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The Castelli Premio Black Jersey is a very good jersey with great breathability, stylish looks and a fit somewhere between performance and all-day comfort. However, while this has all the quality you'd expect from Castelli, I feel the high price is hard to justify.
The Premio, as the name suggests, is Castelli's premium jersey. It is focused on performance and comfort, with a close fit designed for all-day comfort rather than a more aggressive race fit.
The jersey is made from a recycled fabric that consists of 74% polyester and 26% elastane, with the resulting material having a good amount of stretch to it. And it felt comfortable even on my longest test rides.
It's a lightweight summer jersey that weighed in at just 115g, which is 30g less than the claimed 145g weight. Not much in absolute terms – about the weight of a bag of crisps – but that's a fair percentage difference. And I'm genuinely amazed how Castelli can make a jersey so light without it being see-through.
Castelli recommends it for temperatures between 16-35°C and I was able to use it in temperatures from around 13-30°C – and it felt great throughout this range.
Another feature that's handy for summer riding, and a reflection of its non-see-through nature, is that it has a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50+. I have worn some mesh jerseys that have been so translucent that I've been left with tan lines from my bib shorts – so there'll be none of that here.
On a recent break in Portugal, I managed to sneak out for a ride in temperatures around 30°C and the jersey proved impressively breathable and did a great job at keeping me cool.
After some tough climbs the jersey was a bit damp but it quickly dried out in the wind. And while it was totally covered in salt from my sweat after four hours of riding during the middle of the day, the jersey was still surprisingly dry.
Castelli describes the jersey as having a 'Performance' fit, which is designed to balance comfort and performance.
I thought the sleeves were perfect, which for me means not too long, and there was no movement or flapping. The sleeves' 'ribbed' material looks good too.
The cut is generous at the front, so there's no risk of exposing your midriff to all and sundry. The rear gripper isn't the usual silicone strip but it did a good job holding the jersey in place and I never found myself adjusting it.
The Signature comes in seven sizes from XS-3XL and I tested the large, which is my usual size for Castelli. Castelli's size guide had me between medium and large, and while some of my other Castelli kit sizes up very small, I think this would have been fine in a medium for me.
The three rear pockets are a good size and their contents felt stable even during hard out-of-the-saddle climbing efforts.
The zipped valuables pocket wasn't big enough for my Samsung S20 FE but was perfect for keys and a card.
There is no zip garage but with a low neckline it wasn't really required, and the low neck also did a good job of keeping me cool on warmer summer days. The YKK zip has a large U-shaped zip-pull for easy adjustment, which was effective but I felt it was a little oversized.
As you'd expect at this price the quality is excellent. After using the Premio for a few months and with numerous washes there's not a loose thread in sight and it all looks as good as new.
I tested the 'Belgian blue' jersey, which I think looks good, and it's also available in 'light black/black', 'avocado green/deep green' and – wait for it, wait for it! – 'silver grey/Sedona sage'. I think the understated design, at least of the blue and black colourways, makes it easy to pair with any other cycling clothing.
At the RRP of £175 this is one of the most expensive jerseys we have tested, but it is not alone around that sort of price.
And I really liked the Velocio Men's Signature Jersey Velocio Men's Signature Jersey, which is priced at £147, has a similar fit to the Premio and like the Castelli it has impressive green credentials.
This is a high-quality jersey with a good fit, it's breathable and comfortable for long days out, and if it was a bit more affordable, I'd have scored it a little higher. However, there's no getting away from the £175 price, and there are similar quality jerseys out there available for a fair bit less.
Lightweight, breathable, great looks and a good fit – but that heavyweight price is hard to justify
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Premio Black Jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
"The name says it all. The Premio Jersey is designed for maximum comfort and performance. We've taken the technology and fabrics used in the Premio Bibshort and adapted them into the jerseys. Two separate stretch woven fabrics provide numerous benefits: great fit, excellent moisture management, maximum aerodynamics, light weight, durability, and a beautiful smooth finish with a premium feel. The sleeves have a ribbed construction like the Premio short for a snug but not tight fit and an exact color match. The recycled polyester stretch woven fabric on the body is lightweight, soft, and stretchy for an excellent fit. It's also excellent at wicking away sweat on those hot days. To finish the Premio Jersey, we've paid close attention to all the little details as well, such as the zipper pull and the gripper elastic. When we brought out the Premio Black Bibshort, everyone asked, "What jersey do I wear with it?" Here's the jersey that matches perfectly, in style, comfort, and performance."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Stretch woven lightweight body fabric in recycled microfiber polyester for excellent moisture management and 26% elastane for stretch
Main body fabric rated at UPF 50+ for maximum sun protection
Shoulder panel in recycled ribbed stretch woven mesh to keep you cool and comfortable while adding world-class aerodynamics
Collarless construction makes it feel lighter and cooler
Reverse-coil self-locking YKK® zipper with U-shaped zipper pull for easy adjustment
Silicone gripper elastic on back with no-sew bonded front elastic panel
3 rear pockets with additional hidden zippered security pocket
Reflective logo on back
Fabrics made with recycled yarns"
Sizing seems slightly larger than the usual Castelli clothing. With my previous Castelli jerseys I needed a large, but I think this would have been fine for me in a medium
At £175 this is an expensive jersey and there are good jerseys available for less.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I washed this at 30°C with the rest of my cycling kit and there were no issues. After multiple washes it's still looking as good as new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, great breathability, comfortable and a good fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I found it very breathable and I think in this colourway it's a good-looking jersey.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This is a very expensive jersey – in fact at £175 is one of the most expensive we've ever tested.
The Velocio Signature jersey I tested earlier in the year is £147 and I really liked it.
The Sportful Bomber jersey is priced at £120 and was very positively reviewed
The MAAP Evade Pro Base Jersey 2.0 received a good review and is slightly cheaper than the Premio at £165.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – but not at the full retail price
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if price wasn't a key criteria
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, this is a very good jersey, with a great fit and breathability.
However, the price is extremely high and we've reviewed some excellent jerseys that are a fair bit cheaper than the Premio.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor