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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
BTwin's 500 Short Sleeve Cycling jersey is a surprisingly lightweight polyester number ideal for our balmier months, and lends itself better than I was expecting to indoor trainer sessions.
Compared with your typical waffle weave top, it does feel very thin, yet stops short of delicate – I've caught the odd thorn or two while taking scenic cut-throughs without any signs of distress, and the fabric's washing pretty well several weeks in.
The cut is more relaxed, which, coupled with the subtle red/grey colour scheme, translates very well to touring and avoids the road warrior look if worn with messenger knickers or similar street-styled shorts/longs. There's also black/blue, white/blue, 'fluoro blood orange', plain black, or a trade version too if you prefer.
A half-length zipper allows some ventilation and mesh panels beneath the arms promote additional, cooling airflow. Round the back, we have the traditional three-terrace pockets, all of uniform sizing, relaxed enough to cope with bananas and tubes, though secure enough that keys, CO2 inflators, bottles and so on aren't ejected at the first bump.
Sizing is also quite generous. I'm much broader across the shoulder than my height and weight would imply, so typically find large (5) the best default. However, medium was absolutely bang on, still roomy enough for a long-sleeve baselayer on cooler evenings.
Having tested quite a bit of BTwin's 500 range, it's what I'd class as everyday staples – good enough for club type riding and entry-level racing, cheap enough to replace should you wreck it in a spill. Fabrics feel a little synthetic against the skin compared with its 700 counterparts and other benchmark race models, but it's quickly forgotten.
Admittedly, we've had a slow start to summer but after that familiar warm glow, with the zipper fully open, the fabric traffics heat and sweat away pretty convincingly, especially around the arms, which is good news if you're looking at dining somewhere more refined than a greasy spoon come the end of a day's touring.
Bottom line: we only get what we play for. In this instance, there's little to grumble about and I'd recommend the 500 to those seeking a few wallet-friendly staples for general riding. Aspiring racers should look toward the chain's in-house 700 series.
Good staple with few faults for everyday riding and training
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 500 Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey
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?
BTwin says: "The mesh under the arms of this men's, comfortable lightweight, cycling jersey ensures quick drying. Half-length zip on the chest for better ventilation and three pockets at the back for storage."
The 500 jersey is a good, wallet-friendly staple for everyday training and club riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MOISTURE MANAGEMENT Mesh under the arms. Half-length zip on chest.
LIGHTWEIGHT Lightweight fabric that's pleasant to wear.
STABILITY Elastic around the hem helps hold the jersey in place. Loose fit.
POCKETS 3 pockets at the back.
82 % Polyester/ 18 % Elastane mix.
Seems well made. A two-year guarantee certainly bolsters confidence.
Favourable so far. And, as above, the two-year guarantee inspires confidence and peace of mind.
Slightly looser cut than some, so aesthetic works with Lycra and more casual bottoms alike.
Quite generous. Large is my default but medium fitted me perfectly.
Lightweight but efficient fibres are well suited to warmer weather, or indoor training.
RRP is £17.99 but it's currently on sale for £10.99, which is excellent.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to live with – bung in the wash at 30 degrees, hang out and it's more or less ready to wear in 20 minutes or so.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the 500 jersey performed well in all contexts. The thinner fibres feel a little synthetic to touch but this is soon forgotten and wicking prowess/general comfort are excellent in hotter weather. A full length zipper would be nice, ditto a zippered rear pocket, but at this price, I'm being picky.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looser cut, lightweight material, subtle colour schemes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly synthetic feel. Full length zipper would be nice too but I'm being picky.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Decent jersey that represents excellent value, though feels a little synthetic, and 3/4 or full length zipper is a missed opportunity by my reckoning.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)