The Louis Garneau Course Race jersey is a super-close-fitting aero jersey that's very well made and surprisingly comfortable. But going fast isn't cheap.
Louis Garneau's Course Race is very similar in design to their Superleggera jersey but with the ethos being more on aerodynamics than breathability.
It's designed around Garneau's Next to Skin fit which as you can probably guess means it's as close a fit as you can possibly get and intended to be worn without a base layer. The whole jersey is designed with as few seams as possible for both comfort and aerodynamics using pre-shaped panels in areas like the shoulders to dictate the fit.
The shoulders, which are one of the parts of your body that hit the wind first and so make a big difference to aerodynamics, use Speedtech fabric which is a tight dimpled mesh that creates a very smooth surface for cutting through the air.
The rest of the jersey is made from Mondo fabric which feels much softer than a lot of other jersey materials. Considering how small the Course Race looks on a hanger the Mondo fabric stretches to fit without pulling the material to its limits. It doesn't feel tight when it's on, just a nice close fit.
The black version here is coated with Coldblack, a treatment that reflect heats keeping the rider cooler when the sun comes out and also providing sun protection of SPF50.
Even though breathability isn't the top level concern it certainly hasn't been overlooked. Panels of mesh (Mesh 1001 as Louis Garneau call it) under the arms and at the rear of the neck wick sweat away while maintaining body temperature.
To keep the transition smooth from jersey to arms the sleeves are laser cut requiring no hem. They stay in place perfectly well without any grippers. They're about two inches longer than most sleeves so be prepared for an even dodgier cycling tan than normal.
As usual there are three pockets at the rear. The two side pockets are slanted for easy access. There is also a multimedia channel for threading headphones through the jersey.
The pockets are deep and carry plenty of stuff securely. Finishing touches like the 'zip garage' to stop neck irritation all add up in the quality stakes.
In use the Course Race is a lovely bit of kit to wear. It feels smooth against the skin and moves with you as you change position on the bike. As far as aerodynamics goes it does fit just like a skinsuit with no flapping material or bunching to disrupt the airflow.
The lack of seams and those pre-shaped shoulders really do add to the comfort, especially when you are hunched down onto the drops. The mesh underarms do a great job of removing excess body heat.
I like the colour scheme of black with red and white highlights but for those of you that'd like something a bit brighter there is a white version. Both are availiable in eight sizes from XXS to XXXL.
All of the Garneau kit I've seen is absolutely great quality and things are no different here. But then the quality should be top notch when you are paying £120 for a jersey.
A hundred and twenty quid though is a hell of a lot for a jersey. Unless you're racing against the clock or o a short circuit with the chance of breaking away, the Course Race is a bit unnecessary for most amateur club riders. But if it does tickle your fancy you won't be disappointed.
Aero, comfortable and great quality performance jersey that is perfect for race day.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Louis Garneau Course Race Jersey
Size tested: Medium, black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Course Race jersey is, as the name implies, for racing. Aerodynamics is the key design brief and the cut and material reflects this. It certainly feels like you're wearing a skinsuit and seems to perform the more aero your position.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*CB MONDO: UNPARALLELED STRETCH AND SHAPE RECOVERY
*CB SPEEDTECH: IMPROVES AERODYNAMICS
*MESH 1001: ENHANCES AIRFLOW AND WICKS MOISTURE
*Full length zip: Allows maximum ventilation
*Zip garage: Prevents neck irritation
*Pre-shaped shoulders: Enhance comfort in cycling position
*3 angled back pockets: Offer an easy access
*Multimedia pocket: Allows for headphone wires to be channelled inside the garment
*Wide Signature silicone gripper at back hem: Maintains fit
*Lazer-finished hem at arm: Designed for improved aerodynimics
*Stretch trim at hem: Provides a good fit
*Front and back reflective accents: Enhance visibility
*Next to skin Fit men
* Coldblack Finish®
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It certainly lives up to its aero design with a contoured fit and great comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
You need the performance to back it up.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 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.