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The Alé Women's R-EV1 Summer Jersey is one of four different short-sleeved designs in its R-EV1 collection of 'professional race fit and high performance materials'. This jersey certainly ticks both these boxes – it has a really good close fit (size up if in any doubt) and the performance is excellent. If you have the cash, it's certainly worth considering for some late summer riding.
At just over 100g, the jersey is super-lightweight. Alé says the rear panel is 'Rap-dry Carbon Fabric'; given its performance, I presumed this meant rapid-drying. In the recent heat the jersey invariably remained a little damp while riding – you are permanently perspiring – but stop at a cafe and it dries out in no time.
Unlike the recently reviewed Alé PRR Srada Jersey, the R-EV1 doesn't have much fabric variation within its panels. There's nothing different under the arms, and the front panels are only marginally thicker than the rear and side ones; the difference here is barely noticeable to be honest.
The high performance fabric is pretty fragile; I managed to snag the interior a little during a washing cycle. There are no significant signs of rapid deterioration at this point, but the material is now slightly 'puckered' on both sides of the jersey. Indeed the label does say, 'The piling effect caused by zippers, Velcro straps or embroidered saddles is not to be considered a defect of the fabric.' If you are precious about preserving the condition of the material, my recommendation would be to wash it inside-out in a mesh laundry bag.
The sleeves and front hem are both tapered and lined with very fine silicone dimples. The sleeves don't shift a millimetre once positioned. I did find them a little narrow but this certainly didn't cause any discomfort.
The rear baseline hem is a simple silicone strip over a narrow elasticated band. The hem combination was enough to hold the jersey in place when the pockets were evenly loaded.
With a recommended temperature range of 18-30 degrees, it's not surprising that Alé has done away with any serious collar. The zip has a 'housing' at the base to prevent it rubbing against shorts, while a simple flap of material at the top does a perfectly good job of avoiding neck-irritation.
Alé's website says the jersey has a 'four back-pocket system' but there are only three. They are easily accessible and relatively roomy – certainly enough for snacks, phone, keys and a mini-pump. They are clearly not intended to be carrying huge loads of spare kit.
I tested a medium, which is what I'd normally expect to buy. It is a snug fit and I'd say, if in doubt, size up. Alé's work with pros has led to minimal, feminine cuts with only the essential design features necessary for racing. If you are serious about performance on the road, be it for racing or otherwise, then this jersey will most definitely appeal.
The price tag might not though: an RRP of £110 may result in instant dismissal, especially with so many similar jerseys out there for less – its own previously mentioned PPR Strada Jersey, for example, is on sale for £65, and the Santini Volo has an RRP of £80. A quick search and you will find the R-EV1 on sale for £80 right now, so a decent saving at least if your heart is set on it.
Perfect for high intensity riding in high temperatures, with a high price tag...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Alé Women's R-EV1 Summer Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Alé says, "The collaboration with professional riders we have worked with for years led us to develop our R-EV1 jersey, ideal for riders that require a race fitting and high performance materials. Giro sleeves and lower collar for a better comfort on the back the Rap-Dry Carbon fabric provides freshness and keeps the ideal body temperature."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Ergonomic Racing Fit
-4 back pockets system Alé
-Shaped sleeves and waist band with Gripper inside.
-Security Reflex on the back for a better Visibility
-Colourful contrast at seams
Excellent – clean cut and professionally finished.
Definitely very breathable and exceptionally comfortable.
Take care when washing – it's quite delicate fabric.
The sleeve cuffs were tighter than I would expect for a medium, though this didn't cause discomfort or irritation.
It's a medium and this is what I would normally wear, but it is not a generous one. Size up if in doubt.
Very lightweight – great for hot days.
Certainly not a budget option.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
As per instructions, a 30 degree wash in neutral detergent, without softener. See body of review for best advice here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent, very breathable, perfect for high intensity riding in the heat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Bright design, comfort and excellent breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Vulnerability of fabric to snagging.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? At a discounted price, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Perfect jersey for high intensity training/riding in summer sun. The fragile fabrics and a high price tag bring down the overall score slightly.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…