The Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey features a luxurious-feeling fabric, a comfortable cut, spacious pockets and lives up to its billing as an all-day jersey. However, it does come at quite a premium and the long silicone grippers that extend all the way up the sleeve contrast unfavourably with just how lovely the rest of the fabric feels.
Lovely feeling fabric
Good wicking and breathability
Large silicone gripper running the length of the arms
The newly released Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey is the brand’s most expensive short-sleeve option. It features top-quality fabrics and is designed for comfort on all-day epics. (opens in new tab)
The construction: Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey
It’s the fabric that is the most striking thing about this jersey. The 91 per cent Polyamide and nine per cent Elastane blend feels simply luxurious, being silky to the touch and with a slightly thicker construction than you typically get on a jersey.
The cut is figure hugging, with no excess material to flap about in the wind. It doesn’t pull you in like a second skin slightly tighter than your first; instead, it simply conforms to your shape and leaves your movement completely unrestricted.
Around the inside of the hem there’s a silicone gripper to help stop the jersey from riding up, and two more inside the sleeves to keep them in place.
Sleeves that creep up are never ideal and there’s quite a number of brands which do use a gripper on the hems of the sleeves to keep them in place. Where the Hors Categorie Jersey is a little different, though, is that the silicone insert reaches all the way up the arm, right to the shoulders.
Coming now to the pockets, there are three reasonably wide and relatively tall ones with elasticated tops to keep the contents securely in place. The middle one of these gets a long reflective stripe to increase visibility. While on the right hand side, there’s an additional zipped pocket with a water-resistant lining.
Pulling on the Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey, the fabric really does feel incredible. It’s so soft against the skin and the slight extra thickness is quite comforting. The cut fitted me perfectly; relaxed compared to an out-and-out aero jersey, but not baggy in any places.
Breathability is still high and the fabric is pretty quick wicking. It’s not quite on the same level as a minimalist climber’s jersey, but more than sufficient for most applications. For riding in UK conditions, for the majority of the time it would be the preferable choice over a maxed-out lightweight jersey.
The pockets didn’t protest against being heavily loaded, with the material stretching well to accommodate a rain jacket while also being supportive enough not to sag when stuffed with a phone, food and tools. The zipped pocket is good size for keys and a slim wallet, but it’s not large enough for stowing away a phone.
I didn’t get on too well with the silicone grippers that extend all the way up the arms. It does help having a grippy fabric to keep the sleeves in place, but I found this a bit much. Although useful, silicone grippers don’t feel especially nice against the skin, and this juxtaposition was made all the more stark by how lovely the rest of the material of the jersey is.
At £150, the Le Col Hors Categorie Jersey is certainly a premium product.
We gave the Santini Mito Spilo jersey (opens in new tab) a 9/10 and a place in our 2020 Editor’s Choice awards for its excellent fit and stretchy fabric. At £110, it is significantly cheaper than Le Col’s offering.
The Stolen Goat Epic cycling jersey (opens in new tab) – available in both men’s and women’s fits – likewise was a 2020 Editor’s Choice and also got a 9/10. This one is even cheaper, coming in at £95.
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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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