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The Van Rysel Women's Long-Sleeve Road Cycling Jersey is an excellent choice for cooler days, performing beyond its low price tag. Form-fitting for fast road cycling, its comfort and mid-weight warmth make it a great everyday go-to.
This long-sleeved jersey from Decathlon's 'pro' range is made of lightweight polyester with a brushed interior for comfort. This means it's really soft when worn without a baselayer, and this is accentuated by the protective zip baffle which runs the length of the zip.
It seems a little odd, though, that with this attention to comfort a zip garage isn't included. Although the neck is cutaway rather than being high all the way around the collar, the equivalent short-sleeved jersey in this range boasts a zip garage.
Speaking of the neckline, some people might prefer a higher neck in a long-sleeved jersey, but I found the design comfortable and unobtrusive.
The Van Rysel is stretchy and form fitting, offering good (probably) aerodynamics in the saddle. The arms and rear drop are long, in fact the sleeves of my XL test jersey brushed my knuckles, so this might suit taller riders well. Although the Van Rysel doesn't have a gripper at the hem, the length at the rear stopped this from really being a major issue for me.
It's not windproof, but it comfortably layered under or over other kit to match most conditions on cooler days as it's light and flexible.
If you've seen my review of this jersey's short-sleeved sister you'll have noted that I raved about the seven (count 'em!) pockets, and this jersey boasts exactly the same setup, with three standard back pockets, two additional zipped pockets and two 'bin' pockets which sit further round the body under the arms.
I put these to full use, with my large smartphone fitting easily into the middle pocket, although it isn't waterproof so any showers would need a rethink unless, like mine, your phone is itself waterproof. I stuffed used tissues into the bin pockets, and keys and money zipped into the two side pockets, and a snack in the extra back pockets.
The Van Rysel comes in this dark petrol blue colour – or is it deep emerald green? Decathlon can't seem to make its mind up – an unusual ochre orange and a 'fluo' lime. There's a single short strip of reflective material on all three; it's better than nothing but doesn't give a lot of additional visibility; you'd not want to rely on it to be seen on darker mornings.
Available in sizes to fit riders from a 6 to a 22, this is an inclusive brand, but do be aware that the street-sizing for the tops does not match that for the shorts. The XL fitted me well as a street size 18, which was in line with the size chart for tops.
The closest competitors to the Van Rysel are probably dhb's £35 long-sleeved jersey and Altura's £50 Airstream, though that has thermal properties for cooler weather. We haven't reviewed either of those, though Emma did test the short sleeve Airstream last year, and wasn't overly impressed with the pocket position, and Steve tested the men's version of the dhb – and likewise had an issue with the pockets.
Overall, I liked this jersey a lot, and there are few others available at this price that cater for a more race fit for women. With comfort touches like the full-length zip baffle and the multitude of pockets, it easily holds its own against bigger named brands.
Great mid-weight choice and good value, recommended for daily riding in cooler conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Van Rysel Women's Long-Sleeve Road Cycling Jersey
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Decathlon says, "Designed for all the times when your short-sleeved jersey feels too light, our engineers created this jersey to keep you warm in cool weather.
Morning chills, warming up, going downhill... there are many times you'll feel the need to slip on our long-sleeved jersey. And you'll never lack for comfort!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The website states:
Brushed interior for good protection from the cold.
2 zip pockets and 3 non-zip pockets at the back 2 side trash pockets.
Stretch fabric for greater comfort and freedom of movement when cycling.
Several loose thread ends, although several washes in none has yet progressed to a hole.
A solid jersey that does what it needs to do.
The loose thread ends haven't led to any issues, and the fabric thickness helps this jersey to keep its shape during use and after washing.
The fit was fine but not outstanding. The bottom elastic doesn't hold in particularly tight.
I'm a street size 18 and the XL fitted well. Sizes XS to 2XL are available (approximately size 4-6 through to size 20-22) – but note that the size/street size equivalents are different for tops and bottoms within this range.
Doesn't feel heavy in use.
The soft brushed interior is comfy but the lack of a zip garage is a shame, given that other tops in the range have this feature.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It washed well at 30 degrees, with no pilling over time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for cooler mornings on its own or over a short-sleeved jersey during warm-ups.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I loved the colour and the number of pockets (seven!).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Little details like the lack of a zip garage or bottom hem gripper.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The closest competitors to the Van Rysel are probably dhb's £35 long-sleeved jersey and Altura's £50 Airstream, neither of which we have tested, though we have reviewed the short sleeve Airstream and the men's dhb (neither did well on the pocket front). The Van Rysel also offers a more race fit than these two, so a comparison isn't easy.
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
For not a lot of money, the Van Rysel long-sleeved jersey is a great mid-weight top, and comfortable to ride in.
About the tester
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure