The Sportful Gruppetto Team is a light and airy, sharp-looking, pro-quality jersey at a very sensible price.
Sportful supply pro team Saxo Tinkoff with clothing and while you can buy replica kit, you can also get the same kit sans sponsors logos, in a choice of three smart colourways. So you get the same fabrics, fit and performance, but without looking like a pro rider. This makes the Gruppetto a real gem of the Sportful range.
Sportful score highly on fit and performance of fabrics. As an Italian company, their clothing does come up a little small but it's not as tight as some Italian firms: a medium feels like a proper medium should do. With clothing I'd really recommend trying on before you part with your money, just to be on the safe side.
The jersey is simply constructed. The front and rear panels are joined with a slim side panel, and the jerseys and shoulder are one panel. A full-length quality YKK zipper not only makes pulling the jersey on and off easier, but gives you maximum ventilation when slogging up Alpe d'Huez. Or Box Hill.
DryPro Lite fabric, a 100 percent polyester, is used for all the main body panels. It's light and airy stuff, it works well to keep your temperature in check with high airflow through the weave. An Aero Stretch Mesh is used on the shoulders for further breathability.
The waistband is lined with a grippy silicone elastic and does well to stop the jersey riding up your bib shorts, especially when you're crouched low in the drops. For stowing spares and food, you get three rear pockets. They're a regular size, and easily take a day's worth of supplies.
Sportful also claim the Gruppetto is the most aerodynamic jersey they've ever produced, but they don't support this claim with any data. As with most products that come with aero claims attached, it's very difficult for us to test this. Where clothing is concerned, aerodynamic gains come from minimising excess material that can catch the wind and cause drag. Given the tight fit and good cut of the Gruppetto jersey, it's fair to say it's probably as good as any other 'aero' jerseys on the market.
Aero debate aside, it's a very comfortable jersey for training, racing and just riding. The design is contemporary and there's the choice of three colours, so you might be able to match it with the rest of your kit. The jersey looks really sharp when worn with the matching Gruppetto bib shorts.
At £65, it's neither cheap nor expensive, sitting as it does somewhere in the middle of the available price spectrum. Pro level kit at an affordable price.
Comfortable, well-ventilated pro level kit at an affordable price.
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Make and model: Sportful Gruppetto Team Jersey
Size tested: Size small
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 Sportful Gruppetto Team Jersey is the perfect jersey for training or hot conditions. The Anatomic fit with medium cut is designed for all day comfort.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ideal for hot weather or mountain riding.
DryPro Lite main body is extremely light and quick drying.
Aero Stretch Mesh over shoulders for great fit and keeping you cool.
Full length zip.
Silicone gripper elastic.
3 external rear pockets.
The most aerodynamic jersey we've ever tested.
A simple design with just a few panels is well put together.
Performance, both in terms of fit and breathability, is right up there with the very best jerseys.
Sportful kit has proven in the past to be durable and this jersey has stood up fine to several weeks hard riding with several washes. No problems keeping it looking clean and the white white.
The fabric is very light and airy making it good for warm/hot days when you want to ride hard and stay cool.
Sportful get the cut and fit just right, so it's very comfortable. No tugging at the shoulders, the waist sits comfortably and the fabric is soft next to the skin.
It's half the price of many jerseys yet bests many of them for fit and functionality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For racing and long summer rides equally, the Gruppetto is a fine choice. Stylish too, though its looks probably aren't for everyone. Looks best when paired with the matching bib shorts, naturally.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
For me, where Sportful really do well, is in the shape and sizing of the jersey.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really stands out.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.