The Hommage au Velo Bourlon jersey certainly proved me wrong. Its fabric felt too thick to offer the 'enormous capability in the heat' Hommage claims on its website, but boy did it hold its own against the 30°C scorching temperatures. It's very comfortable too.
- Pros: Excellent fabric choice, realistic performance cut
- Cons: Materials aren't the most robust
Hommage au Velo has gone down the aero route with this new jersey, which has an almost rubberised feeling fabric for the front and lower side panels, with a similar product used for the sleeves and shoulders.
The fabric is made by Schoeller and, like I said, it feels quite thick to the touch for a jersey designed to be worn in the heat. But if you look at the rear of the material you see that there are vertical strips that don't have the same backing as the rest of the fabric, so there is basically just the thinnest amount of Lycra covering you.
This lets air through the front before exiting with your body heat out of the rear mesh panels, and it works very well indeed. I wore the Bourlon on one of the hottest days of the year for a four-hour ride in pretty much continuous sunshine and I never felt damp or clammy at any time.
The shoulders work in a similar way but the strips are wider spaced.
Even on the steepest of climbs the Hommage worked wonders; I was really impressed.
When it comes to the fit, Hommage au Velo has played it sensible. It's cut close with a dropped tail for decent coverage when in the saddle and there is no excess fabric flapping around anywhere.
It's not a super-skinny cut, though, it's what I call realistic. You need to be pretty lean to pull off the look but you certainly don't need to have pro-level body fat percentages to wear it.
The waist has a silicone gripper to keep the jersey in place, although the sleeves just use an elasticated hem. It's quite large but that does a better job of spreading the load for no pressure points.
There is no zip garage at the neck but it's not a concern as the Bourlon comes with what Hommage calls a 'French' collar. Basically it sits low, not far above the top of the chest.
Pocket-wise, you get your traditional three along the rear and they are a decent size and depth. They use the same fabric as the front of the jersey which is strong enough to avoid sag.
It's nice to see a zipped valuables pocket, too, which has a neat little reinforced hole to pass your headphones cable through to the inside of the jersey.
The overall finish and quality is pretty good. There are a few stray thread ends here and there, but on the whole it's neatly stitched.
I did wear the jersey with a rucksack on a couple of times and there is a bit of bobbling and marks to the front fabric, plus the rear mesh has hitched on the left shoulder which has bunched the fabric up a bit. Neither are a big deal but I'll be keeping an eye on the wear levels over the coming months.
The Bourlon will set you back £95 which, while pricey, is in the same ball park as many of its competitors. For example, Primal's Theta Men's Helix jersey, which is described as an aero summer jersey, is £80, while Castelli's Aero Race 5.1 Jersey FZ goes the other way, with an rrp of £100 for a similar design and quality.
Overall the Bourlon is a good jersey that copes really well with hot temperatures. It also comes in a decent selection of colours too: black/red, navy/blue and white/blue as well as this red/black version.
Very good quality, fit and performance, especially in the heat, from this aero jersey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hommage au Velo Bourlon Jersey Red
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Hommage au Velo says, "Our Bourlon cycling jersey is constructed from the finest textiles available, marrying slippery-fast striated fabric from Swiss supplier Schoeller with an aerated back and beautiful fit. A polished performance on the bike and enormous capability in the heat."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low 'French' collar for great fit and hot weather performance
Beautiful 'striated' aero fabric on the front and sleeves made by Schoeller of Switzerland, for superb slipperiness
'Coldblack' UVA and UVB protection treated to minimise heat build-upAerated mesh underarms for outstanding thermo regulation
Ornamental flat cover stitching for great looks
Covered camlock YKK zip for clean lines and longevity
Elasticated arm grippers for great fit
Three rear pockets + one zipped pocket for cash, credit card & keys
Hommage au Vélo silicon gripper to keep the jersey firmly in place at the waist
Fabric 1 100 % Polyester
Fabric 2 78% Polyester 22% Elastane
Fabric 3 82% Polyester 18% Elastane
Fabric 4 86% Micropolyester 14% Elastane
Cool, 30 degrees
I'm going to keep an eye on the bobbling of the fabric from rubbing against other things.
Going by the size guide, this medium would fit me waist wise but I'd need to go up a size for the chest measurement. I certainly didn't find the chest tight, so I'd say go by the waist.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A 30 degree machine wash, as recommended to keep the jersey fresh and clean with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does exactly what Hommage au Velo says: it's an aero jersey that works well in the heat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A few marks showing up on the fabric from wear.
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 Bourlon offers a decent all-round package for the money and its performance is pretty impressive.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
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
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.