Looking for your next cycling jersey?
Whether you’re lining up for a big race or simply tackling a mountain workout over a hot weekend, you need a top-performing jersey to wear, especially in the summer months.
Sure, summer riding is more popular than cold-weather riding, but it does come with its own share of problems, especially body temperature control, moisture management, and UV protection. That’s why you need a great summer-riding jersey that is up to the task.
There are almost too many jersey brands and designs to pick from these days, though, so we’ve shortlisted some of our favorites.
A Quick Glance : Our Favorite Cycling Jerseys
Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey
Designed with race day in mind, the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey is an aero-efficient jersey now in its sixth generation.
The jersey features a 3D mesh back for great breathability, elbow-length stretchy sleeves, and a really nice drop tail pocket that’s practical for storage while keeping the jersey fitting well at the waist.
The product engineers at the Italian cycling brand have made steady improvements to this chic jersey over the years, diving deep into the most technical of details.
When it comes to pricing, the Castelli Free Zero Race 6.0 runs on the higher-end, but it’s one of the best in its class.
dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Jersey 3.0
Built for top-speed racing, dhb’s third iteration of its popular Aeron LAB Raceline Jersey is a great second skin for the price.
This wind-tunnel-tested jersey is as aerodynamic as a jersey can get. It features three pockets, a Vislon zipper, raw-cut sleeves, and a low neckline for that aggressive race position.
The latest generation of this jersey is made of a superlight eaves fabric that stretches across the jersey for ultimate airflow.
Some cyclists have said the dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Jersey feels a little short in the front and on the sides, but the consensus is that it delivers on race day.
Velocio Radiator Mesh Jersey
If you ride in a climate where hot temperatures and high humidity is the norm in the summer, the Velocio Radiator Mesh Jersey is definitely worth checking out.
The folks at Velocio actually designed this jersey for the hottest of days when you need to tackle those mid-summer climbs. The Delta fabric it uses cools you down like a radiator. And the recycled fabric used on the sleeve and back is not only lightweight but also features UPF30 sun protection.
For a tight-fitting second skin, many cyclists have agreed the fit of the jersey is quite comfortable.
Le Col Pro Air Nexus Jersey
The Le Col Pro Air Nexus Jersey is extremely lightweight, breathable, and aerodynamic.
But the first thing you’re going to notice is the awesome design. Simply put, this jersey is a stunning work of art.
Of course, looks aren’t everything. And this jersey certainly performs in race day environments thanks to its 3D mesh construction, which does a great job at managing moisture and regulating temperatures throughout your entire ride.
A nice feature is the fourth hidden waterproof pocket, where you can store any valuables you need to take on your ride. I really like the saffron and khaki color options on this Le Col jersey.
Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey
A strong-performing racing jersey, the Rapha Pro Team Flyweight jersey delivers excellent moisture management and a comfortable fit for a second skin.
This jersey was really designed for those hot days, where the wrong jersey could cause irritation once you start sweating.
Rapha’s jersey uses two main fabrics that help with its performance and comfort. The main fabric is a blend of 86% polyester and 14% nylon, which is super lightweight and offers great ventilation and aerodynamics.
The back of the jersey is an alternative polyester fabric that also provides UPF 40 sun protection.
Sportful Bodyfit Pro Light Jersey
If temperature management is your top priority in a summer jersey, the Sportful Bodyfit Pro Light Jersey is one of the best at keeping you cool on the longest of hot rides. The lightweight fabrics it uses are great at wicking away moisture, all while feeling very soft against your skin.
In terms of comfort, the highly elastic material on the shoulders has a lot of flexibility, which prevents bunching around that area and keeps the rest of the jersey in place as you switch between riding positions.
The laser-cut sleeve cuffs are also quite comfortable and should eliminate any irritation or pinching.
Assos Equipe RS Aero Jersey
There’s plenty to like about the Assos Equipe RS Aero Jersey, from its miniCheck Tex 3D knit fabric, which is great for breathability, to its built-in odor control feature, which leaves you feeling fresh after a long ride.
The Swiss company has a reputation for high-quality products, which is reflected in the jersey’s high price tag. But the features of this jersey make it a go-to purchase, especially in race-day situations.
This jersey does a great job at regulating temperatures thanks to the stabilizer material on the back, which essentially creates a cooling panel.
Gore Wear C7 Race Jersey
Developed in collaboration with champion cyclist Fabian Cancellara, the Gore Wear C7 Jersey is an extremely technical summer jersey that’s as comfortable as it is aerodynamic.
This is the jersey you buy for those super-long rides in hot temperatures. Moisture transfer is very quick and effective, keeping you cool the whole way.
But this jersey is also about speed and performance. Lie-flat seams on the sleeves and gripper elastic at the waist keep everything in place, even if you’re moving around a lot on your ride.
