The PEdAL ED Essential Jersey follows a really classic design and thanks to the use of merino wool its ability to deal with various temperatures makes it hugely versatile for pretty much every season of the year.
The Essential jersey just feels great when you put it on; the merino (30%) and polyester (70%) mix is soft against the skin and is both warm and highly breathable.
The freezing temperatures of the majority of the test period made me realise just how good this jersey is as part of a layering system. It's really thin for starters, so sandwiched between a baselayer and a jacket it doesn't feel bulky or like you have loads of clothes on.
For temperatures around 8°C to 15°C you can wear it on its own with various baselayers, long sleeve or thinner summer mesh options, and it does a great job of keeping you warm for such a lightweight piece of apparel.
Breathability and wicking are awesome and it never once felt overwhelmed or clammy even when I was pushing reasonably hard. A few days' riding started off just above freezing before warming up to about 10°C and I was amazed at how the Essential adapted to the changing temperature, keeping me at a comfortable level throughout.
With all this in mind the jersey will work throughout autumn, winter and spring while also being useful for those clear late summer evening jaunts, going a long way to justifying its £105 price tag.
When it comes to aesthetics, the Essential is very traditional. There are three deep pockets across the rear, but no zipped valuables pocket for storing keys, cards and cash, something I've got used to having these days and one thing I miss.
It's not a major concern though, because the pockets are deep so even in the lowest of race tucks things aren't going to fall out. The right hand one also has a hole to run your headphone cables through.
The cut is performance orientated without being fully race style so there is room to move and you don't need to be whippet thin to pull it off. It fits close to reduce bagging and bunching without being overly restrictive.
You get a decent dropped tail to keep your lower back covered when in the saddle and it's held in place by elastic and a dimpled silicone gripper.
The neck is a decent height and also includes a zip garage to stop irritation around the throat.
A neat touch is the Lycra cuffs sewn into the end of the sleeves. They look classy and also stop any draughts blowing up the arms.
Value-wise you can get plenty of long-sleeve jerseys cheaper than the PEdAL ED and plenty more expensive. The very similar Santini Origine scored highly recently and that costs £99.99, and Rapha's merino-based offering, the Classic Long Sleeve II is £124.99.
At the other end of the scale is dhb's Blok Thermal jersey for £55, but the PEdAL ED is a step above in both performance and warmth.
I'm really impressed by the overall quality of the Japanese-designed, Italian-made Essential, and it is such a lovely jersey to wear. The finish is top notch with tidy stitching and it feels durable too.
On the whole, the Essential really blew away my initial impressions of what looked to be a basic, simple jersey with a high price tag. It is really usable and comfortable with an air of tradition about it.
Well worth the money thanks to comfort, quality and year-round versatility
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PEdAL ED Essential Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Pedal Ed says, "The Essential jersey is the all seasons perfect item, designed for a smooth ride in autumn, combined with a vest or a rain Jacket in Winter it keeps you warm and dry, and in Spring it's just the jersey that you can take during any kind of ride.
"Its merino fabric makes you feel warm and comfortable in any kind of weather and during any kind of effort this is why we called it the 'Essential' Jersey, because we believe that this a must-have for every kind of rider."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Pedal Ed:
- MERINO BREATHABLE STRETCH FABRIC
- LYCRA RIB CUFFS
- REFLECTIVE ELEMENTS
- 3 BIG BACK POCKETS
- EAR PHONE OPENING IN THE BACK POCKET
I'm smack bang in the middle of the medium sizing and had no issues whatsoever.
It's not exactly bargain priced but it's very good quality and versatile, which goes a long way to justifying the price tag.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Like most cycle clothing it requires a 30 degree machine wash and air dry. It came up clean and fresh after each wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A really versatile jersey that will see use year-round.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Really comfortable material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A zipped valuables pocket would be a welcome addition.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Essential Jersey is very well thought out both in design and fabric use, to create a high performing, classic looking bike top. Yes it's expensive but it's very good, and you can pay more for similar.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!