body panels and mesh-like underarm and flank panels, it's a jersey that still feels very cool to wear. On an early morning ride when temperatures were at around the 13°C mark, I still found myself reaching for my gilet before heading out.
This cool performance extends to the heat of the day, where I'm convinced that the white shoulders and sleeves help reflect heat. The body stays well regulated too, even with the bold colour scheme.
The mid-length sleeves – complete with ungrippered hems – and collared neck offer some protection from the sun, while offering an air of luxury to the jersey. It feels like a jersey that you'd be happy to use on a warm long-distance audax, rather than primarily as an out-and-out racer's or climber's jersey.
The quality mid-weight YKK 4VS zip is testament to this – no super-fine lightweight-type thing here that can be difficult to seat and operate on the move – as are the useful-sized cargo pockets on the rear. There's enough space for food and spares, and they're especially easy to reach into too.
That's because the back is ever so slightly on the long side – underpinned by an elasticated waistline with bobble-effect silicone texture – compared to other medium-sized jerseys I've tried recently, including the Giro Chrono Pro, so the openings are a just a smidge lower too. They're pretty standard otherwise, with an elasticated cuff to keep things inside.
On the underside of the right pocket there's a zipped security slot, albeit not sweat-lined, so anything needing protection from dampness will probably need to be kept in a cover.
In terms of washing, I found that the white sleeves can collect grime if you have a habit of wiping your face and brow when stopping (as I do), so you need to stick it on a 40 degree setting to get it looking shiny white again. Happily, Podia recommends washing on this setting, and I found it came back unaffected – aside from being cleaner than when it went in, obviously.
It fits much like the luxurious Le Col HC jersey I reviewed a couple of months ago, while it boasts the performance levels – as far as I can tell – of Giant's very good Elevate jersey and Giro's aforementioned Chrono Pro.
With that in mind, the €110 price tag (at time of writing, the Polish company's website only deals in European wonga), which works out at around £100, looks to be (relatively speaking) good value. Certainly, I'd choose this over the Giant-branded £100 Elevate jersey all day long, while it's a 50 per cent reduction on the HC price, and a touch lower than the excellent Chrono Pro.
It looks the pick of the bunch too, in my opinion, and stands out in a crowd even against such apparel icons as Rapha and Castelli. Only, it's cooler because your Podia kit is that much less common...
It doesn't come cheap, but you're getting what you pay for here – an excellent jersey and a real winner
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Podia Club Colours Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
All-round performance cycling.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Podia says: "The jersey that started it all; the Club Colours jersey.
"Since the first introduction in 2015 it has been through a process of small incremental changes that all add up to a jersey of exceptional quality. This year it has acquired a wider 4VS zip, bonded on both sides. The Club Colours jersey still displays the classic Podia colours and design ethos.
"Soft mesh fabric used for the side panels, collar and sleeve hems guarantees breathability and comfort in key areas. Reinforced rear pockets along with a fourth concealed zip pocket offer ample storage. The wide YKK VISLON® 4VS Cam-lock Zip is bonded at the seams and provides the easiest and smoothest closure system."
- High wicking materials
- Low cut collar made from soft mesh
- Long sleeve length with soft mesh finish
- Mesh side panels
- Three reinforced rear pockets
- Fourth concealed zip pocket
- Bonded YKK VISLON® 4VS Cam-lock Zip with a zip guard
Everything seems very well put together.
Overall as an all-rounder, it's pretty flawless.
No complaints so far, but the white sleeves and shoulders can pick up dirt easily.
Brilliant, and very comfortable with it too.
Just about perfect – a medium should be as close fitting on me as this was.
187g isn't superlight, but it does feel light.
The comfort comes from the fit and sizing, which is brilliant.
€110/£100 is a fair chunk of cash, but the standard of the jersey actually makes this seem like good value compared with some premium rivals.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, although try to keep the white sleeves clean!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great performance fit, stylish finish, premium quality...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, absolutely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, 100%.
Use this box to explain your overall score
From a practical performance perspective, the Podia Club Colours jersey is near-enough optimum blend of quality and style. I would very happily part with £100 of my own money for one. The price just prevents it scoring 10, but it's very close...
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