As the leaves change and the temperature drops, we change our road cycling wardrobe, with the long sleeve jersey being a critical staple. Although the fleece-lined jersey available from many companies is a solid solution, this season, four long sleeve jerseys stand out to us: Pactimo’s Ascent, Curve’s Proline Super Roubaix, Rapha’s Long Sleeve and Castelli’s new Alpha Wind Jersey FZ with Gore Windstopper.
Lightweight – Ascent Long Sleeve Jersey US$90 / £70
Made with wicking Quattro-Lite polyester, the Ascent offers similar insulation to wearing arm warmers with a short sleeve jersey, but without any constriction on your arms. Mesh side panels allow for a conforming fit, and there is an earphone hole in the rear pocket and loop at the collar if you like to ride with music. The blast of ‘Manic Yellow’ on the left shoulder and reflective trim keep you visible to drivers as the light dims. The Ascent can be ordered with your own graphics, as custom is Pactimo’s specialty.
Midweight – Rapha Long Sleeve Jersey US$200 / £140
Sportwool is a user-friendly blend of Merino wool and polyester. It has the bacteria- and thus odor-fighting properties of wool, with the wicking ability of polyester. Plus, you can just through it in the wash like a normal jersey. Please note the Long Sleeve no longer comes in color shown. Also note that we certainly aren’t about to get rid of our ‘old’ Rapha Long Sleeve.
Heavyweight – Curve Proline Super Roubaix JT-1 Thermal Aero Jersey US$225 / £200
Imagine the thickest, warmest, softest arm warmers you’ve ever had, then imagine a jersey made completely from that material and you have the Curve Proline Super Roubaix. Made by MOA in Italy, the Curve Roubaix is all about warm function, with heavy wicking insulation, a tall, rich collar to keep your neck warm, and two waterproof side-zip pockets in addition to the traditional three rear pockets. The jersey can also be ordered with custom graphics.
Jersey/Jacket Hybrid – Castelli Alpha Wind Jersey FZ US$249
Similar to Rapha Pro Team Jacket that offers jacket-like protection with jersey-like comfort, the Alpha Wind Jersey FZ lines the front and sleeves with Windstopper 150 fabric, while the back is Castelli’s breathable Nano Warm fabric. Uniquely, the Alpha has a built in front liner that has its own zipper. The idea is that the Alpha will be worn with a baselayer, and even when it’s cold you’ll heat up when climbing and want to unzip. So, instead of exposing your sweaty baselayer, the Alpha has a snug Prosecco Stratus liner sewn into the front. As with all Castelli pieces, the Alpha fits snugly, but it’s cut for an on-bike fit so the shoulders never bind, even on broad-shouldered riders.