The clothing you wear while riding can have a huge influence on your comfort and performance, and alongside bib shorts, your summer jersey is always going to be one of the key pieces.
Advances in technical fabrics in recent years mean the difference in on-bike performance between the best cycling jerseys and ‘normal’ clothes can be substantial, particularly if you’re concerned about going fast or riding comfortably in hot weather.
Of course, many roadies care about how they look on the bike too, and while we certainly wouldn’t claim to be the arbiters of ‘cool’, we think all of these cycling jerseys tested by the BikeRadar test team should fit the bill.
It’s worth remembering these jerseys are designed for riding in warm, dry weather, so don’t forget to check the weather forecast before rides. If you’re heading out for a long time, packing an extra layer to put on if the weather changes is always sensible. Want to know more about layers? Check out our selections of the best waterproof jackets for cyclists and the best cycling gilets.
The jerseys in this list are men’s cycling jerseys, but where women’s-equivalent jerseys exist we have included a link. We’ve also created a list of 6 of the best women’s cycling jerseys for summer.
The best cycling jerseys in 2021
These are the best summer cycling jerseys in 2021. Once you’ve read all the reviews, keep reading for our in-depth buyer’s guide to cycling jerseys.
- Assos Equipe RS Aero SS Jersey: £145 / $189 / AU$323 / €170
- Endura Pro SL Lite Jersey: £80 / $110 / €100
- Giro Chrono Expert: £80 / AU$130
- Scott RC Pro Supersonic: £90 / €100
- Sportful Monocrom Jersey: £90 / $150 / €100
- Alé PRR Green Road Jersey: £125 / $150 / AU$185 / €125
- Altura Icon Short-Sleeve Jersey: £55 / €65
- B’TWIN Triban RC 100 Warm Weather Jersey: £18 / $25
- Castelli Hors Categorie Jersey: £100 / $140 / €100
- dhb Aeron Short Sleeve Jersey: £55 / $70 / AU$90 / €65
- Endura FS260-PRO II: £60 / $90 / €70
- Madison RoadRace: £65
- Pearl Izumi Interval Jersey: £125 / $125
- Stolen Goat Hanzo: £75 / $110 / AU$160 / €99
- Q36.5 L1 Pinstripe X Jersey: £142 / €162
- Van Rysel Endurance Racer: £50
Assos Equipe RS Aero SS Jersey
- Sizes: S–XXL
- Colours: Black, Black/White/Red, Black/White/Green, White/Black
- Price: £145 / $189 / AU$323 / €170 as tested
The Equipe RS is designed for aero efficiency, hugging the body like a second skin. This minimalist jersey feels perfect in the riding position but sizing is small so most will need to size up.
At the front, a soft-to-touch, three-dimensional dimpled knit fabric increases the surface area to push up evaporation rates and help with aerodynamic airflow.
On the rear, a wider gauge mesh fabric increases breathability. This has limited vertical stretch and along with a silicone-lined hem keeps everything in place.
The smooth-fabric, raw-end sleeves are bonded to help with longevity, while the lower zip garage protects your shorts.
Even as a minimalist jersey there are three decent-sized, easy-access pockets. Assos has combined maximum efficiency with ride comfort but it doesn’t come cheap.
Assos doesn’t have a direct female equivalent, but its Dyora RS Summer SS jersey is the most similar option in its women’s-specific range.
Endura Pro SL Lite Jersey
- Sizes: XS–XXL
- Colours: Concrete Grey, Sunrise
- Price: £80 / $110 / €100 as tested
The new Pro SL Lite is the evolution of working with pro teams and is cut using lightweight fabrics specifically for warm days. It fits like a second skin without feeling tight.
Fine mesh front and side panels are cool, wick well and help with aerodynamics, while the grid-patterned rear does a top job of shifting sweat.
The smooth fabric arms are not as long as some and feature raw ends with silicone bands that hold them in place. All critical seams are bonded, keeping weight and bulk down.
The low-cut neck sits well and does away with the need for a zip garage. The simple three-pocket setup is in keeping with the minimalist design, but they do sit a little higher than some. Hot-weather performance is right up there and the stylish Pro SL Lite punches above its price tag.
Those looking for a women’s-specific option might consider Endura’s WMS PT Wave S/S Jersey Limited Edition jersey.
