The Altura Race Short Sleeve Jersey is great for the warmer months thanks to the large number of mesh panels, and it has a slim cut that is ideal for those who like to ride fast, without being restrictive or limited to those who are super-lean.
- Pros: Realistic and flattering cut, great breathability, subtle reflective detailing
- Cons: Not the neatest finish
The Altura Race is a good all-round jersey offering a close racer's fit paired with lightweight, comfortable fabric. The front panel is a Lycra blend which is soft against the skin and does a good job of keeping the windchill out.
The main thing I was impressed with is the fit. The material choice and cut mean that the jersey is shaped close to the body but without being overly clingly. If you are slim it works fine, but even if you aren't the jersey will still manage to flatter.
The front is arched high to stop any rucking up of the fabric when bent over on the bike, and the rear is heavily dropped to keep your lower back covered.
The fabric under the arms and the back are a mesh material that's great for use on hotter days. The test period has seen rides in excess of 20°C and you can definitely notice the difference as a cooling breeze flows through.
Storage is one of the highlights with the Altura as it comes with six pockets: the traditional three, one either side, and a valuables pocket enclosed by a zip. They work really well, being deep and easy to reach when you're in the saddle.
To save faff when riding various bikes throughout the week I tend to use a small rucksack to carry tubes – 700C for race tyres or larger for gravel and other options like 650B, and other kit. With the added carriage of the Altura I could just stick what I needed in the pockets, those larger tubes going in a separate pocket to themselves, with the more accessible ones saved for food.
Another neat touch is the reflective detail to the jersey's chest which can barely be seen during the day but stands out well once darkness falls. It's the same thing at the rear hem and the arm cuffs: all look black during the day but turn reflective once light is shone over them.
Value-wise, the Altura isn't a cheap jersey but I'd say its £79.99 price for the spec represents decent bang for buck, even if some of the stitching is a bit rough around the edges; it's all inside, so not visible to anyone else.
It's a little less than Castelli's Prologo VI jersey, which doesn't have the same level of breathability or the amount of storage as the Altura and will cost you £85, but is more expensive than others: you can have a quality race jersey like the Sweet Protection Crossfire SS jersey for £69.99, or the Lusso Dash for £64.99.
Overall, though, the Altura does a good job as a close-cut race jersey for all body shapes.
A lightweight, breathable jersey that has a flattering fit for most riders
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: Altura Race Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "The Race SS Jersey is our top-flite lightweight, Summer jersey for riders that want comfort and coolness, style and aero performance. Designed for maximum breathability, the Race SS Jersey Wicks moisture away from the body to keep you feeling cool and fresh even in the hottest race conditions. Extra ventilation is provided by the underarm mesh and back panel."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High wicking fabric with antibacterial finish
360° reflective detailing and tonal reflective detailing
3 rear pockets with 1 zippered pocket, 2 outer pockets angled for easy access
Mesh back and underarm panels for improved ventilation
Silicone grip hem print
A few stray threads here and there, not what you'd expect at this price.
Sizing is accurate, so follow the guide on Altura's website.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues at all with the amount of washing it has seen through the test period.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For a lightweight summer jersey it does its job well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A great fit and performance of the material is impressive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Very little to be honest, although for £80 its finish is a little rough.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's competitive for a jersey of this style and performance. Not cheap, but no more expensive than many similar 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
It's a little rough around the edges but overall it's a very good jersey for those with racing aspirations.
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.