Bicycle Line's Women's Short Sleeved Monza Jersey is a good addition to any summer wardrobe. It offers decent breathability, exceptional comfort and nice styling for a palatable price.
- Pros: Lightweight and breathable
- Cons: Will swing round if pockets are unevenly weighted; can be awkward to get stuff out of pockets
The Monza is seriously lightweight, clearly intended for hot weather. The front and side panels are made of MITI Full Moon fabric, a micro perforated material that is highly breathable. There's a strip of it on the rear too. It goes a long way to ensuring that heat can escape and air can flow through to assist cooling.
With temperatures struggling to break 20 degrees during the testing period, I am not convinced I've used it in its best environment – more often than not I had an undervest on. Even with this, though, I never noted moisture build up at the front.
There is also a strip of mesh above the base hem at the rear, which works well to stop overheating that can happen if you have a long tail baselayer covering the lower back.
The lateral rear panels are not quite so effective with moisture management; they tend to retain moisture. Without a baselayer, this creates a clinginess that not everyone will be happy with. It isn't as noticeable as with the Ninfea that I recently tested – it's a much smaller proportion of the entire jersey that is not performing as well as the rest.
The Monza certainly scores full marks on the comfort front. It has a 'barely there' property; the fabric is exceptionally soft and stretchy. It's a great feel, but I think it's at the expense of longevity; the non-MITI elements of the jersey are already looking more transparent than they did four weeks ago. For anyone who read my review of the Ninfea, I apologise for repeating myself. While the fabric is showing no signs of pilling or bobbling, the rear lateral panels have definitely 'thinned' since the start of testing. Since much of this jersey is transparent, it's of less consequence than it was with the Ninfea. However, signs of thinning after only five weeks isn't ideal.
The most substantial material used to make the jersey appears on the sleeves. Despite this fabric being thicker and slightly less stretchy than the other panels, there's no sensation of excessive compression around the upper arm. When you take the jersey off it doesn't leave any impression. The sleeve cuffs are clean cut and lined with silicone dimples. They grip sufficiently well to both skin and arm warmers without dragging to the extent of not wanting to budge. They are noticeably longer than most, purposefully to improve aerodynamics. The sleeves are not showing the wear that I mention above.
The elasticated baseline hem is lined at the rear with a rather ineffective strip of silicone. If you put anything substantial in the side pockets without consideration to balancing the weight, the jersey will swing round.
Although the pockets themselves are generous, I had an issue with the narrow elastic that sits along their top line. It's the same as that on the Ninfea – things get trapped under it easily and extracting items from the pocket is not as easy as you might want it to be while riding.
Bicycle Line claims that the fabric offers 30+ UPF protection and I didn't get burnt while wearing it, but then I haven't been abroad in the recent weeks to test it...
Other features all tick the relevant boxes: effective reflective strips, a sturdy zip, a low collar perfect for hot weather and some reinforcing tabs at pocket joints to prevent premature wear on the main body of the jersey.
As well as black, the Monza is available in pink (Fuchsia) and green (Militar Green). While the stripes on the front and down the rear are pretty common in terms of aesthetics, the quirky sleeve design is quite unusual.
The Monza is not the cheapest jersey on the market. I feel that I will keep on harping back to Funkier's two offerings under £45 this year – the Prima Pro and the Mataro Pro. Neither really boast the race fit or aerodynamic features of the Monza, though.
The Castelli Anima that Sarah reviewed recently is similarly specced and a little cheaper than the Monza. However, it's quite a bit less than the Alé PRR Strada Jersey, which Ashia tested last year – that's now £110 at rrp.
Overall, the Monza is an exceptionally comfortable jersey that will help keep you cool on the hottest of days. While there are cheaper options out there, and it does have a couple of minor niggles, I'd say it's not overpriced.
Stylish, comfortable and does a decent job of keeping you cool on the hottest of days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bicycle Line Monza women's short sleeve jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Bicycle Line describes the Monza thus: "High quality women's cycling jersey. It perfectly combines an extremely feminine design with the most advanced technical features: lightweight, elastic and breathable materials, with a good UPF protection. Adherent fit to ensure that the road becomes your best ally of adventures."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Bicycle Line:
- Asteria Interpower (MITI) fabric on the shoulders.
- Full Moon (MITI) fabric on the front.
- Super light, soft next to the skin and excellent wicking properties.
- UPF protection (30+).
- YKK® CamLock covered zipper, full length.
- Enhanced rear pockets, made more spacious, with three compartments.
- Raw-cut back bottom with bonded silicone elastic band.
- Raw-cut at the bottom of the sleeves with inner light silicone band.
- Bonded finish on the front.
- Reinforced pockets seams.
- Reflective logos to increase visibility to keep you safe.
- Slim V-neck.
- Slightly longer sleeves for enhanced aerodynamics.
- Innovative mesh printed panel on the back with bonded seams for extra ventilation.
Could be easy to make a mess of something so lightweight and flimsy, but this is really well made.
Comes into its own in really hot weather. Just enough effective mesh materials that are breathable and don't retain moisture.
Still looking good but, as with the Ninfea, the rear lateral panels are a little more see-through than they were four weeks ago.
Nicely tapered and good body length.
Stay true to size. It's not like many Italian brands; the medium I tested was very much a medium.
Nothing to it.
Barely know it's there. Sleeves are impressive.
A decent bit of summer kit that is cheaper than some, but there's still better value out there.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed after every wear, came out fresh every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It worked well with a baselayer in warmer weather, feeling comfortable and helping to keep me cool. It's a shame I didn't get it out in some extreme temperatures, as I am convinced this is where it will be at its best.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tight elastic trim at top of pockets that can be prone to 'trapping' things in!
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Funkier's summer jerseys are still over £25 cheaper and offer similar performance features without the tighter, tapered fit.
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 well-designed jersey that is very comfortable, performing at its best in hot weather. There are certainly cheaper options out there that perform equally as well, though, and with a couple of niggles, overall it's good rather than very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…