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The Spatzwear Shiftr Cycling Jersey is a high quality top with a great fit, and it's versatile enough for spring and summer riding. The price is high, but the performance justifies it.
Yorkshire brand Spatzwear is best known for its foul weather clothing, but the Shiftr is its new spring/summer jersey. After a variety of test rides, including some over six hours, I've come away impressed with how it performs.
The stretchy material gives a great fit across the chest and shoulders that's tight without being restrictive. The body is a good length front and back too – something I appreciated after testing a few stomach-exposing jerseys of late.
The sleeves are quite long too, reaching down to the elbow and staying there whatever the duration thanks to silicone grippers. You even get a zip garage, but as the neckline is quite low it doesn't really need it.
The fabric is a polyester/lycra mix and the lack of seams – the only one is at the front zipper – ensures this is very comfortable. At 180g it feels heavy, though, and while I was worried about how it'd deal with heat, I was pleasantly surprised.
It wicks well enough to stay feeling dry and I remained relatively cool in temperatures ranging from 11°C to over 30°C (all within one very long ride!), though it isn't as cool as the barely-there, sub-100g jerseys I've tested.
On the other hand, it's a lot more versatile than those too, which helps offset the high price.
The quality is great. I wore this a lot during the test period and there are still no signs of wear, despite frequent washing. The stitching is all perfect, as you'd expect at this price.
Spatzwear claims the Shiftr is aerodynamically optimised, and while I can't verify this with any data, neither does Spatzwear. Certainly though the fit is great and there is no excess material or flapping. The textured look attracted some attention on the club run though, and isn't likely to be to everyone's taste.
The Shiftr only comes in three sizes. I tested the medium/large which, according to the size guide, fits anything from a 92cm to a 105cm chest – that's fully 13cm of difference. However, I think the stretchy material does a good job adjusting to your body, and I was happy with the result.
At the back there are three pockets made from mesh. The pocket entries are small, so they aren't that easy to access whilst on the bike, but they do excel at holding all your stuff in place. I had zero movement from any of it, even when climbing out of the saddle on gradients well over 10%.
They aren't the biggest once you are in either, so you may struggle to fit everything if you are carrying nutrition, spares and additional clothing.
There is no zipped valuables pocket either, which is disappointing at this price, but the security of the regular ones meant I didn't have any worries about my valuables anyway. I tested the 'hi-vis red' version, but it also comes in blue.
£139.99 is towards the top end of jerseys we have tested here at road.cc – it's more than the Assos Mille GT Jersey C2 Drop Head, for instance, which scored well and costs £110.
The NVPA Short/Sleeve Jersey also reviewed well and offers a race fit at £125, but the graphics won't be to everyone's tastes unless you enjoy looking like you've got a PowerPoint slide from a particularly vacuous marketing meeting on your back.
You can get a great jersey for a lot less, too, such as the Stolen Goat Tappa Bodyline Jersey at £75.
It is not the most expensive jersey we've tested though either; the Santini Redux Istinto is an excellent aero race jersey, but is £175 – though that's actually slightly less (£10) than when we reviewed it.
At the time of writing the Shiftr was on sale at £69.99, which represents great value of a jersey of this quality.
I have been impressed by the Spatzwear Shiftr. The fit is excellent, the material is breathable despite feeling quite heavy and the quality is great. It does well against its high-end competition, and if you can get it at 50 percent off for any length of time, it's more impressive still.
High quality jersey with a great fit, versatile enough for spring to autumn riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Spatz Shiftr Jersey
Size tested: M/L
Tell us what the product is for
Spatzwear says, "The 'Shiftr' spring / summer jersey. Perfect for racing, training or simply enjoying miles in the saddle, the new "Shiftr" is an absolute pleasure to use and wear."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The only seam on the body of the 'Shiftr' is the front zipper. Each "panel" is tuned to perform it's specific function perfectly, whether that may be temperature regulation, moisure management, support or aerodynamics.
Innovative fabric that actively moves heat and moisture away from the skin. Fabric is added / removed exactly where required to offer support, temperature regulation or to help you cut through the wind.
Engineered the cut of the jersey to hold you close and flatter the body with a minimal collar and sleeves that you can wear down to the elbow crease or concertina up to the biceps for a more casual look.
High quality silicone grippers so the jersey sits beautifully against your body.
3x rear pockets are made from tough semi-translucent mesh material
Great fit and a good length front and back.
Narrow range of sizes, but the stretchy material helps.
Quite heavy for a jersey.
It's not cheap at full price, but it performs well against the competition.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30c with the rest of my cycling kit without any issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well in a variety of conditions. It's breathable on hot days and versatile enough for cool days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit was great and the nothing moves in the pockets even whilst climbing out of the saddle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It is quite expensive at full price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £139.99 this is definitely towards the top end of the market for a jersey. The Assos Mille GT Jersey C2 Drop Head scored well at £110, for instance, while the NVPA Short/Sleeve Jersey also scored well and offers a race fit for £125. The Pas Normal Studios Mechanism jersey is a short race-fit jersey which also 'enjoys' some large branding, and is £150.
You can get a great jersey for a lot less such as the Stolen Goat Tappa jersey at £75.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely at the current sale price
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a high quality jersey with a great fit, and whilst the pockets are small they hold your things as steady as a rock. The looks won't be to everyone's taste and at full price this is an expensive jersey, but it holds its own against similarly expensive competition. Really there's little to dislike.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor