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The Katusha Icon Jersey offers high performance in almost every area, with great breathability and wicking, although this comes with a high price.
As you can see from the photos, the Icon jersey is a really beautiful orange/bronze colour that the Katusha team riders began to wear as they moved away from the bright red they'd become known for in the mid 2010s (other colours are available). The branding is relatively subtle compared to a lot of other jerseys, with only a small K logo on the front and on the neck, with Katusha written in small letters on the central back pocket. This gives the jersey a clean and classic design.
The fit, despite being described as 'regular' by Katusha, is quite aero focused, with very long sleeves (they sit around 1 1/2 inches above my elbow), and figure-hugging throughout. This is down to the impressive amount of stretch in the material on the front and shoulder panels, which allows it to fit snuggly against a variety of body shapes.
It is made up of nine panels, using four different fabrics throughout. The back panel and underneath the arms are very well ventilated with a perforated fabric that helps with wicking and breathability. Katusha has incorporated 37.5 thermoregulation technology into the fabrics, which is designed to keep your core body temperature at or below 37.5 degrees.
Breathability is impressive. I used this up to around 28°C and found that it kept me cool and comfortable for everything bar those prolonged efforts when nothing's going to prevent you getting hot and uncomfortable. Even the pockets are made from a mesh fabric, so excess heat from your lower back can escape relatively easily.
A full length zip also helps, so when you're halfway up a 30-minute climb in the blazing heat you can just unzip to let more air in.
Wicking was impressive, too, with the material quickly moving moisture away from the body even during particularly hot and sweaty rides. The pockets being mesh also really helps with drying the material quickly, too.
Despite the pockets being mesh, they still hold everything firmly and don't have any additional sag compared to traditional solid fabric pockets.
You get three open pockets and a zip one on the left hand side. Oddly, this was the only part of the jersey that I found slightly off – simply because I am so used to zip pockets being on the right or the central pocket.
A silicone gripper along the bottom of the back keeps everything in place; throughout testing the jersey didn't ride up, even when the pockets were empty.
With an RRP of €150 (about £132), it's expensive for a warm weather jersey, although similar to top-end jerseys from other manufacturers.
Stu tested the ashmei Men's Cycle Croix De Fer Jersey a few weeks ago which costs £128 and has broadly the same qualities in terms of breathability and wicking, although this comes from the 65% merino wool used rather than the polyester mix in the Katusha jersey.
I also tested the Pearl Izumi interval SS jersey earlier in the summer which is £124.99; the Interval is a much more lightweight jersey, shaving 33g off the Katusha.
Overall, I really like this jersey, which is great for long, hot rides with its effective wicking and impressive breathability, helped by some innovative features like the mesh pockets which help to keep your lower back cooler. It also has a classic, clean aesthetic. Some will be put off by the price, but for those looking for a high-performance jersey it's well worth considering.
High-performance but high-priced jersey that keeps you cool and comfortable on long hot rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Katusha Icon Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Katusha says: 'The ICON Redefined. Clean, simple and minimalistic design blends seamlessly with a plethora of technical apparel features forming the perfect jersey for long days in the saddle.
'Keeping your body temperature at an optimum level is extremely important for any cyclist, whether it is a pro rider, an amateur racer or a person simply loving to ride their bike. The ICON Jersey features a blend of two extremely soft and lightweight fabrics with 37.5 thermoregulation technology which helps to maintain your body at the ideal core temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius and keep the micro-climate next to your skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5%.
'The 37.5 Technology triggers off of humidity which is the gauge of whether you're hot or cold. When you're hot, the active volcanic sand particles embedded into the material use your body's energy to remove moisture and cool you down. When you're cold, the active particles retain body's energy to warm you up.
'To optimise fit and comfort, the ICON Jersey features proprietary ergonomic line technology across the shoulders updated to ensure greater elasticity for truly unrestricted feel of the garment in the riding position, improved elasticity of the sleeves to eliminate pressure points and conform to greater variety of body shapes, and bonded fully taped front zipper for uniform feel
'Improved back pocket construction features mesh fabric which helps to reduce the weight of the garment and increase breathability when not used, while side entry zipped pocket provides secure storage for your valuables.
'Developed specifically to provide riders with superior comfort, luxurious feel, excellent moisture management and light weight, the ICON Jersey is a superb option for early spring, summer and early autumn rides.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
37.5® Degrees fabric on the front panel.
37.5® Degrees Regular Mesh on the back and side panels.
4-way stretch fabric.
Ergonomic line technology.
Bonded fully taped full center front zip.
Elasticated band with silicone print at hem.
Taped bottom hem.
Silicone tape at the lower back.
3 mesh back pockets and 1 zippered pocket.
Designed in Switzerland.
Made in Europe.
Size down for tight fit.
Katusha REGULAR Fit.
Very well made. The material has a lot of stretch which puts less pressure on the seams, and the seams themselves are stitched neatly throughout.
The high breathability and wicking of the fabric work very well.
The quality of construction suggests it's likely to last.
Katusha describes this as a regular fit but it feels distinctly aero, with long sleeves and a figure-hugging panel design with different degrees of stretch in each of the panels, so it should work with a variety of body shapes and sizes.
Katusha says: 'The roomier cut of the Katusha REGULAR Fit has been created to optimize comfort and freedom of movement during longer days in the saddle. The garment is cut longer at the front and built with an extremely high-stretch fabric, ensuring adequate coverage and catering for a wide variety of body shapes.'
The medium size fitted as I would expect a medium jersey to fit.
At 137g it's certainly not a heavyweight jersey, but not as light as some competitors.
Very comfortable thanks to the excellent wicking and breathability.
There is no getting around how expensive this jersey is, but at the same time it is at broadly the same as its main competitors.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, no need for anything more complicated than a 30 degree wash and hanging on the line.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it kept me cool in hot conditions and has enough storage to fit everything in needed for a long ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The mesh back pockets – it's not a big thing, but you can tell the difference.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only really that the zip pocket is on the left, which threw me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Ashmei's Croix De Fer jersey costs £128 and has broadly the same qualities in terms of breathability and wicking and even the 37.5 thermoregulation technology, although this is made from 65% merino wool used rather than the polyester mix in the Katusha jersey. The Pearl Izumi Interval SS jersey comes in at £124.99, although the Interval is a much more lightweight jersey, shaving 33g off the Katusha.
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
It's a really good jersey that kept me cool even in hot temperatures. It's not cheap, but features like the mesh pockets and the different fabric construction throughout the jersey go some way to justifying it.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.