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Stylish and luxurious feeling, the Specialized Women's Prime Short Sleeve Jersey performs well in all temperatures and oozes quality.
As with the rest of Specialized's Prime range of clothing, this short sleeve women's jersey is designed with ultimate performance in mind. It's made from a combination of smooth, silky-feeling but matt finish synthetic stretch fabrics – a smooth main body fabric and a lightweight stretch mesh under the arms and at the bottom hem. The sleeves are gently hemmed at the ends but not elasticated and have no grippers. There's a low-profile gripper tape at the bottom hem and three rear pouch pockets plus a zipped pocket. The full-length front zip has a small flap and a cover at the top to reduce possible chafing issues.
The fit of this performance jersey is neat and sleek, as you might expect. Following the sizing chart on the Spesh website, the XL I tried was spot on for me as a generous high street size 14. The only user review of the jersey on the website claims it to be very small for the size, which I didn't find to be the case. It felt sporty without being shrink-wrapped, enabling the moisture-wicking fabric to do its job.
The sleeves are on the long side, something to be aware of if you have especially short arms, but I found them a pleasant length. Torso length is about average when compared with other jerseys I've worn, neither too long nor too short.
On the bike, the jersey is exceptionally comfortable. The soft fabric has an almost peach skin-like quality and is superbly soft next to skin.
It's not as lightweight as some, but nonetheless wicks moisture quickly and dries fast, too, leaving the skin a very pleasantly stable temperature even in challenging (hot, thundery) weather conditions as well as bright hot sunshine.
Specialized states that the fabric has cooling properties but there is little information on specifics about any clever tech. It does feel cool to the touch, though, and keeps the skin a nice comfortable temperature, particularly with the extra assistance of the mesh underarm panels.
With the combination of the sleek fit and soft pliable fabric, there's a 'barely there' feeling about this jersey, which makes it a great choice for wearing on all-day rides.
The rear pockets are a decent size, though the zipped pocket only just accommodates an iPhone7 in a protective case, so is probably better limited to cards and keys.
The gripper at the hem kept the jersey nicely secure without feeling aggressive or annoying, and the zip was very smooth and easy to operate, even single-handed, making ventilation nice and straightforward.
There's no denying that this sits towards the upper end of the price spectrum for a short-sleeved jersey, even if it's far from being as expensive as the likes of the 7mesh Skyline Jersey at £200 or the Santini Redux Women's Stamina Short Sleeve Jersey (now £150).
It's loosely comparable on performance and price with the CHPT3 Most Days Women's Performance Jersey (now £89, down from £95) and the Nopinz Pro-1 Jersey, which has gone up to £89.99 since Anna tested it, still £10 less than the Specialized.
The Gore Curve Jersey is also comparable, and again a bit cheaper at £89.99.
But for a premium jersey, made from lovely soft fabric that does a great job of keeping the skin comfortably cool and dry, while also managing to look good and wash well, the Specialized jersey isn't bad value for money. It's high quality, and if it's within your budget, worth the high price tag.
Well made and stylish with superb performance – worth the price if your budget allows
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Women's Prime Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Specialized says: "The perfect apparel for the perfect ride, that's what our Prime Series is all about. The best fabrics, constructions, and technologies go into these pieces, and the Women's Prime Short Sleeve Jersey is no exception.
Starting with the fabric, it's been specifically designed to help regulate your body temperature when the mercury starts to rise''yeah, you'll feel the cooling the first time you touch it''making those toasty days in the saddle more enjoyable.
Furthering the cooling potential, it features a VISLON® zipper that's super easy to zip and unzip for hot climbs and cool descents.
Finally, it features three main back pockets plus a zippered one to store all your snacks and essentials that are sure to keep you going all day."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From the label:
85% nylon/15% elastane main fabric
90% polyester/10% elastane mesh fabric underarm panels
VISLON full-length zipper
3 rear pockets and 1 zipped pocket
Silicone gripper at hem
Double cuffed soft sleeve openings
Available in sizes XS-XL
Machine washable at 30
From the website:
Three standard pockets provide ample space for all your ride essentials.
Full-length front zipper to manage ventilation easily.
Fabric Content: MAIN: 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane - OTHER: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane.
Beautifully finished and made from exceptionally high-quality fabric and components.
Comfortable and a pleasure to wear.
Despite the fabric feeling soft and silky, it's not overly fragile to snagging and wears and washes very well.
The weight of the fabric means the contoured sleek fit doesn't look overly shrink-wrapped, but it sits nice and close to the body to enable the fabric to do its moisture wicking job. Torso length is pretty average and the sleeves generous but not over long.
Sized as per the charts on the Specialized website. It's a shame the range of sizes only caters to XS to XL, though, the upper end topping out at a high street 14-16.
Light and rolls up small in a bag if you're taking it away somewhere.
Very comfortable indeed.
It's far from cheap, but the quality of the fabric and performance, as well as the style and comfort, make it worth the money if your budget stretches that far. It should last too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed very well and easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The looks and style, the soft non-grippy sleeves, the overall fit and the comfort and performance of the silky soft fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only the price. If pressed, a brighter colour would be a nice option too.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This sits towards the upper end of the price spectrum for a short-sleeved jersey, even if it's far from being as expensive as the likes of the 7mesh Skyline Jersey at £200 or the Santini Redux Women's Stamina Short Sleeve Jersey (now £150). It's loosely comparable on performance and price with the CHPT3 Most Days Women's Performance Jersey (now £89) and the Nopinz Pro-1 Jersey which is £10 less at £89.99. The Gore Curve Jersey is also comparable, and also £89.99. For a premium jersey, made from lovely soft fabric that does a great job of keeping the skin comfortably cool and dry, while also managing to look good and wash well, the Specialized jersey isn't bad value for money.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely, or asking for it as a gift.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It fulfils its role of being a high-performance jersey admirably, at a price that's high but well below some top-end offerings. It's nicely styled, well made, uses beautiful quality fabrics and components and, most importantly, it does a great job of keeping you comfortable, dry and a stable temperature. It's excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.