Giro Chrono Expert
- Sizes: S–2XL
- Colours: Iceberg Horizon, Bright Red, True Spruce
- Price: £80 / AU$130 as tested
The Giro Chrono Expert jersey feels classy and is very hard to fault. It does everything very well, from the understated but striking visual design of the Iceberg Horizon tested here to the reflective details.
The renewable polyester/elastane blend boasts a fine mix of stretch and form-fitting (not to mention eco credentials), aided by sleeves that sit gracefully on the arms and an efficient elasticated silicone hem. This feels like it’ll fit a wide array of body shapes.
The full-length underarm mesh panels do their breathability business, while the main body material wicks sweat and offers a UPF 30+ rating. Giro has also nailed the pockets business, offering three rear compartments and a sizeable, secure (but not water-resistant) zipped pocket that easily holds a phone.
Sadly, the zipper can sometimes become caught in the garage and the 175g weight makes it fairly heavy.
Scott RC Pro Supersonic
- Sizes: S–XXL
- Colours: Black/Drift Purple
- Price: £90 / €100 as tested
The RC Pro is a pro-level jersey at a sub-£100 price. There are loads of smart touches, from the sleek, elasticated waist hem and arm grippers that subtly hold everything in place to the lightweight 85 per cent polyester/15 per cent elastane material that offers unrivalled stretch and fabric-on-skin comfort.
The lack of a zipper garage is an easily avoided flaw and the water-repellent pocket is too small for a phone but is handy for cards and cash. The three open rear pockets do the business in terms of stashing fuel and spares and are easy to access on the fly.
Despite the ‘pro’ level billing, this jersey feels flattering in terms of fit and design, and the ridged texture on the material and close fit suggest aero benefits. Breathability via the fabric and the large, open-mesh panels under the arms also perform in the ventilation stakes.
It’s worth noting that Scott bills this as an XC (cross-country) jersey, but there aren’t really any differences to a road jersey and it excels on the asphalt.
Sportful Monocrom Jersey
- Sizes: S–XXXL
- Colours: Anthracite, Black, Blue Atomic, Coconut, Dry Green, Sea Moss
- Price: £90 / $150 / €100 as tested
We love the simplicity yet high function of this lightweight jersey. Sportful achieves the unique colour finish by creating a white jersey before dipping it into different colour dyes to achieve the final shade. As a consequence, every jersey is a one-off with all the component parts taking the dye differently. This gives it a neat, aged finish for a less race-inspired look.
The high-stretch mesh panels wick well and fit true to size, offering a more forgiving fit than some of Sportful’s race kit.
We liked the overall cut, with long sleeves and wide, raw-finish arm ends, low neck and a wide silicone-lined hem, all delivering a comfy fit. The three rear pockets are perfectly located and offer ample storage. A chic and high-performing summer jersey at a good price.
The Monocrom W Jersey is the women’s-specific version. The fit and range of colours are slightly different, but otherwise it’s very similar.
Alé PRR Green Road Jersey
- Sizes: S–XXXL
- Colours: Black, Burgundy, Blue, Turquoise, Yellow
- Price: £125 / $150 / AU$185 / €125 as tested
The Green Road uses over 90 per cent recycled materials in this race jersey that’s cut on the slim side. It’s body-hugging without feeling restrictive, which makes it good in windy conditions and helps with wicking.
Alé uses a horizontal mesh on the front and a wider mesh on the rear and under the arms for breathability.
The smooth, raw-end sleeves have plenty of length and sit well, while the front zip offers further ventilation. A bottom zip garage protects your shorts but there’s no need for one on the low-cut neck.
Three regular-sized pockets take care of storage but sit a little higher than some. There’s also a useful nutrition pocket on the right side. This jersey is up there for high-end race credentials.
Alé also offers a version designed for females riders.
Altura Icon Short-Sleeve Jersey
- Sizes: S–XL
- Colours: Large variety of colours and patterns
- Price: £55 / €65 as tested
The Icon is a good-value, bright and colourful jersey with 360-degree reflectivity and a forgiving fit that’s ideal for those who need more room.
Altura uses a smooth Lycra fabric on the front and rear panels along with wide mesh side/underarm panels to help with breathability when you’re working hard.
There’s a full-length front zip with a flap that helps with comfort, but it doesn’t have any garages top or bottom. That said, we didn’t get any neck irritation during testing.
