The warm, bright and comfortable Triban RC 500 Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey is a great option for winter riding. Coming in at just under £35, it offers plenty of bang for buck with its soft fleece lining, good quality build, and more pockets than you possibly thought you needed. The waistband could be tighter, but that's a minor (and subjective) point considering the price.
The 85% polyester and 15% elasthane combination has created a supersoft and surprisingly warm outfit. On milder days it can get a little too warm – the ventilated areas under the arms and on the back aren't quite enough to prevent you sweating – but on bitterly cold mornings it's perfect for keeping you at a comfortable temperature.
The sleeve cuffs fit comfortably close without too much pressure; they're elasticated enough to go over gloves or under depending on how tight the gloves are. There's no silicone gripper to keep the cuffs in place, but I found the sleeves a good length when on the bike and there was no tendency to move up.
The waistband doesn't have gripper either and, for me, could do with being a little tighter to hold its position when there's nothing in your pockets to weigh it down. Having said that, a little added winter body weight might do the job too...
Although the waistband is a little loose on me, the main body of fabric, especially in the upper half, fits well – tighter but allowing full movement.
An extra 'waste pocket' is a nice addition to the spacious standard three rear pockets. Positioned on the right hip, it gives you somewhere to put your empty energy bar and gel wrappers, so no dropped litter when reaching for your next snack.
There's also a zipped water-repellent compartment on the central pocket for your phone or valuables, although it'll struggle to fit some of today's larger mobiles. All in, there's plenty of space for your snacks and extra clothing for long winter rides.
On the whole, the jersey washed relatively well. On occasion when worn during a cyclo-cross warm-up, a normal wash struggled to get the mud out, but with a bit of care and a handwash it would come up clean enough.
You'll be highly visible in the fluoro lime yellow with charcoal grey panels on those dark evening commutes, but if you're not a fan there are other colour choices: navy and grey, navy and teal blue and, lastly, plain black.
As with much of the Decathlon Triban range, the RC 500 long sleeve jersey comes in at a great price. One of the few items we've tested at a remotely similar price is its cheaper sibling, the Triban RC 100, while for just another £15 you could go merino with the Triban Merino Bike Touring Jersey.
dhb's thermal long sleeve jersey is the same price as the RC 500 – but you can pay a lot more.
You also get a two-year guarantee, although it only covers manufacturing defects – 'fair wear and tear' and 'accident damage' are just a few of the exclusions.
If you're going to be covering some big winter miles, whether as a weekend warrior or late evening commuter, the great value for money Triban RC 500 long sleeve jersey will stand you in good stead.
Warm and comfortable winter jersey at a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Triban RC 500 Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
A top for when the temperatures drop.
Decathlon says, "We've designed this long-sleeved jacket specifically for regular outings in mid-season. Stay warm in cool weather and dry when it's hot thanks to the breathable fabric. Five pockets mean you don't need to take a backpack."
Stretchy fabric that moves with you
Longer at the back
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
85.00% Polyester (PES), 15.00% Elasthane
83.00% Polyester (PES), 17.00% Elasthane
Fleece lining provides effective protection from the cold.
Ventilated areas on the back and underarms for breathability.
4 back pockets, including 1 secure, water-repellent pocket + 1 waste pocket.
Stretch fabric for greater comfort and freedom of movement when cycling.
Well made jersey with no loose threads or jamming zips. Great quality material too.
Great in cold conditions, with good breathability. A little warm on warmer days.
The jersey has survived well so far. No signs of deterioration or colour fade. A few marks are forming from mud build-up that wasn't washed out quickly enough, but nothing to worry about.
Great fit on the whole, with a comfortable pressure around the arms and cuffs. The waistband is a little loose on me.
Seemed about right. I was testing a medium and I would tend to be between small and medium for winter gear. That could explain the loose waistband, hence why I think the sizing is about right.
Lovely smooth feel of the fleece lining. Cuffs fitted comfortably without too much pressure. Breathability under the arms and lower back helped to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Great value for money at just £35. A good quality long sleeve jersey that could challenge those costing twice as much, if not more.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No special care required, though I did struggle to get some mud marks out when I didn't wash it quickly enough. With some handwashing I got most of it out, but it was partly my fault for leaving it muddy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great on cold wintry miles and really fits its requirements well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft feel of the inner and high level of comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really – the waistband was a bit loose on me but I could have sized down.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Far cheaper than most long sleeve jerseys on the market. Its main competition comes from within the Decathlon family: the Triban RC 100 is £17.99, the Triban RC 900 merino touring jersey is £49.99. dhb's Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey is a penny more at £35.
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
Does what it's designed to very well, keeping you warm on cold rides while being practical and well made. Add to that the fantastic price and it's an easy 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCX My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives