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Ale's PRR Skull SS Lady Jersey is close fitting, breathable and light, and will appeal to those who like a jersey with plenty of length. The unique design won't be to all tastes, but it certainly stands out – and there are different colours and designs to choose from – and I was impressed with the performance.
The medium I've been testing is a great fit around the shoulders and torso, and is significantly longer in the body than most jerseys – it will definitely appeal to taller riders. If you don't fall into the 'long body category', you'll get some gathering at the front, but the clinging fabrics mean it won't be baggy.
The sleeve length works with arm warmers, and the collar isn't excessively high, though it is perhaps a tad taller than some lightweight summer jerseys.
The fabrics are exceptionally lightweight. The main body and side panels use the same perforated weave, the rear panel is similarly lightweight, and the underarms are a mesh-like fabric. Only the upper sleeves use a solid fabric (Skin 120), to aid aerodynamics.
All of these technical fabrics combine to deliver great heat regulation and moisture management. Its breathability and ventilation meant I remained dry and comfortable when putting in harder efforts, and the full-length zipper lets you control airflow, if required, though I rarely felt I was overheating.
The fabrics are rather delicate and giving, so the jersey moves with you on the bike, but this does mean it stretches with weighted pockets. If I didn't balance out the contents, the jersey was prone to swinging round. The gripper at the rear of the waist isn't particularly substantial, and the elastic band that it sits on isn't the strongest either.
There is nothing at the front edge – elastic or silicone – the fabric is simply doubled over and bonded (no stitching).
The three rear pockets are well placed and roomy enough, made from the same giving fabric as the front and side panels, so will accommodate bulky items. However, I found the elasticated trim along the top edge a hindrance at times – my smartphone case would frequently get hooked under it, making getting it out on the go a two-handed operation.
The jersey is available in a choice of background colours: black (that I tested), blue and pink fluo. Each has a strip of reflective polka dots running along the base of the pockets; it's not a huge amount of detailing, but still nice to see on a performance-orientated summer jersey.
We've tested plenty of sub-£100 jerseys this summer with similar specs, but the PRR's RRP of £95 still puts it above some very good options, such as the £79.99 Nopinz Pro-1 that Anna rated, and La Passione's Duo, for just a penny more, which she was even more impressed with.
That said, 7mesh's £200 Skyline still beats most by a significant margin.
Overall, I really rate the jersey's technical performance, but the lower hem could do with being stronger to resist movement under weighted pockets. It's a great cut for taller ladies and will appeal to those with a love of loud graphics.
Great performance and cut to suit taller women, but load your pockets with care
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ale PRR Skull SS Lady Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Ale says, 'A strong design which will bring out its wearer's character and, combined with a light and wrap-around construction, promotes the best aerodynamics and drying. The best match between unique style and comfort for any riding experience'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ale lists these details:
Silicone elastic band at the waist
Reflective details at the back
85% polyester, 15% elastane
90% polyester, 6% elastane, 4% other fibers
88% polyester, 12% elastane
96% polyester, 4% elastane
Water repellency: 0/5
UV Protection: 3/5
Overall good, but the hem could do with more strength, and I found the design of the elastic trim on the pockets could interfere with things like a phone, so could be improved.
Breathable, fast-drying fabrics.
Fabrics are very delicate... don't be leaning on rough surfaces.
Very much tailored for taller ladies.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
As instructed, 30 degree wash. No issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for hot weather rides and intense training in mild conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Length suited me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The waist gripper/elastic band needs to be stronger.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a little more expensive than the likes of Nopinz and La Passione – but still a lot less than some.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Top-performing fabrics and a cut to suit taller ladies, who are so often overlooked, but the waistband and pocket trims could be improved.
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…