At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Crossfire SS jersey from Sweet Protection covers all of the bases: a soft fabric, slim race fit, three roomy pockets and a nicely dropped tail, all for a pretty decent price.
The overall quality of the Crossfire is very impressive. The stitching is very neat and tidy throughout – some of the best I've seen on any garment let alone a jersey coming in at under 70 quid. There are no stray threads or anything, and there are what look like reinforcing stitches for each of the pockets. It's no wonder Sweet Protection is happy to offer a two-year warranty against manufacturing and material defects.
The fabric is 100% polyester with plenty of stretch, which to be honest it needs as not only is the jersey cut very slim, it comes up smaller than many UK brands such as dhb or Lusso. I'm comfortably a medium in both of those, as well as the likes of Shutt VR – even Castelli, come to think of it – but this Crossfire in medium was very snug. If I was buying, I'd definitely go up to a large for a little bit more room.
The cut, though, is very good. I had plenty of movement available at the chest and arms and with it being cinched in at the waist you get no material flapping about at all.
There is a decent dropped tail to keep your lower back covered when crouched over in the saddle too.
Like any good jersey, it has three vertical pockets at the rear which are a good size and easy to access when in the saddle. They don't sag with a decent load in them, and the elasticated top keeps the contents from bouncing out.
As a bonus you get a fourth pocket on the right hand side, which is slightly shorter and thinner, making it ideal for an energy bar, gel or even a small route card.
The neck is quite low as it's a summer jersey and letting a bit of air flow in isn't an issue. The Crossfire doesn't come with a zip garage but with the height it's not really an issue.
It's not as lightweight as some of the mesh jerseys we've seen over the summer, but the material does a good job of wicking sweat away and is very comfortable to wear in temperatures from the mid-teens to the early 20s centigrade. The side panels feel to be a lighter knit than the rest of the jersey, which helps keep you cool.
As far as value goes, I think that the Crossfire offers a sensible return for your investment, especially compared to some of the jerseys we've seen lately.
Something like the Rivelo Barbondale Merino jersey has similar classic styling and good performance at £100. As Mike states in his review, though, it is often on sale which takes the sting out a little.
The Monton Urban Meteor is £110 for, again, a pretty similar setup to the Sweet Protection.
One jersey that does challenge it is the Pente, which offers excellent fabrics for its £40 price tag.
Overall, though, I really like the Crossfire. So much so that I'd even consider giving up cake to exploit its excellent slim cut.
Very well made classically styled race jersey at an impressive price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sweet Protection Crossfire SS Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Sweet Protection keeps it short, saying, "A slim fit biking jersey with technical fabric for moisture wicking and quick-drying. There are 3 [there are actually four] pockets in the back for keeping your biking essentials."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Sweet Protection:
Available in grey or blue
Sizes - S to XL
The actual fit is very good, slim with no excess material.
I couldn't find a size guide on the website, but compared to a medium from most other brands it comes up small. I could still wear it, but given a choice I'd go for a size bigger.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Sweet Protection recommends a 40 degree wash, which worked absolutely fine to wash off road spray.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Does everything you expect of a good quality race jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizes up small.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Looking at others I've mentioned in the review, the Crossfire is very competitively priced.
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 overall score
Lovely soft fabric and impressive build quality make the Crossfire an impressive jersey for the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!