The Merino Long Sleeve Jersey from Manchester-based Lusso has just the right amount of weight to the fabric to suit those chilly autumn days right through to the really cold winter ones when used as part of a layering system. It's warm, comfortable and excellently made.
- Pros: Top quality craftsmanship, highly breathable
- Cons: Only available in black, and could do with a few extra reflectives
In the autumn or spring, temperatures can change quite a bit throughout a ride especially if you head off early in the morning when the frost is clinging to the cars before the sun arrives to melt it away. It's these kind of conditions where the Lusso is absolutely spot on.
Lusso has added merino to the mix – it makes up 35 per cent of the material's blend to be precise – and it's a wool that is well known for its insulating properties as well as offering great breathability.
Heading out the door with the thermometer nudging -1°C and a thin summer baselayer on underneath, I wouldn't say I was exactly toasty but I was much warmer than I really should have been considering just how thin this jersey is.
After a few minutes of riding, the fleece-backed fabric seemed to be trapping my bodyheat and I was very comfortable indeed. The material seems to do a good job of keeping the windchill out too.
As the sunshine started to warm things up to about 12°C, I certainly noticed the shift in temperature but never got overly sweaty unless really pushing the pace. In fact I was perfectly comfortable up until about 15°C before I found things a little hot. The heat is more pronounced on very sunny days because of the jacket being black.
At the other end of the scale, you could easily wear this jersey below freezing by adding a thicker winter baselayer or wearing it under a jacket, especially as it's of such little bulk. It all depends how well your body deals with the elements.
The latest designs we've seen coming in from Lusso are very much performance orientated, offering a close fit and cut very much to suit a rider leaning forward in the drops. That's not to say you need to be a racer to benefit. I've always found Lusso's sizing to be very realistic and quite flattering too, if you aren't the slimmest.
Starting at the top, you get a reasonably high neck to stop draughts and there is also a housing for the full zip to tuck into, keeping it away from your neck.
You get plenty of length in the sleeves which is good as there is nothing more irritating than finding a 1cm gap of exposed skin between your cuff and glove. The cuff itself is slightly elasticated to keep it in position.
The hem is held in place by an elasticated gripper with added silicone dots and it works very well. I never had it ride up and the tail is nicely dropped to give your lower back plenty of coverage.
At the rear you get three traditional pockets which are a nice size. You can easily fit a large phone in there and the material is pretty taut as well, so you don't get much sag when they are loaded up.
On the back of the right hand pocket there is also a zipped valuables one, ideal for keys, cash and a debit card for instance, and next to it on the right of the jersey you'll find a smaller fifth pocket, which is ideal for an energy bar or gel.
I know from reading previous comments on clothing reviews that a lot of you like to have a bit of colour, especially on kit designed for use through the winter, so the fact that the Merino Long Sleeve is only available in black might put some of you off. For me it's not a major concern because if it's overcast or dull I tend to be using lights on the bike anyway.
If you do ride in the dark, there are a few reflective details: a strip running vertically from the collar to the bottom of the shoulders, one on the chest, and another at the side on the fifth pocket.
The Lusso logos are also reflective. It's better than most of the token offerings we see on a lot of jerseys, but personally I wouldn't have minded a bit more on or below the rear pockets similar to Lusso's excellent Repel Corsa Jersey V2.
They're both very nice jerseys, but then so is the Lusso. The quality of the fabric is very good, it's warm and comfortable, plus the attention to detail and manufacturing is neat and tidy.
If you can cope with wearing black in the winter then you'll certainly get a lot of use out of the Lusso.
A great addition to your cycling wardrobe thanks to excellent temperature control
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Merino Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "The Lusso Merino Jersey has been designed to be a close fitting garment that still retains its breathability, featuring odour resistance and high wickability so you don't overheat even on the hardest rides.
This Merino/Polyester mix retains its shape and prevents sagging, combining the best of what both nature and science have to offer.
Its Super soft and comfortable against the skin
Designed, cut, sewn and packaged in Manchester"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
35% Merino / 65% Polyester
4 Rear Pockets ( 1 zipped)
Full Front Zip
SC9 Hem Gripper
Reflective Element at Rear
Flat Lock and Over Lock Stitching
Made in Manchester
Absolutely spot on with Lusso's size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Sometimes you need to be a little careful with washing merino based items because of shrinkage, but I had no such issues here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really good at regulating your body temperature, which makes it ideal for a lot of different conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit and the fabric is very good at its job.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some people will like more colour options.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's competitive against a lot of rivals – less than PEdAL ED and Podia's merino offerings.
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
Not cheap but a decent price compared with rivals, and offers excellent performance: overall I'd say it's very good, and that's an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.