Three well-located pockets, along with zipped valuables pocket, provide ample storage for essentials. We did get some sagging with heavier loads though. The rear drop tail features a silicone grip hem that does a good job of stopping the Icon riding up. A solid performing, yet forgiving jersey.
Altura also produces a women’s version in a similar variety of designs.
B’Twin Triban RC 100 Warm Weather Jersey
- Sizes: S–XXL
- Colours: Black, Navy, Red/Black, Turquoise, White
- Price: £18 / $25 as tested
It’s hard not to be impressed by the RC-100’s low price tag and user-friendly features. It has a forgiving cut but isn’t overly flappy.
The jersey’s designed specifically for warm-weather riding and uses recycled fibres that breathe well. Temperature control is further enhanced by underarm mesh panels and a full-length front zip. This features a zip garage at the bottom to protect your shorts, and though there isn’t one on the neck, we didn’t experience any irritation.
Adjustment is made easier by the addition of simple tags. While a little crude, they work fine.
The rear is dropped and features a mesh panel with inner silicone to hold it in place. There’s ample storage with three decent-sized pockets, a zipped pocket and two side pockets to keep gels in.
B’Twin also offers low-priced women’s cycling jerseys, such as the Triban RC500 Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey.
Castelli Hors Categorie Jersey
- Sizes: XS–XXXL
- Colours: Dark Grey, Dark Steel Blue, Red, Vortex Grey, Yellow
- Price: £100 / $140 / €100 as tested
Designed for hard, hot days in the saddle, the Hors Categorie uses Castelli’s Velocity Rev3 fabric on the main panels with a cool mesh on the rear and wider mesh side panels. The result is a cool jersey that performs in warm weather. The front zip with neck garage provides further temperature control.
The arms are cut long without any fancy cuffs or raw ends, but ride comfortably and help with longevity. A drop tail with silicone detail helps the Hors Categorie to sit pretty. The overall cut is fitted, so most will need to size up.
The three well-supported rear pockets are perfectly located and easy to access on the fly. There’s a zip valuables pocket too. A high-performing yet practical and robust jersey.
Castelli doesn’t do a women’s-specific version of the Hors Categorie jersey, but it does offer a wide selection women’s jerseys.
dhb Aeron Short Sleeve Jersey
- Sizes: XS–XXL
- Colours: Black, Blue, Orange, Purple, Red, Turquoise
- Price: £55 / $70 / AU$90 / €65 as tested
The Italian-made Aeron is a well-thought-out summer jersey with many top design characteristics. It’s good looking, fits true to size and delivers a forgiving yet comfortable ride. dhb uses a lightweight and durable dimpled mesh fabric that helps to keep you cool and dry when temperatures rise.
The centre back panel features wider mesh to increase breathability. It also features UPF40+ treatment for sun protection and an anti-bacterial treatment to stop it stinking.
The neck is comfortable despite the lack of a zip garage. Laser-cut arm grippers do their job well and provide an air of class. Three decent-sized pockets and a zip pocket provide ample carrying capacity but sit higher than some. A silicone hem helps to hold the rear in place. An impressive performer, considering its low price.
The women’s-specific version is the same price and features a similarly bold design.
Endura FS260-Pro II
- Sizes: S–XXL, plus relaxed fit
- Colours: Rust Red, Black, White, Blue
- Price: £60 / $90 / €70 as tested
Endura often hits that sweet spot of cutting-edge tech and affordable outfits, and the FS260-Pro II continues that theme with a winning mix of top-end flourishes at a more wallet-friendly price.
The positive points start in the shopping basket, where you can select five different sizes, all with a relaxed fit option to help locate the best possible match for you.
Despite a lack of elastane in the main body, the 100 per cent polyester construction of the fabric feels form-fitting, helped by the fitted Lycra of the shoulders and classy arm grippers. That said, it’s noticeably less silky on the skin than more expensive jerseys.
There’s a decent-sized zipped pocket in the middle at the rear, which is capable of holding an iPhone, and the cavernous four open main pockets can hold everything else you need.
The omission of a zipper garage is a frustrating choice but the lack of a silicone hem at the front didn’t result in the jersey riding up or sitting loosely.
