Sleek and aerodynamic, the Gore Ardent Jersey Women's is designed for hot weather and hard riding, and for those purposes it works well, but it's not without its niggles.
I enjoyed riding in it throughout the summer heatwave – it kept me below boiling point on the climbs and wicked enough sweat away so I wasn't freezing on the descents – but while the fit is nice and snug, and the material feels quite luxurious, it's prone to bobbling, and I also found that it ruffled at the stomach a little when in a racier riding position. The zip isn't the best quality either.
Gore says the Ardent women's jersey is 'perfect for when you are riding hard in warm and hot weather' and I have to agree. At first glance I thought the material might be a bit too silky and thick to be able to perform in the heat, but I was wrong. It's different to the more mesh style you often see on lightweight summer jerseys, but it wicks sweat well.
Riding in temperatures of 27°C and higher, I was perfectly comfortable (and I live in a part of the country where 12°C constitutes a 'good summer') and rarely felt the need to even unzip slightly on longer climbs for more airflow.
Sizing and fit
Initially, we were apprehensive about me testing this XXS jersey as the measurements online suggested it might be a tight squeeze. It's designed to be quite snug, so I was expecting a bit of resistance to zipping it up or getting my arms through, but to my surprise it fitted with ease.
That suggests the sizing is a bit off. XXS, in theory, should be a bit small for me, so if you're below a size 6-8 it might be baggy or less aero than intended.
Also, the sleeves are quite long, and they are shortest on the smallest size, so if you have short arms you might find the sleeves dig into your elbow creases.
The jersey does have a dropped lower hem, which I found helpful when riding in a more racy position, and it doesn't move around that much thanks to the banded gripper – I only had to pull the hem down as I moved position on the bike a few times during a ride – but as I said earlier, the jersey did ruffle a bit at the front when riding on the drops.
Another issue I had was with the zip. A few times when I did have to pull the jersey hem down, the zip split at the bottom all the way up to the top. Luckily I usually wear a baselayer, but it's an inconvenience having to stop to try to get the zip back together. It happened a few times, but interestingly only when the rear pockets were empty.
The pockets are unusual, too. Rather than the usual three there are just two, plus a third smaller zipped one for valuables. They're reasonably spacious – for reference, each one big enough to take a Google Pixel 6 Pro with a case and a Velopac cycling wallet – but I prefer three: one for my phone, one for my wallet and pump, and one for snacks.
Unfortunately, though the material has a silky luxurious feel, it's prone to bobbling. I used the jersey with a rucksack a few times and the strap has rubbed the material to the point where it's bobbled a little, on the front and back.
Perhaps this is inevitable when using a rucksack, but for £89.99 I'd expect a little more durability.
Value and conclusion
It's not the cheapest short sleeve jersey out there, though it is seriously good in warm temperatures, and as the summer comes to an end it's still in regular rotation with my kit, albeit with a slightly thicker baselayer underneath.
But Lara thought the dhb Aeron Women's Short Sleeve Jersey 2.0 was very good in warm weather too, and that's just £60, and Caroline loved the Van Rysel RCR Women's Short-Sleeved Cycling Jersey, with all its pockets (so many pockets), and that's just £39.99. (Though again, the sleeves are a little long.)
> Read more road.cc reviews of women’s cycling kit here
The Gore is cheaper than some premiium options – Lara loved the Specialized Women's Prime Short Sleeve Jersey (read her review here), which is £10 more – but the Lusso Women's Aero Jersey, which Anna tested last year, is better value at £75.
Overall, it performs really well in the heat as it's designed to, but the pocket layout won't appeal to all, and the durability and zip issues are a bit disappointing, especially for the price. You'll need to check the sizing, too.
It's a high performing bit of kit in the heat, but with durability and sizing issues
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Make and model: Gore Wear Ardent Jersey Women's
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says: 'Perfect for when you are riding hard in warm and hot weather. We wanted to combine the distinctive aero look of modern road cycling jerseys with highly functional and quick drying materials, you won't only look good, you will be equipped to ride your personal best.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Modern, aero road cycling fit: lengthened sleeves and dropped tail
Grippy insert at the back hem
2-gusseted back pockets
Integrated back pocket with concealed zipper for valuables
Full length front zip
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Generally the jersey is well made, but I experienced issues with the zip whereby it would randomly pop open at the bottom up to where the zip tag was located. This seemed to occur when the pockets were empty rather than full.
Rate the product for performance:
I rode with the jersey through the heatwave, and even though it's black, I never felt like I was going to overheat. It does what Gore claims and works well even in hot conditions and when you're riding hard.
Rate the product for durability:
The material has bobbled quickly after using with a rucksack.
Rate the product for fit:
The fit is nice and snug as described, although the sleeves are rather long so if you have short arms they might get uncomfortable sitting in your elbow creases.
Rate the product for sizing:
I tested the XXS, which the website measurements suggested might be a bit of a squeeze, but it actually wasn't. I'd suggest even with the 'aero fit' of the jersey, the sizes are generous and it's more of an XS or S.
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Fits well and feels fast. I did find myself having to pull the jersey down at the front once in a while – although less when the pockets were full.
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Responded well to being washed at 30°C, very quick to dry afterwards.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I used this jersey primarily through the summer heatwave and it performed really well. It kept me as cool as I could be in 27°C+ heat and, crucially, wicked the sweat away so I wasn't shivering on any downhills or when I stopped.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, which is quite aero, and the overall design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only two pockets, bobbling of material, and the zip undoing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £89.99 it's not overpriced for a premium aero road bike jersey, but it's not as good value as the likes of the Lusso Women's Aero Jersey, which costs nearly £15 less and tester Anna loved. Though not what you'd describe as a premium brand, Decathlon's Van Rysel RCR impressed Caroline with its performance, and that's just £39.99.
You can spend more: the Specialized Women's Prime Short Sleeve Jersey is very good but £100.
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 performance is very good, particularly in hot weather. Even though it's black, I found myself reaching for it ride after ride throughout the heatwave (and after it cooled down a bit). The durability is disappointing, though, as is the poor quality zip randomly opening on a few occasions, and having two pockets rather than three won't appeal to all – it meant I had to re-organise my usual system for carrying ride essentials. Overall, I'd say it's a 7 rather than an 8.
Age: 28 Height: 5'5 Weight: 55kg
I usually ride: Bianchi Oltre XR1 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Gravel
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