The Primal Theta Helix jersey ticks all the boxes as far as comfort, quality and performance although the designs might be an issue for some.
Pros: Close fit whilst maintaining full mobility without restrictions. Light summer feel.
Cons: Depending on opinion, the design could be a turn off.
American outfit, Primal, have never shied away from loud and lively jersey designs. A quick glance through their jersey selection proves the designers are following, if not setting, the current trend towards fashion statement filled pelotons. And really who can blame them? I bet most of you clicked on this article for exactly that reason. By Primal's standards this could even count as understated.
Thankfully the Theta Helix doesn't put fashion before function. The asymmetric patterns and bright colours shouldn't blind you to the fact that it really is a good jersey that does exactly what it should.
The 'Pro Tour Fit' is snug, but not overly so, making for an aerodynamic, yet comfortable ride. It sits nicely in the full range of positions from the hoods to the drops as the jersey stretches and moves with you. Supposedly it's even meant to 'promote blood flow', but not too sure on that one. It might, but I'm not qualified to tell if it does.
The compression sleeves fit well, again not over tight, and no silicon gripper that runs the risk of rubbing. The gridded surface of the more elastic sleeve material is smooth to the skin and allows movement with ease. Primal claim the texture-gridded surface 'breaks surface tension' and allows you to go 'a touch faster'. As for actual stats on what 'a touch' equates too...you'll just have to guess.
A silicone gripper is still present around the waist band, so don't worry if you have a few too many cakes at the café stop, they've got you covered. Although it is a tacky gripper (sticky as opposed to cheap) it doesn't protrude out as a lump. Instead, it stays flush against the seam adding to the comfort around the waist especially when paired with the Helix bibs.
The full length exposed zipper was solid, albeit a little stiff at times, and the 3 angled rear pockets did what you needed of them whilst being easy to reach.
As for the fabric itself, the Mesh Vortex panels felt thin, summery and wicked sweat away well. The Mesh Side panels, with a different layup pattern, stretched well around your skin. In direct sunshine, not something many of us in the UK know about, the black nature of the jersey did make things a little hot, but nothing troubling. The Helix jersey fabric contains silver ions designed to destroy bacteria and eliminate odor, which your fellow riders should appreciate. Sports sock manufacturers have used similar silver treatments to do the same thing for years now.
Personally, I'm a big fan of the Primal Helix jersey. It fits as well as an jersey I've owned, looks good in my book, and feels great on. The price is a stretch, but when looking around the market it's in line with the Castelli Flusso and still significantly cheaper than many other aero jerseys out there. If I was searching for my next outfit, this would certainly be high up on the list.
Bold looking, close-fitting, good quality aero summer jersey for those that like to be noticed
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Primal Theta Men's Helix Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
The Helix Jersey is designed as an aero upgrade for anyone looking for a pro tour fit, but great functionality.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 3 Angled Rear Cargo Pockets
* Full Length Exposed YKK Zipper
* Mesh Side Panels
* Mesh Vortex Panels
* Pro Tour Fit
* Set-In Sleeve
* Silicone Waist Gripper
* SLR Ion Fabric
* Z92 Compression Sleeves
Nicely made, no signs for concern and still holding up well after the first month of use. The zip is slightly stiff, but no major issues.
Does everything it should and well. Fits nicely, stretches with you when you move with no discomfort. Light and airy when on the move, just a little warm with the black design when stationary.
Seems good so far. The occasional loose thread but nothing to worry about.
Personally I thought it was great. Fitted snuggly but not too tight for me. Great around the arms and waist.
Seemed about right for a well fitted look. I used a small as usual and certainly was on the aero side.
Nice and light weight as you'd expect from a good summer jersey.
All round great comfort. As mentioned, fitted well, stretched well when moving and in all positions on the bike.
£80 does seem a little expensive, but it's similar to other jerseys of this type and you can pay more for an aero jersey
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems when washed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great, did exactly as I'd hoped.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit was great, I personally liked the design when combined with the bib shorts and the change in mesh patterns worked well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There wasn't much to dislike, maybe just how it would heat up when stationary in the sun.
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
It's been hard to fault the jersey, it's been made well, looks pretty good (in my opinion) and fits nicely. The price lets it down a little, but I'm a fan.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCX My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,