The women's specific Katusha Allure jersey is summer ready, as great option for temperature regulation and breathability. Reasonably lightweight, the tight fitting top features longish arms, which also adds an aero element, but at €140 (around £127) it's going be a considered purchase for most.
Practical colour options
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I'll be the first to pop my hand up and admit that I really hadn't thought about the actual brand Katusha until this year. The brand has been in the pro peloton for 10 years and supports both male and women's teams, but it's done things back to front in terms of clothing.
Rather than being a clothing brand that supplies a Pro Team, Katusha is, in fact, a Pro Team that now supplies the rest of the world with cycling apparel, having set up its clothing arm of the businesses Katusha Sports around four years ago.
At the moment, riders on Israel Start -up Nation wear the kit and it is still (currently) headline sponsor for Team Bigla-Katusha.
Team Bigla-Katusha recently rode the Skoda V-Women's tour, a three-stage indoor virtual race series, in June, which is generally known for not being a particularly cool month. Team riders Emma Norsgaard and Lizzy Banks scooped up GC positions 5th and 6th respectively, so it's probably fair to surmise that with 2:30 hours of indoor professional racing in the middle of summer under its belt, Katusha is going to be a pretty good bet when looking for warm weather kit.
The Katusha Allure range is the brand's pinnacle summer kit. The front and side panels of the jersey are made using a fabric called 37.5, which, as the name would suggest, designed to help keep your body at the ideal core temperature. It does this by harnessing the power of... volcanic particles.
Ok, so I'm as sceptical. But the independent fabric company has got a lot of backers in the form of big brands, such as Adidas, Salomon, Cahartt, to name but a few. It's not quite as Si-Fi as one would think.
In fact the process has actually been peer-reviewed. Fabric founder Dr Gregory Haggquest, a photo-physical chemist, also invented the industry standard ATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists) test methods for measuring how fast fabrics dry. It's hard to argue with a lot of supporting evidence, and I'm consequently remaining open minded.
According to the 37.5 website, the technology behind the Katusha Allure Jersey fabric uses active particles made from volcanic sand that has billions of micropores, massively increasing the surface area of the materials. These particles also absorb infrared (IR) light in the spectrum that the human body emits it, and this light becomes the energy that powers the particle. If no moisture (sweat) is present, the particles retain this energy to warm you. If moisture is present, the particles use this energy to move the moisture away, and in this case out of the clothing system. As well as trapping doors, the active particles are embedded in the fibre of the fabric, meaning they will last for the garments lifetime.
Science lesson over.
The back of the Katusha Allure Jersey features a ribbed, almost perforated mesh fabric, which is designed to add enhanced breathability qualities. Combined with the semi-opaque yoke and sleeves, this also helps keep the weight down to 116g. It's not as light as the Santini Too Chromosome Jersey at 108g (Medium size) or the even the Lusso Fade at 111g for (small size), but still acceptable in a lightweight category.
Pulling the jersey on, it's notably stretchy and figure-hugging. The raw cut arms create a seamless transition from skin to fabric and the ergonomic cut means that even when in the cycling tuck position, the neck line and shoulders remain taut.
I've now tested this jersey in three very distinct scernatios: swift but incredibly hot and sweaty heatwave rides, long towing a child on a tag-along in the Peak District rides, and a few amidst-a-pandemic-two-working-parents-no-childcare indoor sweaty rides.
All this sweat means that the moisture management functionality of the Katusha Allure Jersey has certainly been put to the test and I have to admit that there might just be something in that volcanic tech.
I think the longer sleeve design also helps, with the usual sweat drip zone of the armpit region now being absorbed into the jersey. It wasn't that I stayed chalk dry, and the jersey was somewhat damp, but I don't recall that real uncomfortable wetness that a standard polyester jersey provides after a sweaty ride. I think my only desire to remove it was because of the longer fabric on my arms, which at 26cm, made them feel a little claustrophobic on the really hot outdoors ride. I admit I'm old school, but a few centimetres off the length, for me, would be ideal.
The only other little 'if onlys' are the pockets and colour options. It's great that there are three rear storage options, but they're pretty narrow, with my child-size hands only just able to fit past the pocket edging. This does give a nice secure finish for valuables, but measuring just 8cm wide, if its something that is shorter the 17-ish cm pocket depth, you'll struggle to reach it on the move.
There's six colour ways to choose from, but no simple black. I love the Landscape design I tested and can totally see some mates in the Sunlight yellow or peachy Rosette, but if I was parting with €140 (around £127) for it, my head would probably rule my wallet and I'd be stuck with just the choice between Plum Wine or Bold, when really I'd probably just want/need a black option.
There's a lot to like about the Katusha Allure Jersey. Fit wise, it's hard to find anything as figure-hugging and therefore arguably aero, and if you're a longer sleeve fan, it will be right up your street. It performs really well in hot and sweaty conditions, breathable and drys swiftly required too. But at nearly £130, it is at the upper end of the jersey market right now, and although I highly rate it, it's got to be something you really want to justify the price.
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