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The Santini Redux Istinto Men's Short Sleeve Jersey is about as aero a piece of clothing as you can get. It's basically a skinsuit for your upper half; with streamlined pockets and a very close fit there isn't any fabric left to bunch up or flap about in the wind. It comes at a high price, though.
We all know how much aerodynamics affect our ability to go fast, and if you want to give your clothing the same attention to detail as your frame, deep-section wheels or components, then you are going to want to be looking at something like this Redux Istinto.
The fabric of the main body is a mix of 74% polyester and 26% elastane, and there is a lot of stretch going on. It is very much a next-to-skin fit, or, as Santini calls it, Sleek.
The fabric is very soft and feels great against the skin, and it's massively breathable – even on very hot days it lets the wind blow through, keeping you cool and feeling fresh.
Because of that close fit, even when you move around on the bike there is no bunching of material or anything to flap in the breeze. There is a decent amount of compression involved too, which I found makes the Santini comfortable to wear for long stints in the saddle.
The sleeves are made from a lightweight mesh fabric with no cuffs as such, with the tautness of the fabric keeping everything in position.
All of the fabrics give some UV protection too.
The neck is cut low, so there is no need for a zip garage, while the rear section is dropped to provide plenty of coverage when you're in the drops. To keep it in place there is a small amount of silicone mesh used.
Across the back you'll find three pockets, with each pocket having a horizontal slit rather than being fully open, which gives a kind of flap at the top. This means if you put, say, a phone in there then the top of the phone will sit under the flap, which maintains a smooth transition over the pocket while also keeping your stuff secure.
It does make grabbing things from your pocket a bit tricky in the heat of battle, but I like the idea.
The overall quality is to a very high standard, with the various stitching types being finished excellently. All the seams are very neat, and on some sections Santini has thermo-sealed the seams instead of sewing, so that you get a smooth finish.
When it comes to the sizing, I'd say nudge up one compared with what you normally wear from UK-based brands. Santini's performance kit comes up on the small side, though that is reflected in its sizing guide so it's worth checking that out before you buy.
Speaking of buying, it'll cost you, at £185 at full rrp. There are a lot of deals around at the moment, and you can find it for a lot less, but at full price it's a big outlay for a jersey.
It's £15 more than the Le Col x McLaren Project Aero Jersey – although Matt wasn't that impressed with the fit of that.
It's also more expensive than the £132 MAAP Evade Pro Base jersey, one that I was very impressed with.
The Istinto isn't the most expensive aero jersey we've tested, though – that spot currently belongs to 7mesh with its £200 Skyline.
Overall, even against some very good competition the Santini jersey is still pricey, but the quality is excellent, as are the fit and performance.
At the pricier end of the scale, but that's offset by the excellent fit and performance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Redux Istinto Men's Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says, "Super aero jersey constructed with stretch woven fabrics engineered to reduce drag. UV resistance and with a fresh feel on the skin, featuring thermo sealed seams and pockets and reflective tape for visibility in the dark. Great for riding fast looking flawless."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Santini lists these features and details:
Follows the contours of your body like a second skin
Clima and Flow shuttle-woven fabrics are light, fast-drying, and UV resistant
Elastic gripper at the waistband. Thermo- welded cuffs
Triple inner pocket with invisible thermo-sealed laser-cut opening
NIGHT TIME VISIBILITY
Elastic rear band with integrated reflective tape
It sizes up correctly to Santini's guide, but the medium is smaller than a typical UK medium.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Santini recommends a 30 degree wash and following that I had no issues at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
You won't get much more aero than this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very breathable materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's a lot of money.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the pricey end of the scale, but not the most expensive.
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
Great quality and an excellent aero jersey when it comes to performance – as long as you can stomach the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!