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Decathlon's home brand BTwin has long been the go-to option for budget-conscious cyclists looking for affordable kit that usually performs as well as products twice the price (at least). The BTwin 500 Women's Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey is a classic example of how you don't need to spend a fortune to get a decent and effective jersey that actually looks good too.
This is a classic partial zip design, with a gripper tape at the hem but not the sleeves, and three elasticated pouch pockets at the rear.
The fabric is a lightweight polyester/elastane mix with tiny perforations throughout and a more mesh-like effect under the arms and down the sides. It's available in a couple of different colours – though not this pink any more (or not at the moment anyway) – and no contrasting shoulder panel on the petrol blue option. I think it's fairly attractive and shouldn't cause any offence to anyone.
The fit was neat but not overtight for the sizing and even taller ladies should find the torso length to be okay. The gripper tape at the hem kept everything in place, even when stretched forwards.
The rear pockets are a decent size, taking most of the bits and pieces you'd need them too, including a lightweight windproof jacket. I'd always like a small zipped security pocket to be included somewhere, and sadly this jersey didn't have one.
The fabric kept me feeling good and comfortable, without too much moisture build-up, but I'd have liked the front zip to be longer really. While billed as a half zip, it's not even that long, giving little in the way of real ventilation.
With a more low-key, less overtly sporty look than the Aldi Ladies Performance Short Sleeved Cycling Jersey I tested recently, this would be a good alternative for someone on a budget looking for an effective summer jersey in a simple style.
A good-looking jersey offering reliable performance at a low price; a few tweaks and it could have been outstanding value
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 500 Women's 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: "Designed for female riders expecting to be out for up to 2 hours"
Performs well enough for a decent two-hour ride.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
82% polyester/18% elastane
Mesh panels underarm and on sides
Three rear pouch pockets
Hem gripper tape
Washable at 30
Available in sizes XS-XL
Not badly finished at all and fabrics feel nice, if not exactly sumptuous.
Performed well, but fabric felt a little sticky when working harder.
All OK so far - very washable and not fragile.
Fit was a good shape and with decent length in the body for a variety of shapes and heights.
Sizing was as stated, with a medium being roughly equivalent to a UK12.
Fabric was comfortable next to the skin, but could have done with a slightly longer zip for ventilation.
Very good value indeed.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed very well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well as a straightforward, cost-effective cycling jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Price, fabric, style.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Short zip, lack of zipped security pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly one on a budget.
Use this box to explain your score
This is a cost-effective jersey offering good levels of comfort and performance for the price; if the front zip was longer and it had a zipped pocket, it would be truly outstanding value for money.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.