Katusha Icon jersey review
We took this classic jersey for a spin
A high quality jersey that offers excellent wicking properties. The design is classy and there's plenty of colour options on offer, but the sizing and lack of elasticity at the pockets meant these became saggy when full.
Striking in its simple, retro design redolent of Coppi’s iconic Bianchi jersey of the 1950s, the Katusha Icon jersey is a classy piece of kit. If you don’t like the blue then there are a number of other striking and more modern designs available.
>>> Best summer cycling jerseys
Alongside pretty much all of Katusha's kit, it's not cheap - but the construction of this jersey is flawless making the hefty €150/£137 price tag more bearable.
Even with the perforated sides and back the material is smooth and uniform, and there is nothing overtly fussy to the stitching to cause chafing or discomfort. The arms are fashionably long and though there is no wide cuff to hold them in place, I had no issues with them riding up.
According to Katusha its 37.5 technology fabric is designed to maintain a core temperature of 37.5º. The material uses the same 'active volcanic sand particles' that we discussed in detail when reviewing the Allure jersey.
“When you're hot, the active volcanic sand particles embedded into the material use your body's energy to remove moisture and cool you down. When you're cold, the active particles retain body's energy to warm you up,” says the marketing.
It sounds a bit questionable, but the tech is used by some major sports brands (Adidas, Salomon, Cahartt), the fabric was founded by photo-physical chemist Dr Gregory Haggquest and it has been peer-reviewed.
The idea is that the particles absorb infrared (IR) light in the spectrum that the body emits it, the light becomes the energy that powers the particle, and if no sweat is present, they retain energy and warm you whilst if sweat is present, they use energy to move it away.
It all sounds very fancy, but it seems to work. Katusha say the Icon is suited to warm, dry conditions, but it coped with 32º, easily wicking sweat, the 37.5 fabric never becoming overwhelmed with moisture. And when it’s too warm for a base layer it’s wonderfully comfortable against the skin.
I tested this jersey alongside the Icon shorts - which proved to be incredibly comfortable. However, the sizing in both items surprised me - coming up quite large. The upsizing of the jersey created a looser fit than expected, something which accentuated the size of the huge, mesh fabric pockets.
With no elastic in place the pockets felt slightly baggy, and while that may add to the retro look, the contents can rattle about. I never lost anything, and the zippered pocket provided is plenty large enough to accommodate a smart phone and keys, so the essentials can’t go missing - but I'd have liked more features embedded to help these stay put.
This is a beautiful, technical jersey and despite the sizing issue the Icon jersey sits next to the shorts as the top summer jersey in my kit drawer.
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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
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