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The Men's Short-Sleeved Road Cycling Summer Jersey Racer is a light, highly breathable race jersey designed with an aero fit. It also has many of the characteristics of jerseys costing twice as much – it's a bit of a bargain, and definitely up there with the best summer cycling jerseys around.
Van Rysel is French superstore Decathlon's flagship cycling range, yet that doesn't mean premium prices – surprising really, when you look at the quality and attention to detail.
The Racer jersey is tailored, as its name suggests, for racy types with minimal body fat and of a lean persuasion. Bear that in mind when it comes to sizing as you may well want to go up a size or two.
Get the fit right and there is very little to pick fault with. The material used for the bulk of the panels has loads of stretch to aid the fit, and it is breathable too.
I wore this jersey through the last heatwave, and it did a decent job of letting the air flow through to keep me as cool as possible and dry (for the side panels the Racer uses a lightweight mesh). Should the whole thing get overwhelmed with sweat after a hard effort or climb, it dries fast as well.
The arms are reasonably lengthy, but stay in place thanks to the compression in the cuffs. They also provide a smooth transition between skin and jersey for an added bit of aeroness.
The rear is heavily dropped for riding in the drops, and the front sits nice and high to stop the material bunching up. It prevents the zip from damaging your shorts too, thought thoughtfully Van Rysel has added a zip garage at the bottom anyway.
You get a zip garage at the top of the full zip as well, though as the neck sits quite low it's not that necessary.
Pocket wise there are three in the traditional layout, with the right hand side overlayed with a zipped valuables one. Either side of the main three you find a small extra pocket on the side panel, and these are ideal for energy gels, route instructions or anything else you need easy access to.
Finally you get a smattering of subtle reflectives – as I said, the attention to detail is good.
For colour options, there are six available. This fluoro yellow is easily the most eye-catching, although should you get caught on wet roads, make sure to wash it straight away. Dirty spray will stain the fabric if not dealt with fast. That's true of many light-coloured jerseys, though, and not just restricted to the Van Rysel. The other options are Black, Denim Blue, a rather retro looking Team White, Navy Blue and the current Cofidis team jersey.
At a penny shy of forty-five quid, I reckon this represents good value for money. Scott's lightweight RC Premium jersey is a similar sort of design and comes in at £99.99, although many deals can be had now as we batter towards winter.
Endura's Pro SL Lite short sleeve jersey is again of a similar ilk. It lacks details like zip garages, and there is no zipped pocket – a must in my opinion – so its £82.99 price tag doesn't look quite as appealing to me.
The Van Rysel Racer is a high-performance jersey for not a lot of money, and it looks and feels as though nothing has been sacrificed to get there. It lacks some of the green credentials and technical fabrics of some offerings, but if you want bang for your buck (or pops for your pound, maybe), then look no further.
Simple and effective, this is a light, highly breathable race jersey with excellent attention to detail
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Van Rysel Road Cycling Jersey Racer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Decathlon says, "Racer is Van Rysel's flagship range. It's composed of products designed for cyclists who want to push their limits. Are you looking for a light, breathable, perfectly fitted jersey that's designed for performance? This jersey is right up your street!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Breathability: Two mesh inserts (ultra-breathable fabric): on the sides and back.
Lightweight: Enter the world of performance with a jersey that weighs just 129 g in size M.
Stability: Elasticated sleeves and hem at the back provide a snug fit.
Pockets: Three classic pockets and one zip pocket on the back, two pockets on the side.
Sizing is true, but keep in mind it is for a racer's physique.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
As mentioned below, if it gets dirty wash it quickly so it doesn't stain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A top-notch racers jersey in terms of performane and fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The light colour can stain if not washed quickly after wearing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is impressively cheap compared to similar offerings mentioned in the review.
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
From a pure value for money point of view the Van Rysel really can't be knocked. It performs and fits just like many jerseys double the price, and without any obvious sacrifices.
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!