Bioracer's Epic Women's Camo Dot Jersey is a very good performance-orientated top. With fabrics and construction focused on aerodynamics at a price that isn't extortionate, it stands out from many other jerseys.
The last time I wore BioRacer kit I was racing for UCI-registered team Redsun. The company supplies a lot of continental teams – performance is taken seriously. Naturally, I was expecting quality and performance from the Epic Camo Dot, and it didn't disappoint. Bioracer's research and experience with professional teams really shows here.
Every jersey has its own section on the Bioracer size chart, so don't get caught out by assuming you'll take the same size in every one.
I was sent a 3/M to test, which fitted perfectly, but I actually fall into the 2/S on the Epic size chart. I certainly wouldn't want to drop down a size – if in doubt, size up. It's a skintight fit; think skinsuit.
Bioracer has used a wide elastic powerband in the front. This, combined with the tailored back panel, keeps the jersey stable in all directions when riding in an aerodynamic position. That's good because there is simply no excess fabric in the body length: it covers what it should and no more, gently tapering up to the centre at the front.
The sleeves are a good length and the raw cut looks and feels great. They are lined with a fine elasticated weave and don't budge once in place.
The jersey is all about cutting down on drag. The raglan sleeves and Speedsilk (a heat treated, silky type of Lycra) front and back panels are intended to improvement aerodynamics. While I can't verify whether or not they are effective, they certainly feel and look good. Bioracer has been the official clothing supplier of the Belgian cycling team since 1994, so you'd hope you could trust in its research.
Side and underarm panels are made of Airmesh, and it's needed – I don't think that the front and rear panels are as breathable as, for example, those on Assos's Dyora. The Airmesh helps to regulate the body temperature and certainly dries out quicker than the Speedsilk. I never overheated or became excessively sweaty.
I'd say that the jersey is a 'no-undervest' garment if you want it at its best. It needs to sit plush to the skin for the fabrics to perform, both in terms of aerodynamics and wicking.
Three roomy pockets are easily accessible. Bioracer has created space with a fold at the base of the pocket rather than excess fabric in the pocket's body – again, aerodynamic gains.
Be aware that the zipper sits on the right hand side of the jersey – it took some getting used to. There is an effective neck guard to protect you from the zipper.
The jersey is available in three different colourways. If Giro (pink) isn't your cup of tea, there's Tour (yellow) and Qatar (grey) too.
With an RRP of around £88 (€99 rrp) it's not out of reach for those dedicated to speed. I'd say that you are getting a high quality, aerodynamic-focused garment here for a good price. Many performance-orientated jerseys come with a much higher price tag: Assos's Dyora that I've already mentioned will set you back a further £57 and Rapha's Pro Team Jersey is slightly less but still not exactly wallet-friendly at £120.
You can spend less if you're happy to forgo the aerodynamic gains and finer-finish details: Lusso's Freya SS Jersey (full review to come) is £64.99 and Altura's Icon SS Jersey is £54.99.
Overall, I'd say that if speed matters to you, the Epic Jersey offers good value for money. While I didn't measure whether or not it shaved seconds off a 10-mile TT time, it certainly feels and looks like a race-focused jersey, designed to improve aerodynamics. Just be sure to carefully check the sizing charts and size up if in doubt.
Quality jersey for serious, speed-focused roadies, racers and segment chasers
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bioracer Epic Women Jersey Camo Dot
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Bioracer says, 'This jersey is our most advanced summer jersey to date.
'During development, 2 criteria had to be reached. It had to be as fast as our Race Proven Aero jersey, and it had to be as breathable as possible.
'The result is the Race Proven Epic Jersey.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Bioracer provides these details:
Front and back panels are made of Speedsilk, a heat treated, silky type of Lycra engineered for aerodynamic efficiency.
Side panels and armpit panels are made of Airmesh, a very breathable and lightweight type of fabric specifically developed to keep body temperature stable.
The seamless raglan sleeves add to the aerodynamics of this jersey.
The fit of this jersey is improved by inserting a wide elastic powerband in the front. This band combined with the tailored back panel keeps the jersey perfectly into place when riding in an aerodynamic position.
The blind YKK zipper with zipper garage improves ease of use.
In the back we've placed 3 easily reachable back pockets, and an extra water resistant zip pocket to store your valuables.
It's at its best without a baselayer.
It's definitely not roomy; check the size chart carefully.
A lot of technology and research at a price that won't make your eyes water.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Standard 30 degrees and no softener, comes out like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I'd say you are forfeiting some breathability for aerodynamic advantage. It's a perfect jersey for testers (as time triallists like to call themselves) and those keen to shave seconds off Strava segments.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Snug fit and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as breathable as some – for example, the Assos Dyora.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Race-focused jerseys cost, but this is one of the lower priced options: the Assos Dyora is £145, and Rapha's Pro Team is £120. Santini's Tono Chromosome is £90 but has a longer fit in the body, doing away with the aerodynamic advantage you get here.
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
The aerodynamic gains offered by Silkskin may cost a little in terms of breathability, but overall you're getting a lot for your money when you consider the research and technology that's gone into creating the Epic.
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…