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The Universal Colours Spectrum Long Sleeve Jersey is very comfortable, and provides excellent warmth and wind protection. It has a cropped race fit and sizes up small – so it's worth double-checking the size guide.
The recommended temperature range is from 3°C to 12°C. I found it good for a bit colder than 3°C, and I wore it at 5°C with just a thin baselayer during one short, sharp ride and I felt fine.
On deep winter days of below 3°C it was too warm to pair with my winter jacket, so I'd pair it with a merino baselayer and a windproof gilet or a waterproof shell if it was wet.
I haven't had the opportunity to wear it near 12°C but I think it would be too warm unless it was an easy ride.
And if you are on the lookout for a jersey like this, it's worth checking out our best winter cycling jerseys buyer's guide.
The jersey has good green credentials and is made from 86% recycled polyester and 14% elastane, and the thermal fleecy material feels luxurious and comfortable against your skin. I have worn it on a variety of rides, including rides up to four hours, and found it comfortable throughout.
The jersey has a good balance between breathability and windproofing. It held off freezing cold winds on descents while not getting too hot on climbs. It also has a DWR – durable water repellent – coating to help keep out light rain and road spray.
The jersey has a cropped fit and is designed to be a close-fitting jersey. I certainly found it a very snug fit but with just enough room for a baselayer. As you'd expect, the fit is optimised for on-the-bike comfort and once in the saddle it felt really comfortable.
The sleeves are a good length to meet your gloves to protect your wrists from the elements.
It is a little shorter than other winter jerseys I have worn. However, there was no risk of stomach exposure off the bike, especially as I'd wear this with thermal shorts or tights that tend to have slightly higher fronts.
There's also a good gripper in place to ensure it doesn't ride up.
The Spectrum comes in seven sizes from XS-3XL. Universal Colours does recommend sizing up with this jersey and I would definitely agree. I tested the medium, which is my usual size, and while it was okay, I'd have preferred the large, perhaps even the XL. And as I'm 178cm and 73kg that's something I would never have normally considered.
The measurements on the size guide are on the smaller side compared to other brands, so I'd double-check before ordering, and you may even want to consider going two sizes up.
At the back there are the usual three pockets. The middle pocket is slightly larger, which I found useful. Given recent mixed weather I'd always have a waterproof in my pocket and the larger pocket made this easy.
There is a small, zipped valuables pocket, but as is often the case, while it is big enough for your keys and cards, it's not big enough for a modern smartphone.
There is a zip garage to ensure the YKK zipper doesn't cause any irritation.
The quality of the jersey is excellent, I wore this on numerous occasions during testing in variable weather conditions and it still looks as good as new. It came up clean even after getting very muddy because of my poor route planning.
I tested the 'green grid' jersey, I was a little sceptical of the design at first, but it does look better when you're wearing it than it does in the pictures. It also comes in 'orange blur'.
The £140 price isn't exactly cheap for a long-sleeve jersey – though if you buy it from the Universal Colours website, you do get a free pair of merino socks.
That said, you can get a high-quality jersey for much less, such as the £54.99 Van Rysel Men’s Mid-Season Long-Sleeved Road Cycling Jersey Race that Shaun rated very highly.
Overall, this is a very good thermal jersey. It is warm, comfortable and provides great protection from the wind and light rain.
It does size up very small, though, so be careful with the sizing.
Very comfortable and warm thermal jersey with a race fit, but sizes up very small
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Universal Colours Spectrum Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Universal Colours says:
"Ideally worn over a thin base layer or layered up with a gilet or jacket for true winter conditions, the striking Spectrum Long Sleeve Jersey is both comfortable and stylish. The Italian nylon has a brushed back for insulation and a super soft feel, and it's stretchy to allow full freedom of movement despite the close fit. A PFC-free DWR coating helps repel light rain and road spray. Both the puller and tape of the zipper are made from recycled materials and the garment is OEKO-TEX® certified to ensure no harmful substances are used or present. "
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Univeral Colours says:
"Stretchy and thermal PFC-free DWR coating to repel light rain and road spray
Elastic hem gripper made with recycled nylon
Three rear pockets, plus an additional zipped waterproof pocket
Recommended temperature range: 3-12°C"
It sizes up very small. I'm 178cm and 73kg and I think I'd have been more comfortable two sizes up in the XL.
The material feels really comfortable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30°C with no issues, came out looking new, even after some pretty muddy winter riding.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great, kept me warm on some cold days. Protects well against the wind and light rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The jersey was really warm, and the fleecy material on the inside felt luxurious and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing – while the size guide does say to size up, I think you may even want to consider two sizes up.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The £140 price isn't cheap for a long-sleeve jersey – but you can pay more.
The MAAP Force Pro Winter LS Jersey received a good review from Jamie but struggled to justify the £160 price tag.
Iwein liked the 7Mesh Seton Jersey but at £170 it is £30 more expensive than the Universal Colours.
That said, you can get a high-quality jersey for less, such as the £54.99 Van Rysel Road Cycling Mid-Season LS Jersey Racer, which Shaun rated very highly.
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
Overall, the Spectrum is a great thermal jersey. It kept me warm when the temperature dropped and coped well with the wind and light rain.
The sizing is on the very small size, I'd say you may even want to consider two sizes up from your usual size.
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