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The Van Rysel Men's Mid-Season Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Jersey Racer is a great choice for autumn and spring – and into winter if layered with other garments. If you can carry off the slim fit, it's very good value, well made and well detailed. It's only really missing a bit more reflectivity, and the zip tags could be bigger – minor grumbles.
It's best described as a bridge garment, designed for conditions where it's a bit too cool for a short sleeve summer top but too warm for winter weight jerseys. Van Rysel doesn't cite a recommended temperature range, but I'd say it's ideal from high single figures to the mid teens, though pairing it with a baselayer and/or gilet will extend its usability when temperatures dip a little lower.
Rather than just being a summer jersey with longer sleeves, the fabric used here is thicker to cope with cooler weather, with thinner panels along the armpits, sides and back for efficient wicking.
Even in the mid-teens, moisture management is very good, helped by the ventilated panels. I've needed to drop the zipper occasionally but have never overheated, although it seems to take fractionally longer to expel sweat than lighter-weight tops.
At the cooler end of the spectrum I've been comfortable with just a vest-type baselayer down to 7°C, adding a lightweight gilet to block chillier autumn blasts or a packable micro jacket for additional protection for my arms.
I wasn't expecting a DWR (durable water repelling) coating at this end of the market, and half an hour in showery conditions rain will start to make itself known, though I did remain dry in damp, misty conditions.
Medium is my default these days, and despite being broad around the shoulders, relatively long limbed and short in the torso, the Van Rysel sized up perfectly – in fact it almost felt bespoke. Raglan sleeves and a stretchy fabric certainly help.
It's part of Van Rysel's pro-fit range. While super-efficient, ruling out any annoying flutter, this figure-hugging profile will ruthlessly exploit any hint of a spare tyre – if you're self-conscious about carrying a few extra pounds then I'd err toward something in the classic or relaxed range.
Close-fitting cuffs ensure a useful seal between glove and sleeve, preventing any cold, damp stuff being blown inside. You also get flat seams for comfort.
Some folks reckon the front is cut a little too short but I didn't have that problem, given my proportions, but it might be worth trying for size if you're longer in the body.
The stretchy materials and silicone hem ensure the jersey moves with you and I've never felt remotely restricted when switching between hoods, tops and drops, or when reaching for down tube shifters or bottles and so on.
Around the back we have the classic three pockets with elasticated tops, plus a zippered 'end terrace' for valuables. The main three are generous, with a decent amount of give, too – I sometimes carry a 750ml bottle in a pocket and there was no problem with that here, or big bananas, spare tubes, and a large smartphone.
Goodies are easily retrieved, too, though I found the zipped pocket a little tricky to get into (when stationary) – the zip-tag is a little small, but running a cable tie through it solved the problem.
The tops of the main pockets also prove an excellent parking point for a small LED, which helps compensate for the rather modest retro-reflective strip and logo.
Though not good practice on the hygiene front, successive wearing and long steady miles haven't resulted in a wallpaper-stripping, social pariah-inducing funk, which bodes well for weekend tours and bikepacking duties.
When it does come to washing it's very easy – just stick to the 30-degree, minimum detergent rule wherever possible. Ours has done the odd 40-degree wash cycle with no apparent harm, but the retro-reflective detailing on the Triban RC500 Mid-Season jersey I tested is showing faint signs of wear.
I've also washed the jersey by hand using soapflakes to favourable effect.
Two-year warranties inspire confidence from the off, but so long as you stick to the washing instructions and avoid a nasty spill, I can't see any reason it shouldn't lead a long and productive life. Ours sports one loose thread but I've exposed it to my usual mixed terrain, road and trail shenanigans with no obvious ill-effect.
As well as the ultra-practical, goes-with-anything black on test, the jersey is also available in Bordeaux (red) or sage green.
In terms of value, I'm yet to find a jersey around this price point – and some more expensive examples – that offer a specification and detailing to rival it.
dhb's long sleeve jersey could prove a bargain at £40 if it fits, as it's well made, but when Steve tested it last year he found the fit unusual – tight sleeves, loose chest – and the rear pockets weren't the most confidence inspiring.
Lusso's Stripes Long Sleeve Jersey is another that might be ideal for autumn and spring, and also features a UV-repelling fabric, but that's £69.99 at rrp (though currently discounted).
The Van Rysel bridges the gap between summer and winter jersey very competently. Its usability can easily be extended with a thicker baselayer and gilet or jacket, and though the racer cut won't suit everyone, for those it does it's hard to fault for the money.
Great jersey for cooler weather, provided you can carry off the snug racer cut
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Van Rysel Men's Mid-Season Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Jersey Racer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Van Rysel says: "Designed for all the times when your short-sleeved jersey feels too light, we created this jersey to keep you warm in cool weather.
"Morning chills, warming up, going downhill... there are many times you'll feel the need to slip on our long-sleeved jersey. And you'll never lack for comfort!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Main fabric 80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane
Yoke 80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane
Back fabric 84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
Very well made.
Overall performance has been excellent and meets the design brief of a cooler weather jersey very well.
Just a fraction longer than ideal in the arms for me, but hardly problematic. Racer cut is very snug but with plenty of give, and great at cheating blustery wind.
More or less perfect for me, although the sleeves were just that fraction longer than ideal for me.
Reassuringly sturdy at 221g but not something I've been conscious of unless it's become extremely wet.
Very comfortable. The fabric has generous amounts of give, meaning unrestricted movement, and the fabric wicks moisture very efficiently. Despite the lack of DWR (durable water repelling) component, the fabric takes a while to feel wet. I've been comfortable in this with a vest-type baselayer right down to 7°C, lower still with a lightweight gilet on top.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It's very easy to live with. Just follow the 30-degree, minimum detergent rule. Also responds well to handwashing with soap flakes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I think Van Rysel has got the mid-season design brief bang on. The cut is excellent, offering a really snug, weather-cheating fit, yet it's very stretchy for ease of movement. The pockets are similarly stretchy and will swallow surprising amounts very securely. The recommended temperature range is accurate and while baselayer quality plays its part, the jersey does an excellent job of trafficking moisture away from the skin. I've managed without a micro jacket or gilet on light-showery rides, but these are best packed for longer outings or when the weather's more changeable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, detailing, and generally meets the design brief handsomely.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
More of a minor grumble, but some more retro-reflectives would be welcomed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
dhb's long sleeve jersey is cheaper at £40, but when Steve tested it last year he found the fit unusual – tight sleeves, loose chest – and the rear pockets weren't the most confidence inspiring.
Altura's Icon long sleeve jersey features a semi-fitted cut and four pockets (one zippered), and according to Stu, who tested it in 2020, it wicks very well – but it's gone up to £75.
Lusso's Stripes Long Sleeve Jersey Stripes Long Sleeve Jersey is another that might be ideal for autumn and spring, and also features a UV-repelling fabric, but that's £69.99 at rrp (though currently discounted).
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
This is an excellent jersey for cooler weather, at a great price. If it had some bolder reflective detailing and longer zip tags it could be a 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)