The Alé Nucleo Gilet is simplicity itself; there isn't much to it but it does a surprisingly good job of keeping the wind out, plus it packs away tiny when you don't need it.
- Pros: Windproof and packs away small
- Cons: Pricey for how little you are getting
The Alé is made from a mix of polyester (92%) and elastane (8%) and that, erm, pretty much sums it up. Well, you get a zip too, but that's about it.
The front of the gilet and the top and rear of the shoulders are made from a solid fabric that works as a wind blocker – ideal for when you head out early in the morning or are descending for a long time. It works well in temperatures down to about 10°C with just a summer jersey and a baselayer underneath.
It isn't the most breathable of fabrics but that is taken care of by the large mesh panel on the back. You can work pretty hard without getting too hot, as warmth escapes out of the back, or if you are climbing you can undo the full front zip to let the cool air blast right the way through.
The material is really soft, and with the whole garment only weighing 65g you barely notice you are wearing it. Should you need to take it off you can scrunch it to a size smaller than your fist and bung it in a jersey pocket.
The cut is pretty race orientated so there is very little fabric flapping about, and I also found the sizing to be pretty generous – unlike most other Italian brands.
There are no rear pockets because of the lightweight fabric used, so you'll need to reach under the elasticated hem to get stuff out of your jersey's.
The rear is dropped by a fair bit, which stops it creeping up your lower back when hunched in a racing tuck.
Value is the only aspect where things don't look so great: it looks quite pricey at 50 quid for something so simple. Lusso's Skylon Gilet offers pockets and some water resistant panels for £39.99, for example.
That said, at £99 the Neon Velo Lightweight Gilet makes the Alé look a bargain and it's also heavier.
Overall, there are cheaper gilets out there, but the quality of the Alé is impressive; with that and its performance, it goes some way to justifying its price tag.
Very lightweight gilet that does a great job of keeping the wind out, but a bit basic for the money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Alé Nucleo Gilet
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
It is a lightweight gilet that is great at blocking the wind while the mesh panel allows the air to escape.
Alé says: "Lightweight micropack Extra length rear Full zipper rubber gripper rear reflective strips performance fit high collar mesh back"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
92% polyester / 8% elastane
Mesh rear panel
Sizing isn't as restrictive as some other European brands.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I was a little worried about it getting damaged in the washing machine because of how thin the fabric feels, but it has been washed plenty of times without issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a lightweight windstopper it does the job.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
You barely notice you are wearing it.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Quite pricey for such a simple gilet.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Prices vary a lot when it comes to gilets; you can get some very good ones with more details for less, but there are some similar to the Alé that cost double.
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
A decent performing summer gilet that is well made and easy to stash. You can get cheaper, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!