- Sizes: S–XXL
- Colours: Red, Blue, Black
- Price: £65 as tested
On paper, the RoadRace from Madison ticks many boxes with mesh panels for ventilation, a garage for thwarting rubbing from the zipper, a neat, zipped pocket and a silky feel from the 89 per cent polyester/11 per cent elastane construction.
In reality, it does most things well. The mesh panels under the arms and a small one at the top of the spine aid ventilation, while the overall fit is lean but unrestrictive, race-friendly yet happy on long training sets.
The arm grippers are possibly the pick of the jerseys here, as is the neat and tidy internal finishing that stayed irritation-free throughout.
The sweat-proof zipped pocket is welcome and just about holds an iPhone in a protective case. The remaining three, open rear pockets are sizeable enough and stay free from drooping, although the elasticated silicone rear hem can feel tight.
Points are scored for the reflective strip at the rear for visibility, aided by the fluorescent design.
Pearl Izumi Interval Jersey
- Sizes: XS–XXL
- Colours: Pine/Atomic Red Transform, Navy/White Beval, White/Wet Weather Triad
- Price: £125 / $125
The Interval is a minimalist, high-performance and neat-looking race jersey. It has a next-to-skin fit with a silky feel inside and out thanks to the Italian knit Elite Transfer fabric that breathes well.
This mesh material has lots of stretch for a good fit and is relatively robust compared to some minimalist jerseys. There’s a Coldblack treatment to reflect heat on warm days too.
The rear hem has a silicone liner to keep it in place and three well-located pockets sit above this. These have bonded tops and inner support patches on the high-stress areas, but there’s no zip pocket in keeping with the sleek design.
The overall cut on this low-neck jersey is fitted but is more generously sized than some of the Italian brands.
An equivalent jersey designed for female riders is also available from Pearl Izumi
Stolen Goat Hanzo
- Sizes: XS–XXXL
- Colours: Mulitple
- Price: £75 / $110 / AU$160 / €99
Stolen Goat will divide opinion on the aesthetic front, but we think it pulls it off with this Japanese-influenced design. The visual thumbs-up is also due to how well the Hanzo sits on the upper body, with sleek yet comfortable arm sleeves and a quality, four-way stretch material composition.
The elasticated silicone hem keeps things in check, yet the zipper can bulge outwards at the chest and belly.
The jersey has a small tab over the zipper. The zipper did have a tendency to catch in it, making it harder to zip all the way up when on the move.
The three main, open rear pockets are sizeable yet sag-free and the water-resistant zipped pocket is top-quality for a card, cash and keys.
There are a couple of quirks, but it’s the material quality – manufactured in Belgium – that really shines, proving breathable even without mesh panels and aero and comfortable for all-day riding.
Q36.5 L1 Pinstripe X Jersey
- Sizes: XS–XXL
- Colours: Black Grey, Orange, Purple, Navy
- Price: £142 / €162
Q36.5 was started by former Assos designer Luigi Bergamo, so it has a great pedigree, and the L1 is all about modern materials and tech.
The three-dimensional fabric increases the surface area to aid wicking, while the striped silver thread’s high thermal conductivity is said to increase breathability and help reduce odours. It’s also claimed to minimise electrostatic allowing muscles to operate more effectively, but it’s hard to quantify on the road.
It has a race cut and features longer raw-end sleeves, a low neck and full-length zip with a short-protecting lower garage. Storage is good and the ‘hidden’ pockets are not only easy to access but in keeping with the minimalist design. Beautifully made and quick-drying, but at a price!
Q36.5 also produces this jersey in a women’s-specific cut.
Van Rysel Endurance Racer
- Sizes: S–XXL
- Colours: Red, Ice Blue, Navy Blue, Dark Green, Coral Pink
- Price: £50
The Van Rysel Endurance Racer jersey is 18 per cent elastane, it has meshed fabric, ample pockets and a racy cut. In fact, it looks tight and some might find they want to try going up a size for a less revealing fit.
First, the pockets. Here you get not three but seven; one zipped (which can just about fit an iPhone), two gel-sized, one major compartment for a waterproof or full riding buffet, and three classic rear pockets, which are, sadly, a little fiddly to stick your hands into when on the move.
Further welcome touches include a full-length zipper guard to prevent any rubbing and two sizeable mesh panels to aid with armpit aeration.
