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The Altura Icon Men's Short Sleeve Jersey comes with some clever fabric which really helps on the breathability front and in the anti-whiff stakes. The semi-relaxed cut means you don't need to be a racing whippet to wear it, either.
We've reviewed various versions of Altura's Icon jersey over the years including the long sleeve option, and they have always scored well.
This latest has what Altura describes as a full silhouette redesign, and uses a high-wicking fabric for the main body and a carbon material for the underarm panels; the latter is made by Italian manufacturer Miti, which claims it draws toxins away from the skin to keep you feeling and smelling fresh in key areas. In use, both fabrics feel soft against the skin and work well.
The mild winter so far has seen me stick with short sleeve jerseys for most of my riding and in temperatures of up to 18°C I've remained cool as the breeze blows through, helping wick away any sweat.
With a lightweight jacket over the top on rainy days, the Icon hasn't felt overwhelmed, even on some tough climbs where I've been working hard.
As for the carbon material, I wore the jersey for an entire week's worth of riding without washing it and it did indeed smell fresher than most, especially around the armpits.
I normally find Altura's sizing to be a bit more generous than other brands and that is no different here. I'd say the medium here is probably closer to a large from someone like Lusso or dhb, so if you want a snug fit bear that in mind.
I actually liked the bit of extra room, especially when I was out on easier routes or on the gravel trails, and the Icon is cut well so it still fits correctly without ever feeling baggy.
The dropped tail is a generous length for riding in the drops and the arms are on the longer side too, if you like that. Personally, I prefer something a bit shorter that finishes about midway on the upper arm.
Other neat touches are the inclusion of a zip garage at the neck and four pockets on the rear, three traditionally mounted plus a fourth zipped one for valuables.
Altura's website is showing an rrp of £40, currently reduced to £35.99. Even at full price it's an attractive option: the overall quality is good, with the fabrics showing to be durable and robust. There are some loose thread ends in various places which let it down a touch, but to be fair they aren't visible when you are wearing it.
There aren't many jerseys we've tested that come in cheaper. There is the dhb Short Sleeve for £30, but that doesn't sound quite as sporty in nature as the Icon, plus the Icon has better pockets.
The Van Rysel range from Decathlon is well known for its quality and good value, but even something like the Men's Road Cycling Jersey Racer is a fiver more, at £44.99.
Overall, the Altura Icon is comfortable to wear and works across a broad range of temperatures, and for the money is a very tempting proposition.
Decent quality jersey that is comfortable, high wicking and not a huge amount of cash
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Icon Men's Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "Our popular Icon Jersey takes on a whole new look with its striking new graphic print but has also undergone a complete silhouette redesign. The high quality main body fabric offers great wicking properties, whilst the Italian made Miti carbon fabric is deployed in key areas to draw toxins away from the skin for a fresh and comfortable feel. The neat, bonded hem and cuffs as well as the low cut collar make this a stylish jersey you will want to be seen in."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Italian carbon fabric underarm panels to reduce bacteria and sustain freshness
High wicking fabrics
Bold graphic print
Tonal reflective print detail
Bonded hem and cuffs for a clean finish
Silicon rear and side hem gripper
3 back pockets and 1 security pocket with concealed zip
Full length front zip
Main Fabric: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane
Secondary Fabric: Sleeve: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane
The sizing is more generous than some brands, but that is reflected in Altura's sizing guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues whatsoever.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Icon fits well for all kinds of riding and does a good job of keeping you cool.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good wicking properties.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A few rough edges.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £40 it is one of the lower priced jerseys we've tested. dhb's Short Sleeve jersey is cheaper but doesn't quite compete on performance or fit. The Van Rysel top I mention in the review looks to offer good value for money, too, for a fiver more.
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
The Icon uses fabrics that work well whether you are using the jersey on its own or as part of a layering system, and it has a decent fit. It's a lot of jersey for the money too.
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!