With its simple, yet classic design and flattering fit, the Sportful Giara jersey makes a refreshing change to skin tight lycra options for a reasonable price.
Three usable pockets and one zip secure small pocket
Men's specific option available
Jersey tug if pockets heavily loaded
In a world surrounded by body contouring skin tight lycra, it can often feel that every meal is on display when we ride bikes, but opting for a looser fit can often mean opting out of style - so three cheers for Sportful who has managed to balance a relaxed fit with eye-catching aesthetics in the Sportful Giara jersey.
Designed initially for the new gravel road trend that's sweeping the cycling nation, the Giara collection is in fact a rare find of elite sport looks, but with a less racy focus.
>>>Buy the Sportful Giara Jersey now for £75 direct from Wiggle (opens in new tab)
The 12-panel Sportful Giara jersey has been constructed using two fabrics, the upper, neck and upper sleeves from lightweight 100% polyester, known for its durability and quick drying properties, while the lower torso section, side panels and underarm use a dense polyester/ elastane mix to give the jersey its stretch.
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The fluro reflective orangey/pink decal strip that pulls the two sections together on the torso and arm, not only adds a touch of class to proceedings, but is the link that pulls the whole Women's Giara capsule collection together.
At the rear there are three good sized pockets and an additional zip-secured pocket for valuables as well as a reflective Sportful logo.
Slipping the Sportful Giara jersey on, it was immediately clear that the fit is different to a standard race jersey as there was no raw finish on the sleeves or silicon to hold it skin tight to my arm, just a simple neat hem, which almost feels like a novelty finish these days.
The silicone gripper round the waist did a good job of holding the jersey in place without over compressing my middle or hip.
Although it was a loose fit it was far from having excess flappy fabric – it just made me feel less body conscious where it wasn't as tight or shear as its racy counterparts.
The three rear pockets were all usable, although I did find that the stretchy polyester/elastane lower section didn't quite give as much support to the pockets under load as I would ideally like, and pulled the jersey down. While I wasn't concerned about items falling out, it create a noticeable rearward tug. A solution is to simply place the heavier tools and spares in a saddle bag, but it's worth being aware especially before heading out for a long self-supported adventure.
With just a simple colour palette and reflective detailing, there are no real technical attributes to get excited about once out riding. Therefore it says something about the simple act of getting the details right that the Giara has won me over so comprehensively. It is just perfect for me and my non-competitive riding right now, and I think it will tick the boxes of a lot of other riders out there too, who are just looking for a jersey to make them feel good on a bike by balancing comfort and style.
Sportful has pitched the Giara jersey at a middle of the road price of £75, so you'll certainly find alternative jersey options both cheaper and more expensive (even from within the Sportful range). However, it's rare for me to find a jersey that not only fits exactly how I want, but in colours that I really love too, so for me it is great value for money.
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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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