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Rivelo Barbondale Merino SS Jersey



A nicely done classic jersey with good features, and great value on sale (which it often is)

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Rivelo is a house brand of online sporting goods site Sportpursuit – hence the 'RRP' of £100 for the Barbondale jersey needs to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. If you're happy to wait around for the Barbondale to be 'on sale' around the currently listed £39.99, grab one. At £100 it's not bad – at £40, it's a steal.

  • Pros: Premium manufacturing, design, technical features and decent material, possible bargain price
  • Cons: Fiddly zip with gloves on, dropped hem is a bit loose, sleeves could be longer

Rivelo's brand ethos is full of words like 'British', 'understated' and 'classic' – and in the red/blue colourway with white trim the Barbondale is only a few Tetris moves from being a Union flag. This design language is carried across the brand, and it's a nice look in my opinion.

> Buy this online here

Fortunately for me Rivelo hasn't gone full-sportive-gent-vanity with the sizing, so the Medium is bang on my 38in chest/32in waist for what you'd call a racy fit (it's not me in the photos). I'd prefer the sleeves to be a bit longer, but they did manage to cover arm warmers without a Mind The Gap warning needed from any sartorial police. If you're not needing to pair with arm warmers, they're just fine.


There are a fair few tech features to mention, starting with the build – flatlocked seams throughout, in complementing blue thread. There are three decently deep rear pockets ready to take a long ride's worth of stuff, and a zipped valuables pocket just able to take an iPhone 5-sized mobile – anything larger will struggle, especially in a case.


At the base of the centre pocket is a wee strip of reflective, and the white branded pocket trim is suitably springy to keep contents in place.

On the inside of the warm-kidney-friendly dropped hem there's a silicone grip-strip, which could have been tighter. With a reasonable load of food/tools and some rolled-up arm warmers, the hem lifted away and could be felt flapping a bit.


The zip features a full-length flap of the same fabric to minimise any breeze, which is appreciated but I'm not sure how noticeable because the rest of the jersey's a nicely breathable fabric; possibly it's a boon for the hairier gent who is riding sans baselayer.

> Buyer's Guide: 20 of the best summer jerseys

The zip flap ends in a folded garage to remove any scratchiness when done up. Running cold as I do, there are gloves involved for any ride below about 13 degrees, and here I found the small zip tag to be too small for gloved fingers to find reliably every time. Could be bigger.


Paired with a merino baselayer, the 50/50 merino-poly mix material kept me warm in 12-18°C rainy, windy rides. Toward the warmer end of that spectrum, judicious use of the zip helped control excess heat. Merino's wonderful stuff but can suck up moisture and not let it go as quickly – the mix used here breathes well out in the open and not too badly under a shell. Obviously your own personal microclimate will dictate, but I found no overt dampness to be an issue.


If your position on the bike tends toward more stretched out you might find the Barbondale's arm-shoulder cut to be a little restrictive – this is clearly a cut less for the aero-barred whippet, more the relaxed scenery-devouring all-day rider. But then we're back to the design language of 'classic' here – and that's what Rivelo is clearly aiming for here. The fiddly zip and rear hem notwithstanding, if you can grab a Barbondale for £40 you'll be smiling all the way to that well-earned real ale pub stop.


A nicely done classic jersey with good features, and great value on sale (which it often is) test report

Make and model: Rivelo Barbondale Merino SS Jersey

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

It's for people looking to look sharp, in a classic British manner, with good tech features for all-day comfort.

Rivelo says: "This light-weight Merino /Poly SS jersey has been designed to be versatile & adaptable, ideal for a typical British Spring/Summer season where the weather is changeable and the temperature unpredictable. Merino offers odour resistant, warm, breathable and naturally moisture wicking performance, so it will see you through from Spring to Autumn...and probably most of the UK Summer!"

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Rivelo:

180gsm 50% Merino/50% Poly single knit jersey

Light-weight, suitable for a wide range of seasons

Odour resistant, wicking, breathable & quick drying

Flat locked seams for comfort

Reflective detail at rear hem for added low-light visibility

3 deep rear pockets with an extra zip pocket for valuables

YKK full length zip with Ri lock down puller

Zip garage and guard for comfort & warmth

Ri embroidery details

No scratchy labels – printed care label is sewn flat

Dropped hem at rear, for extra warmth on the bike

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The build quality is top notch.

Rate the product for performance:

Fiddly zip aside, the temperature regulation and comfort is good.

Rate the product for durability:

Still looks good a few months on.

Rate the product for fit:

I really like the body fit, but sleeves could be a tad longer and the hem's a bit loose.

Rate the product for sizing:

Perfect as measured, runs snug.

Rate the product for weight:

It's light-ish.

Rate the product for comfort:

Comfy in a more upright position, OK if you need to dive into the drops.

Rate the product for value:

At RRP it's no bargain, but at the oft-discounted price it's a great buy.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Fine, no issues in a wool wash.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Good temperature control and comfortable in a range of temperatures.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The design and fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Let down by the zip and sleeves, mostly. Not major disappointments, but could do better.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

Decent merino jerseys tend to kick off around the £80 mark (Hommage au Velo's Poli is £75), with £100 being a fairly common price point, maybe a bit above the average. When discounted to £39.99, the Rivelo is cracking value.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, at the sale price.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, at the sale price, or if they really liked the design.

Use this box to explain your overall score

At its RRP of £100 the Barbondale is 'good' but not fabulous. At the often-achieved £40 it would easily warrant a strong 'very good' bordering 'exceptional'.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.

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