This is a reasonably priced jersey for cool shoulder-season days and pairs well with extra layers. However, the fit is quite relaxed with a lot of excess material around the chest and arms, so won’t suit riders who prefer a closer fit.
Lots of room for layers
Relaxed fit won’t suit all
As Altura’s mid-range offering, this long sleeved jersey has a tricky balancing act to pull off. Enough of a performance improvement has to be present over budget jerseys so that they don’t represent better value, but the cost of construction has to be low enough that it can undercut the price of higher-end, more technical jerseys. But the Icon Long Sleeve Jersey manages this well.
Although taste in cycling jersey designs is a very personal matter, I quite liked the geometric shapes and teal shades, it’s eye-catching without being ostentatious. The fabric itself has a good amount of stretch and is fleece-backed for warmth with reflective detailing on the pockets and rear hem. The three main rear pockets are generously sized and there is a zippered fourth pocket for keeping valuables.
For the interest of any zip aficionados, SBS zips are chosen over YKK—but don’t let that put you off. The zips have a very smooth action and are easy to operate even with gloves.
'Relaxed' best describes the fit. There is a lot of excess material around the arms, shoulders and chest, while a large gap is left between the collar and neck. This does leave ample room for extra layers and a wind buff, increasing the range of conditions this jersey can be ridden in. But it would be fair to say there is a lot more space available than is likely to be required; this is not a jersey for those seeking an aerodynamic fit.
The length of the sleeves is pretty spot on, leaving no gap between the cuff and the glove, while also not being overly long. While at the front, the cut strikes a good balance between avoiding bunching when hunched over the handlebars and not sitting too high when stood up.
The first thing I noticed when I put on this jersey was the incredibly scratchy labels in the collar. Only a minor issue though, as they are simple to remove. It’s in sharp contrast to the fabric of the jersey, which feels very soft and warm to the touch. The breathability is good as well, with no feelings of clamminess even when pushing hard.
It’s quite easy to operate the zip with one hand, helping with on-the-fly temperature regulation. However, the jersey is not windproof and cold breezes do cut right through it—a gilet or base layer is a necessary addition on colder days.
The Altura Icon is three times the price of Decathlon’s Triban RC100 Long Sleeve Jersey, but it does succeed in being more breathable than the offering from Decathlon—while also having a more interesting design.
On the other end of the scale, the Giro Chrono Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey has a much better fit—sitting close to the skin without being restrictive—while also coming with a water repellent finish. But then the Giro Jersey does cost half as much again, at £90.
So, this jersey does slot quite well into the mid-range category it’s designed to fill. There some good technical features—with high breathability and smooth zips—but it isn’t quite the full package, being quite baggy and lacking any wind-proofing or water-repellency. These lacking features are represented in the price, so it's a fair deal.
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Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
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