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Great fit and style comes from a wool-based jersey from Isadore – called the Woolight – and it's nigh-on perfect for sunny days in the saddle. Maybe you're off to the Continent...
Isadore pitches its products to the higher end of the market, priding itself on creating sleek designs using the best materials for the serious and stylish cyclist. That much is clear from this jersey, and it more than delivers in terms of performance too.
Moisture-wicking is extremely good thanks to its merino wool blend (you'll find 23% merino and 77% polyester in this jersey, hence its name), and so remains comfortable to wear whether you've just gunned it up a steep climb and are getting a real sweat on, or just out for a gentle spin around your local flatlands – in which case the warmth afforded by the wool comes into play very effectively.
It's equally at home in the very warm conditions it's been designed for as well as cooler mornings, and the merino fibres also offer the added benefit of UV resistance.
The fit, as you'd expect with a product that's had input from the Velits brothers (Martin rides for Etixx-QuickStep, Peter for BMC), is close and performance orientated, coming up slightly smaller than your average fit. That said, it's not racy, so you can very easily ride at a casual pace in a more relaxed position on an endurance bike or commuter/cross bike without a problem. The hems are all well thought out, with the cut ensuring a good fit around the arms, and the waistband has some styled grippers integrated to minimise excess movement around your torso.
Perhaps slightly surprising to us is the flexibility of the jersey; it truly is one of its best qualities, and with ample pocket space for a couple of bars, gels and spares, including a zipped compartment for valuables, it never leaves you wanting on hotter days.
All the while, you look good on the bike too. Interestingly, this 'jet black' jersey really isn't black at all; it's actually a dark green colour. This becomes most apparent when worn with a black pair of bib shorts, and also features lighter green highlights in the zip and at the hems of the pockets. The effect is pleasing, and I'd argue that it looks better than it would if it were truly black.
Additional design features include a reflective tab on the back as well as signature-style metal Isadore logos: one attached to the pockets, and another to the neckline. This has the effect of making the jersey look seriously flash – you wouldn't look out of place hanging out in the most fashionable areas of your locale. There's even a loop incorporated to keep your earphones tidy... a nice nod to the racing heritage of the Velits siblings.
Finally, through the wash the jersey stands up very well, the 77 per cent polyester adding strength and longevity to the fabric in addition to the technical benefits of merino wool. No threads have come loose, and putting it on after a few washes still feels like wearing it for the first time – and you can't say that about many jerseys out there.
All these features and top quality in fabric and construction mean the jersey isn't cheap. Currently the RRP comes in at the equivalent of £77.27 (€105) – but for the technology involved, and the performance it gives you, it's well worth the investment as one of your best lightweight summer jerseys.
Great fit and style from a jersey that performs nigh-on perfectly on sunny days
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Make and model: Isadore Woolight Jersey Jet Black
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Isadore says: "Extremely lightweight jersey ideal for summer heat riding.
Designed to take advantage of the characteristic look of the Merino wool fibers fabric texture yet staying cool without overheating during the hottest summer rides.
High in SPF rating. Merino fibers naturally absorb UV radiation offering protection when exposed to direct sunlight.
Active moisture vapor transfer and temperature control.
Features long zip to help control body temperature.
Slim fit cut.
Three reinforced back pockets with extra inside the jersey pocket, buttonhole to run headphone cables inside the jersey and an additional zipper, to keep its contents dry and secure.
Additional eyelets inside the jersey to lead your headphone cables comfortably.
Made in Slovakia."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Constructed from next generation lightweight Merino bi-component material - 77%Polyester / 23%Merino only 160g/m2.
The Woolight jersey does begin to get into the territory of Rapha, Castelli et al for cost, but with performance like this it's genuinely worth considering.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – one of the best summer jerseys we've tested.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great performance with the flexibility to work for more than just your average high-tempo rider in the heat.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing on reflection – the colour description is slightly misleading.
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 score
It's hard to fault the jersey in any area without being super-picky.
Age: 25 Height: 188cm Weight: 83kg
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding