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review

Sportful Pro Bra

7
£60.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Light and breathable with thin, comfy cushioning, but only gentle support – and the narrow straps dig in
Light
Good cushioning
Very breathable
Nipple visibility
Small range of sizes
Rough and narrow straps
Itchy labels
Weight: 
50g

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Sportful's Pro Bra is designed to perform in cycling positions and provide light support for road riding. With impressive moisture management, this lightweight bra is a go-to for intense efforts. The cushioning at the front will keep you comfy for miles and miles, but the narrow mesh shoulder straps could be improved.

The Pro Bra is made from a double-layer fabric. The front is slightly padded so it provides a cushioning feel, while not being too bulky. This makes it light and comfortable, but as it's not very thick so there's a good chance of nipple visibility.

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At the back there's a mesh panel. This provides good breathability and proves impressively quick wicking.

The shoulder straps are a combination of the mesh back that continues over the top of the shoulder, and the soft stretchy material from the front.

2021 Sportful Pro Bra 2.jpg

These straps narrow up top to just under 3cm. Pressure is not very evenly dispersed, and the mesh has a rough texture that's not so pleasant with bib straps pressing down on top.

Sizing

There are only three sizes – small, medium or large. With a chest measurement of 88cm I went for a medium based on Sportful's size guide; the small is for 84cm, and the medium for 89cm. Having previously experienced issues with racerback styles cutting narrow around my neck, I opted for medium.

Sizing up or down when you're between sizes can help tailor the compression: size up for a more relaxed fit that's not as supportive, down for guaranteed support, but a potentially slightly restrictive feel.

As I sized up the support is a touch lighter than ideal, but the rest of the fit is spot on. The racerback design doesn't cut too narrow around the neck, and it isn't too tight round the sides. The bra also runs nice and low below the shoulder blades.

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An elasticated underbust band holds things in place well – it's secure and doesn't leave any marks. It's wider than most at 4cm, meaning it holds you tight without pinching. What really impresses is how quickly it wicks sweat compared to others – even gunning it inside on the turbo, moisture management is very good.

Support

The Pro Bra provides light support that's suitable for all intensities of road riding. But for greater abuse off-road, I wouldn't pick out this bra – the support is not quite enough for me. For you, the balance between a good all-round fit and compression may mean it's fine, but with a small range of sizes – and a fine line between support and tightness elsewhere – it's not so likely.

I tested Sportful's bra in white. It's very useful having a white option as some cycling jerseys are slightly see-through (both cheaper ones and more expensive mesh options), and white helps. It also comes in wine red, blue sea/cement as well as black/anthracite.

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Four-needle stitching has been used throughout for ensuring all round comfort, but care instructions are not printed onto the bra so the scratchy label needs to be cut off prior to use.

Value

Sportful's Pro Bra retails at £60. There are cheaper cycling-specific options out there, such as Cafe du Cycliste's comfortable and well-made Rosalie Bra (£44), but Sportful's offering is not alone at its price.

Le Col's similar racerback Pro Seamless Cycling Bra is also £60, for instance, and while the Le Col's padding is bulkier, it can be removed. Velocio's Women's Luxe Bra is slightly cheaper at £56 meanwhile, and its bib-like shoulder straps are a much more comfy option. On the other hand, the Velocio band isn't as effective at wicking away sweat.

Overall

Sportful's Pro Bra is breathable and quick-drying, making it a great three-season option for road use. The cut is secure yet not too tight, but as it is available in only three sizes you may find it difficult finding a fit. If gentle support is all you require, this is a solid, lightweight choice that I found covers all intensities.

Verdict

Light and breathable with thin, comfy cushioning, but only gentle support – and the narrow straps dig in

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Sportful Pro Bra

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Sportful says: "For women who want a supportive sports bra designed to perform best in the cycling position, ensuring breathability and quick drying."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Sportful lists:

Targeted perforations for breathability and moisture management

4-needle stitching for maximum comfort in sensitive areas

Elastic underbust band with high level of sweat absorption

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Very good. The cut is not too narrow around the shoulders or at the sides. The lower band is also secure without being restrictive.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

As expected.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Lightweight option.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10

Soft cushioning at the front is very nice, but the mesh shoulder straps are narrow and dig in.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No problems washing as instructed, but I had to cut off the wash label as it was irritating.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Provides good light support for all sorts of road efforts, and breathability is excellent. It doesn't support me well enough for off-road riding, though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Wide lower band is secure and wicks better than most; white works with slightly see-through jerseys.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Rough, narrow mesh shoulder straps.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

There are quite a few options around the £60 mark, including Le Col's Pro Seamless Cycling bra and Velocio's Women's Luxe Bra. But you can pay less and still get quality and comfort, such as with Cafe du Cycliste's Rosalie Bra at £44.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – but for road only

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This really impresses with its breathable and quick-drying qualities, and the cut is secure but not restrictive. However the mesh shoulder straps are narrow and dig in, while the size range is narrow, making it hard to find the right balance between fit and support. This bra is a great choice for road riding, if not supportive enough for rough off-road terrain – overall it's still good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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