Your guide to long sleeve cycling jerseys
Following our advice about base layers and waterproof jackets recently, it’s now time to turn our attention to that other essential item of clothing for cold weather riding: long sleeve jerseys.
With the base layer wicking sweat from your skin keeping you dry, the midlayer is going to provide a great deal of your insulation on those cold winter rides. Midlayers come in many different fabrics, weights, cuts and with varying features, and choosing the right one depends on the temperature range you’ll be riding in and the other clothing you’ll be wearing under and over this layer.
A medium weight fabric long sleeve jersey with a full-length zip and three pockets is a good choice, and if you plan to head out with just two layers look for a top with windproof properties.
The main purpose of a midlayer is to keep you warm, so generally the thicker the fabric the warmer you’ll be. It’s worth considering that this layer needs to wick moisture so keeping your dry, and therefore warm.
We all want a jersey that is lightweight with great performance that isn’t too heavy.
There’s many different weight of fabric, so choose one depending on the conditions you’ll be riding in. Midweight fleece layers make good insulators for really cold day, but can tend to be bulkier than other layers.
Try before you buy, as long sleeve jerseys come in many different shapes and fits, and they vary greatly between manufacturers. Some are fitted with a body hugging shape which will suit some people but relaxed fit jerseys can offer more comfort on the bike.
Elasticated hems and gripper tape around the waist keep the jersey from shifting about, and pull-cords can help to improve the fit around the waist.
Longer zippers make it easier to control your temperature, and a full-length zipper makes taking it off it the going gets too stuffy easy. Traditional jerseys come with three rear pockets, but many mountain bike jerseys typically have one or two pockets. Look for zipped pockets for keeping valuables safe, and hidden pockets incorporated into the lining are good for taking your MP3 player on a ride.