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Rivelo is a house brand of online sporting goods site Sportpursuit – hence the 'RRP' of £100 for the Barbondale jersey needs to be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. If you're happy to wait around for the Barbondale to be 'on sale' around the currently listed £39.99, grab one. At £100 it's not bad – at £40, it's a steal.
Rivelo's brand ethos is full of words like 'British', 'understated' and 'classic' – and in the red/blue colourway with white trim the Barbondale is only a few Tetris moves from being a Union flag. This design language is carried across the brand, and it's a nice look in my opinion.
Fortunately for me Rivelo hasn't gone full-sportive-gent-vanity with the sizing, so the Medium is bang on my 38in chest/32in waist for what you'd call a racy fit (it's not me in the photos). I'd prefer the sleeves to be a bit longer, but they did manage to cover arm warmers without a Mind The Gap warning needed from any sartorial police. If you're not needing to pair with arm warmers, they're just fine.
There are a fair few tech features to mention, starting with the build – flatlocked seams throughout, in complementing blue thread. There are three decently deep rear pockets ready to take a long ride's worth of stuff, and a zipped valuables pocket just able to take an iPhone 5-sized mobile – anything larger will struggle, especially in a case.
At the base of the centre pocket is a wee strip of reflective, and the white branded pocket trim is suitably springy to keep contents in place.
On the inside of the warm-kidney-friendly dropped hem there's a silicone grip-strip, which could have been tighter. With a reasonable load of food/tools and some rolled-up arm warmers, the hem lifted away and could be felt flapping a bit.
The zip features a full-length flap of the same fabric to minimise any breeze, which is appreciated but I'm not sure how noticeable because the rest of the jersey's a nicely breathable fabric; possibly it's a boon for the hairier gent who is riding sans baselayer.
The zip flap ends in a folded garage to remove any scratchiness when done up. Running cold as I do, there are gloves involved for any ride below about 13 degrees, and here I found the small zip tag to be too small for gloved fingers to find reliably every time. Could be bigger.
Paired with a merino baselayer, the 50/50 merino-poly mix material kept me warm in 12-18°C rainy, windy rides. Toward the warmer end of that spectrum, judicious use of the zip helped control excess heat. Merino's wonderful stuff but can suck up moisture and not let it go as quickly – the mix used here breathes well out in the open and not too badly under a shell. Obviously your own personal microclimate will dictate, but I found no overt dampness to be an issue.
If your position on the bike tends toward more stretched out you might find the Barbondale's arm-shoulder cut to be a little restrictive – this is clearly a cut less for the aero-barred whippet, more the relaxed scenery-devouring all-day rider. But then we're back to the design language of 'classic' here – and that's what Rivelo is clearly aiming for here. The fiddly zip and rear hem notwithstanding, if you can grab a Barbondale for £40 you'll be smiling all the way to that well-earned real ale pub stop.
A nicely done classic jersey with good features, and great value on sale (which it often is)
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rivelo Barbondale Merino SS Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
It's for people looking to look sharp, in a classic British manner, with good tech features for all-day comfort.
Rivelo says: "This light-weight Merino /Poly SS jersey has been designed to be versatile & adaptable, ideal for a typical British Spring/Summer season where the weather is changeable and the temperature unpredictable. Merino offers odour resistant, warm, breathable and naturally moisture wicking performance, so it will see you through from Spring to Autumn...and probably most of the UK Summer!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
180gsm 50% Merino/50% Poly single knit jersey
Light-weight, suitable for a wide range of seasons
Odour resistant, wicking, breathable & quick drying
Flat locked seams for comfort
Reflective detail at rear hem for added low-light visibility
3 deep rear pockets with an extra zip pocket for valuables
YKK full length zip with Ri lock down puller
Zip garage and guard for comfort & warmth
Ri embroidery details
No scratchy labels – printed care label is sewn flat
Dropped hem at rear, for extra warmth on the bike
The build quality is top notch.
Fiddly zip aside, the temperature regulation and comfort is good.
Still looks good a few months on.
I really like the body fit, but sleeves could be a tad longer and the hem's a bit loose.
Perfect as measured, runs snug.
Comfy in a more upright position, OK if you need to dive into the drops.
At RRP it's no bargain, but at the oft-discounted price it's a great buy.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine, no issues in a wool wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good temperature control and comfortable in a range of temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The design and fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Let down by the zip and sleeves, mostly. Not major disappointments, but could do better.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Decent merino jerseys tend to kick off around the £80 mark (Hommage au Velo's Poli is £75), with £100 being a fairly common price point, maybe a bit above the average. When discounted to £39.99, the Rivelo is cracking value.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, at the sale price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, at the sale price, or if they really liked the design.
Use this box to explain your overall score
At its RRP of £100 the Barbondale is 'good' but not fabulous. At the often-achieved £40 it would easily warrant a strong 'very good' bordering 'exceptional'.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is: Velocite Selene
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling