Lightweight enough for riding indoors at home, and practical enough for when roaming outside. The good looking Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey is a really good value, versatile piece of kit.
In general, women's cycle wear falls in to one of two categories; the practical - usually presented in block colours, or the unpractical wear that is usually presented in shades of pastel or outlandish marmite prints. So praise be to Santini XX Lizzie for not falling in to either camp with the Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey. For giving us something that's super practical with a banging colour scheme.
The female of the species
Ok so I agree the main pattern will be marmite for some, but what really stands out on the Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey is that the 'squiggles' have been designed to evoke the female XX chromosome markers. Hats off to Lizzy for finding this ingenious way of celebrating being a women on a bike.
>> Best women’s cycling jerseys: short sleeved cycling tops for summer
Sticking with the colour scheme theme, it's also a sheer joy to see a recognition that women ride bikes at all time of the day, (thank you Liz) so teaming the black and white print with block fluro yellow panels at the rear and sleeve is great to see, especially as the sleeve detail is on the right hand side, which is a rare find for us left hand drivers (another point to Lizzy). There are other colour options available, thankfully all ensure you standout. Even the mint green, for those who are magnetically drawn to the afore mentioned pastel tones, is thankfully teamed with fluoro pink.
Colourway discussed, it's down the to attributes of the Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey and, again it's here that I like to think Lizzy injected more of her practical British, nay, Yorkshire character.
Badged as an aero and light 'climber's' jersey, the Tono Chromosome is constructed using two fabrics. A body mapping polyester on the front panel and sleeves, to create a sleek finish across the chest, shoulders and arms, with the latter coming with a raw cut finish, making the jersey to skin transition barely there.
The sides and rear of the jersey use a very breathable mesh polyester which is also highly sweat wicking by nature. It's almost as if the Santini XX Lizzy collaboration had a indoor cycling requirement premonition and while we can't get our sunny hill and mountain rides in regards to testing the climbing aspect of the jersey, I can confirm that for a sweaty turbo session, the Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey really isn't far off the mark, being both lightweight and breathable.
Obviously being designed to use on the open road, the jersey does come with three open rear pockets as well as a smaller zip secure one. I'll save you all from the eye rolling Yorkshire pocket jokes, but you'll be pleased to know that, measuring 18cm, they are perfectly sized for stowing spares, ride sacks, phone and cafè spends.
All this in just 108g of jersey is impressive stuff.
The only slight grumble, having tested a fully loaded Santini Tono Chromosome jersey minimally, I did notice that the high degree of stretch that the mesh fabric affords, which is great for body contouring, also means that if you do fully load your pockets you will find that the pockets sag and pull the jersey down rather than bulk out.
This may be slightly rectified by going down a size, measuring 86cm across my chest, I do in theory fall in to the size medium I rode, and indeed it was tiger tight on my arms, but measuring 53cm was long at the front, was about 7cm too long, meaning fabric bunched at the front for me, so might be worth sizing down to start with.
At £90 Santini Tono Chromosome Jersey is a very competitively priced piece of cycling apparel, coming in at around £30, or even £50 cheaper than other performance cycling jerseys, i.e the Pearl Izumi Women's Pro Jersey . In fact, it's especially a great buy at the moment as it's lightweight and breathable enough for sweaty rides at home, and practical enough for when you can head out on the open road.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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