The main material’s lightweight construction also adds to the breathability stakes, making this one of the best for midsummer movements, while the zip is swift to pull down mid-ride.
That material offers enough stretch for aero tucks or out-of-the-saddle efforts, with the taut arm grippers continuing the drag-reducing theme, yet the internal stitching and finishing quality isn’t that slick.
Buyer’s guide to cycling jerseys
Why should I wear a cycling jersey?
Whether or not you’ll be happier in a dedicated cycling jersey really depends on what kind of riding you’re looking to do.
Do you want to ride fast or efficiently, without wasting watts? If so, a properly fitted cycling jersey is going to serve you best.
If you’re more interested in taking it easy and staying casual, or you’re looking to stop off in shops and towns mid-ride, then there’s nothing wrong with wearing your normal clothes, or a mix of cycling-specific clothes and non-cycling-specific clothes.
Just be mindful that if it rains or you get sweaty, everyday clothes aren’t designed to be as breathable or quick-drying as cycling-specific kit.
Fit, fabrics and aerodynamics
It’s well established that tight, close-fitting kit is more aerodynamically efficient than loose, baggy clothing. It’s been proven in the wind tunnel, but it’s also easy enough to test yourself – just go out in a baggy top, the increased air resistance is obvious.
What’s less well known is that both the type of fabric and the placement of seams can also have an effect on the aerodynamic efficiency of cycling jerseys.
These jerseys are often more complex and expensive to design and manufacture than standard jerseys though, so you’ll likely need to cough up some extra cash to get your hands on them.
The Souplesse Aero Women’s Jersey by Rapha is a great example. It performs excellently, but the price is accordingly high.
They arguably represent a good value performance upgrade though, because aero jerseys can have a relatively large effect on how aerodynamic you are but cost much less than aero road bikes or aero wheels.
If you want to find out more about the benefits of aero jerseys check out our article that asks how much faster are aero jerseys?
On the other hand, if you’re not fussed about optimising your aerodynamic efficiency, a light looser jersey might be more comfortable and offer a little more breathability in hot weather.
Just be wary when sizing up that if a jersey is too big for you, the rear pockets might sag a bit when full of stuff.
Other than the fact that it doesn’t look amazing, it’s not a huge problem, but it will likely make the pockets a bit harder to reach while riding.
How much money do I need to spend on a cycling jersey?
It depends on your goals. Lower priced jerseys tend to be perfectly functional but are most often targeted at non-racers, so if you’re looking for a very tight fit you may need to size down.
Higher priced jerseys have usually been subject to more in-depth research and development, possibly using wind tunnel or real-world testing to refine the fit and aerodynamics. You may also get more advanced fabrics with features such as protection from UV rays.
Styling also tends to improve as the price increases because premium brands invest more in design, but this is obviously subjective so we’ll leave it up to you to make the ultimate call on that.
Replica kits and funky cycling jerseys, hot or not?
Unlike other sports, cycling has a curiously muted relationship with amateurs wearing replica pro team kits.
The traditional idea was that you’re supposed to have earned the right to wear a professional team kit, by literally becoming a professional. The reality probably has more to do with the fact that many cycling teams aren’t location-based, and don’t tend to stick around for long enough to generate a loyal following of fans who might wish to buy such kit.
It’s also perhaps fair to say that professional cycling jerseys, often covered in gaudy brand logos as they are, aren’t always the most stylish option for many.
For some though, pro team kit can be a way to show off their appreciation for the more obscure side of our wonderful sport.
It might come as no surprise then that at BikeRadar we do love retro cycling jerseys.
Once these designs have aged enough to be retro, they’re also a surefire way to prove your knowledge of cycling history.
The wearing of world champions or race leaders jerseys, like the famous Yellow, Green and Polka Dot jerseys of the Tour de France is similarly contentious. Like with pro team kit, it’s often argued these jerseys should be reserved for racers who have ‘earned’ the right to wear them.
If you’ve been inspired by a hero who’s worn these jerseys, and wearing one makes you feel a little bit special, then don’t let anyone hold you back.
Tacky holiday jerseys (yes, they are a thing) and other novelty jerseys also hold a well-established place in our sport. While you perhaps wouldn’t see many BikeRadar staff in them, they serve as a wonderful reminder not to take things too seriously. Cycling is supposed to be fun, after all.