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Shimano Evolve Jersey 2020



Performs well in hot weather but expensive, on the short side, and has a tendency to ride up
Decent breathability
Looks good
Comes up short for a medium size
Pockets are fiddly to use

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Shimano Evolve jersey is breathable, good looking, and wicks well, but there are some small niggles like the pockets and length that could be improved.

Shimano clothing has become relatively well known for pushing the boundaries and adding new features in the past few years, and the Evolve jersey is no different.

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It's a warm weather jersey, designed for temperatures between 16-26°C, and like the previous version that Jez tested a couple of years ago, it's made with a dual construction, which Shimano calls 'Dry Touch': a '2-in-1 construction [which] acts like a built-in baselayer keeping the rider cool and comfortable without added bulk'.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - chest detail.jpg

While baselayers normally cover your entire torso, the Evolve's only covers the areas where you expel most heat, namely your back, chest, and beneath your arms.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - underarm.jpg

Above all of these areas the outer material is heavily perforated, which allows heat to escape more easily. It worked well – I found the jersey comfortable and effective at reducing heat build-up.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - detail.jpg

Helping things further is a well-made full-length YKK zipper, which is easy to open when you need to let excess heat escape. One of the things that I really like about this jersey is the look: aside from the venting and the zip, there is very little on the front, giving it a clean and classic look.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - collar.jpg

The material on the outer is a polyamide and elastane mix, which wicks moisture well and gives a good amount of stretch, allowing the jersey to mould easily to different body shapes and sizes.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - back.jpg

Fit is largely good from the belly button and above, but on me it comes up shorter than most jerseys I have used and also tends to ride up, which is a little irritating. Cycling jerseys are often cut short at the front so they don't bunch up when you're on the bike, but I would say it is about two inches shorter than typical for a medium size. Everything else fitted as I would expect, but it's worth trying on before you buy to make sure the sizing is right for you.

On the back the jersey has three main pockets which also have smaller pockets within them. On the left there is a small pouch, in the middle a larger phone pocket, and on the right two small pockets on the outside. While it can be useful, in general I found them a bit of a faff and was frequently having things stuck in smaller pockets or having to root around pockets to find what I was looking for.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - pockets.jpg

There is also no gripper on the bottom hem of the jersey, and I found that it rode up quite a lot. Given that this it's already quite short, I found I had to readjust it fairly frequently during a ride. It was better when the pockets were heavily laden, although even then it rode up more than most other jerseys I've worn.

2020 Shimano Evolve jersey - hem.jpg

Its RRP of £149.99 is a bit steep (£20 more than the previous version), even if the length suited you. That said, it does have the built-in baselayer, and its ability to deal with heat is very good, which goes some way to justifying the high price.

It's £30 more than the Megmeister Premium Woven Zig Zag Jersey, which comes in at £119.99 and has broadly similar heat-management qualities. I also looked at the Katusha Icon jersey a couple of months ago, which is £15 cheaper and outperformed the Evolve in terms of heat management and comfort.

> Buyer’s Guide: 25 of the best summer cycling jerseys

Overall, there are elements of this jersey that I like, in particular the simple design and built-in baselayer, but it's not cheap, the pockets are fiddly, and check the length – it's much shorter than I would expect it to be, made worse by its tendency to ride up.


Performs well in hot weather but expensive, on the short side, and has a tendency to ride up

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Make and model: Shimano Evolve Jersey 2020

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

It is a high quality jersey designed to keep you cool between 16 and 26°C.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Shimano lists:

Multiple pocket types improve storage capability for long rides.

New anatomic pattern for natural riding posture.

Performance posture arm pattern.

Super soft material feels as great as it performs.

Double layer structure (Mesh lining on chest, under arms, and back).

Laser cut venting.

Reflective elements on back.

360 degrees reflectivity.

UPF 50+.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very well made jersey with strong stitching and good material choice.

Rate the product for performance:

It worked very well within the designated temperature range, it wicked sweat well, and fitted well apart from the length.

Rate the product for durability:

It's well made and likely to last a long time.

Rate the product for fit:

Around the neck, arms, and shoulders fit is good, but it is much shorter than I would expect.

Rate the product for sizing:

Everything apart from length is as I would expect for a medium, but its shortness is exacerbated by its tendency to ride up.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:

Its decent breathability and wicking help to make it comfortable in terms of heat management, but the way it rides up isn't.

Rate the product for value:

It's more expensive than Megmeister's Premium Woven Zig Zag Jersey (£119.99) and £15 more than Katusha's Icon (£135). Although it has some really nice features and performs well in the heat, the price is high considering some elements could be improved.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

I chucked it in at 30 degrees without any issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed well in terms of managing heat, but is let down a little by the length and its tendency to ride up.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The built-in baselayer – a good concept that works well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Its short length combined with its tendency to ride up.

Did you enjoy using the product? Sometimes

Would you consider buying the product? I would need to try the size up.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd advise them to try it for length first.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is tricky because its performance in hot weather is very good, and the built-in baselayer works well, but it's let down by some fundamental elements such as its tendency to ride up, when it's already quite short. Fit is subjective, and it might be an OK length for others, but also the pockets are fiddly to get things out, and it's not cheap. Balancing all that out, I'd say it's above average, but not quite a 7.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

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 podcast and has been writing for 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.

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