The Lusso R1 Style Breathe Short Sleeve Jersey has been "designed for a pro-fit and is a performance summer technical garment". Several weeks down the line, I'd agree with these sentiments and have been generally impressed by its temperature regulating qualities, though I did find our medium just that fraction too snug, even allowing for the performance-specific cut.
- Pros: Fast wicking, tactile and airy fabric, racy cut
- Cons: Snug fit is very snug... (you might need to size up)
It's a polyester (90%), Lycra (10%) mix, tailored to cater for temperatures between 15 and 35 degrees, with SPF50 incorporated in the yarn. Between the fingers, the weave feels fractionally thicker than some, and inside there's a "waffle type" texture, which presumably accelerates wicking pace. Lusso goes so far as to suggest its breathability "reduces your need for extra hydration through the loss of perspiration".
Lusso also claims the TX2 fabric has aero properties which "helps the airflow move more cleanly over the shoulders and body of the rider".
In other respects, specification is pretty much what I'd expect from a decent summer jersey. As well as a full-length front zipper, we have four sensibly proportioned rear pockets, including a zippered one for valuables. Generous silicone arm grippers and a more discreet one around the hem promise to keep this compliant but otherwise anchored.
Subjectively, I also like the fade grey-black livery; subtle yet distinctive, and easily coordinating with my riding wardrobe. I was also pleased to note that it's made on these shores.
Make no mistake, this is aero, second-skin close and shows no mercy for lumps and bumps. Medium was probably the best bet all round for me, although according to the sizing guide an inch too snug around the chest. I couldn't take a message, let alone a summer-weight baselayer. Otherwise, it's perfectly proportioned around the shoulders, arms and body.
The fabric is quite stretchy and does seem to have relaxed very slightly with use; any tightness wasn't really restricting on rides ranging between 15 and 30 miles, or when climbing. Some of my discomfort may also have been attributable to an impact injury to my rib-cage which was only identified last week. Just be aware that you might need to go up a size.
Overall, I've been pretty impressed with this jersey's performance. It's marginally thicker (though lighter, surprisingly) than Altura's Icon Warp Jersey, and feels more substantial but with comparable give. Using a 20-mile loop (one with a mix of harsh climbs, swift descents and flat tarmac) as my 'control', I was initially surprised by just how cool I remained; it's not light years ahead of other summer-specific models, but certainly apparent, especially around the lower back and chest.
We've not hit the heady heights of 35 degrees in a few weeks but it's kept me temperate and predominantly dry on rides around the 35 to 40-mile mark and 26 degrees without me having to resort to stashing my bottle in a rear pocket for extra cooling.
Wicking isn't on a par with merino but there's no "polyester lag", that lingering clamminess you can get before the fibres kick in.
At the other end of the spectrum, at 16 degrees and when caught in a sharp, blustery shower, the fibres seemed to retain some welcome heat. I've also been nigh-on dry given 10 minutes or so afterwards – qualities that transfer nicely to off-season, indoor trainer duties.
Testament to the 'racing snakes' cut, flutter was noticeably lower than a more traditional race jersey. The benefits were particularly apparent in two contexts: 10-mile blasts on my TT bike, and on blustery but humid days, when I tended to dip the zipper to half mast. I was pleased to note a substantial zipper tag, too, making gentle, progressive zipper dropping that bit easier – especially at speed.
The silicone grippers do their retention thing perfectly, and the sleeves never felt uncomfortably tight.
The pockets are Tardis-like and certainly more accommodating of micro jackets and big spare tubes than I was expecting. The bottoms are also well braced so tubes, mini-pumps, smartphones, bananas and so on don't bound around like toddlers on a trampoline. If you like to carry a bottle in your pocket, 650ml sizes are pretty much the limit; I've had 750ml and 800ml models make bids for freedom on two separate occasions.
Strictly speaking, this is a road jersey, one I've reserved primarily for speed-orientated tarmac duties. However, cheeky cut-throughs and bridleway blasting haven't revealed any obvious weaknesses. I've also been grateful for the additional coverage to my arms when sneaking through overgrown forest sections.
Price-wise it's pretty much dead centre of the market, but good value given the specification and UK manufacture; for those reasons, and if funds allowed, I'd choose the R1 over Altura's otherwise likeable £54.99 Icon Warp. That said, Cycology's Spin Doctor – and the brand's other designs – offer a similarly high spec for £55 and might also have a slight edge if you were looking for a jersey you could extend through the cooler periods.
Ultimately, I've been very impressed by the Lusso R1. It offers a very high specification and good design for a very competitive price. Do bear in mind that it's very much a racer's jersey, and while the sizing guide is accurate, given the aero fit you might need to go up a size.
Good high-performance jersey for competitive riding, just beware it is a snug fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso R1 Style Breathe Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "The R1 Style Breathe S/S Jersey has been designed for a Pro-fit and is a performance summer technical garment. The fabric is the new TX2 which helps the airflow move more cleanly over the shoulders and body of the rider. It remains fully breathable helping regulate your temperature and keeping you cool, reducing your need for extra hydration through the loss of perspiration.
"The TX2 material is a fully managed moisture transfer fabric, ideal for between 15C to 35C."
I'd agree, it's a snug-fitting race jersey that performs very well in most respects.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lusso lists these details:
Lightweight and Aero – 90% polyester 10% Lycra
Multi Fabric Design
Full Front Zip for easy access
4 Rear Pockets (1 Zipped)
Moisture Transfer Breathable Fabric, 50+ UV Ray Protection
SC-4s Arm & Hem grippers
Race Fit (None flap)
Lightweight but very sturdy.
Performs well, in all contexts. Temperature hasn't hit 35 but no problems when temperatures have been in the high 20s.
Seems promising thus far.
Very snug, so leaves nothing to the imagination. However, very comfortable and cheats the wind.
Very snug, though not restrictive, and regulates temperature very well too.
£64.99 is pretty much dead centre of the market, though I'd say it's above average value relative to the specification and competition. Worth noting it's made in the UK, too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Responds very well to machine washing 30-40 degrees, minimum detergent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very much a racer's jersey, it's been great for TT style blasts and much longer rides. The fabric offers ample freedom of movement and does an excellent job of regulating temperature. At the higher end, it'll traffic moisture efficiently but should the temperature suddenly dip (say, late evening) the fibres will hold on to some welcome warmth.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Made in the UK, to a decent specification, yet competitively priced.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really. Perhaps a little too 'fitted' for some tastes, but then it's designed to be.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a tenner more than Altura's Icon Warp at £54.99, although given the specification and UK manufacture, and if funds allowed, I'd choose the R1. Cycology's Spin Doctor and the brand's other designs are also £55, offer a similarly high spec, and might also have a slight edge if you were looking for a jersey you could extend through the cooler periods.
Castelli's Aero Race 6.0 and dhb's Aeron Lab Raceline are both £110 at rrp.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, for TTs and racing.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In the above contexts, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Competent and likeable jersey ideally suited to competitive riding, with not a lot of compromise in the fit.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)