British brand Le Col’s entry-level option looks and feels the part and harks back to the halcyon days of road cycling, says cycling enthusiast Charlie Allenby…
Le Col Sport Jersey
$140 / £105, lecol.cc
- Fabric feels nice against skin
- Waterproof zipped security pocket
- Comfortable fit
- Cheaper entry-level jerseys available
- Fabric bunches when riding in the drops
Le Col has racing at its core. Founded by ex-pro Yanto Barker in 2009, the London-based brand sponsors professional teams and has collaborated with cycling icons such as Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton. As a result, it has built a reputation for making kit that can withstand the rigours of professional cycling. Its performance jerseys are ideal for pairing with the best cycling shoes.
Its Sport range is its entry-level line and the jersey aims to pair the performance qualities of its high-end options with a fit and durability more suited to the everyday cyclist. In layman’s terms, that means a looser, less compressive cut that uses a slightly cheaper base material to its Hors Categorie or Pro ranges. Still, it has its work cut out to justify its three-figure price tag.
Le Col Sport Jersey performance
Unlike some of the other best cycling jerseys tested, the Le Col Sport hasn’t been designed with aerodynamics in mind. Its focus is on comfort rather than cutting through the air, which means it needs to be able to seamlessly wick sweat away and stay breathable hour after hour. Overall, it performed these jobs well. On warmer rides, the fabric allowed a good level of airflow to pass to hot spots, while on cool starts it was thick enough to provide some warmth – making it great for spring, summer and autumn rides.
The only time the jersey struggled was when tested on the turbo trainer. After 30 minutes of zone 2 riding, certain areas became saturated with sweat and I was forced to fully unzip the jersey to get enough airflow. But as it’s not a turbo training-specific jersey, this is only a minor blemish on its otherwise impressive report card.
Le Col Sport Jersey fit
Designed with a looser (and therefore more forgiving) fit, you’re unlikely to feel exposed when wearing the Sport jersey, making it ideal for those who aren’t graced with a professional cyclist’s physique. Although this fit did aid the jersey’s comfort, it also had a downside. When riding leant over the handlebars and in the drops, the jersey would bunch up at the front, with the excess material flapping when riding at speed or in the wind. Although a minor annoyance, I would expect a slightly more tailored cut considering its cost.
The jersey’s pockets were well-sized and could easily store everything you’d need for a long training ride, while a waterproof zipped security pocket is a clever way of keeping things protected from the elements and sweat (although don’t expect it to fit a modern smartphone).
Le Col Sport Jersey value
For something that’s supposedly entry level, your eyebrows might raise at the Le Col Sport’s £100-plus price. For comparison, Rapha’s Core ($90 / £75) and DHB’s Blok (£50) jerseys are a fraction of the cost, so where does that extra money go? Having tried both of these alternatives, I can confirm that Le Col’s jersey certainly has a more premium feel and finish, and has kept its shape well between washing cycles. And if you’re after a jersey that offers comfort above all else, it’s worth stretching your budget that bit further.