That stability also allows you to pull the zipper and up and down with one hand while you continue your ride.
Maap Flare Pro Fit Jersey
Slim-fitting and quite aerodynamic, the Maap Flare Pro Fit Jersey might be too tight for some, but it boasts great moisture management capabilities that certainly keeps you cool on your long rides.
You don’t have to worry about this jersey riding up on you during a ride, thanks to its internal silicone print which keeps everything in place.
If you’re looking for a summer jersey that looks great, the Maap Flare Pro Fit Jersey features a couple of different beautiful designs to choose from that will make you stand out on the road.
Endura Pro SL Short-Sleeve Jersey 2
The Endura Pro SL Short-Sleeve Jersey 2 is a pro-style summer jersey with a much more affordable price tag.
Made of premium Italian Lycra, this jersey hugs nicely around your body and can rapidly wick sweat to keep you dry on your long ride. The silicone grippers on the raw-edge sleeves do a good job of keeping the jersey in place, so you don’t need to worry about any skin irritation.
The full-length zipper is great for additional ventilation and can be unzipped using one hand on your ride.
Santini Redux Genio Jersey
A beautifully designed piece of apparel for summer riding, the Santini Redux Genio Jersey is perfect for those super-tough mountain climbs in hot temperatures.
After the design, you’ll notice how roomy the pockets are, allowing you to easily store a larger smartphone without the worry of things bouncing around. Like most race day jerseys, Santini’s jersey features great aerodynamics, allowing you to focus on your ride and not the wind in your face.
It’s all about temperature management with this jersey thanks to its blend of synthetic fabrics. It’s going to keep you cool and dry when you’re climbing, but comfortable as you catch a downhill breeze.
Specialized SL Air Jersey
Comfort is the top feature of the Specialized SL Air Jersey.
That’s mostly attributed to the jersey’s VaporRize mesh fabric. It does an incredible job of wicking away moisture from the skin, but also being very breathable so you don’t overheat.
The rear pockets are great for snacks and accessories and also feature a zipper, which is nice to have for storing a smartphone without worry. And then these jerseys are very lightweight. So lightweight, that you may forget they’re even on.
At the end of your ride, easily unzip the full-length zipper for additional ventilation.
Cycling Jerseys Buying Guide & Tips
Finding that perfect cycling jersey for the summer months isn’t always as easy as picking the one that simply looks the best.
It’s always a good idea to do a little research in order to make the best-informed purchase, especially when you’re going to spend more than $100 on that single piece of apparel.
Here’s what you should know before pulling the trigger on a cycling jersey.
When it comes to cycling jersey materials, you’re going to see a few words describe these pieces of apparel; lightweight, breathable and comfortable. Obviously, that’s the goal of any cycling jersey designed for use in the hot summer months.
Engineers have worked hard to find that perfect blend of materials, which is why you’ll see several synthetic materials, like polyester, often combined with nylon due to its durability and weight.
These fabrics do a great job at wicking away moisture and regulating your body temperature, which is why these jerseys tend to be so expensive.
There really isn’t a perfect fabric material for a jersey, as long as it’s breathable and has enough flexibility.
When it comes to summer jerseys, there are two main fit types, even though one tends to dominate the other:
- Race/Aero Fit. These are often referred to as second skins because they fit tightly to the body in order to cut down on any flapping materials that could slow your ride down. A good example is the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey. While this fit is great for helping with speed, it’s also great at moisture management. Comfort and sizing is the main issue with race-fit jerseys. Brands are all over the place with sizing, so you may need to try a few to figure out which size works best for you.
- Relaxed Fit. These jerseys such as the Endura Pro SL are designed for the more casual cyclist who likes getting in a good workout but isn’t concerned about being as aerodynamic as possible. Think of the cyclists who end their rides at a brewery or coffee shop. That being said, relaxed fit jerseys can still be really lightweight and include fabrics that help with moisture management. You just won’t see cycling pros lining up on race day wearing a baggier jersey.
Cycling jerseys are more than just about performance. Design is also a critical element.
Let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to be lining up in a professional race, so we mine as well look good while we’re hitting the hills on the road.
The Le Col Pro Air Nexus Jersey and Velocio Radiator Mesh Jersey, for example, touts its breathability and lightweight-ness, but a big selling point is its intricate design that looks awesome while riding.
Of course, the design is all about personal preference. Any jersey on this list above performs great for the everyday cyclist, so make sure to pick one that offers a color and design to your liking.
Sleeves and Torso Length
Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to sleeves and torso length.
If you have a jersey with too short of sleeves, you’re going to feel some uncomfortable pinching in your armpits, which can ruin your ride. That’s why most sleeves end just above the elbow today, to ensure total comfort.
Jerseys more geared toward racing will have shorter torsos, which cuts down on pocket-size but helps with weight and aerodynamics. The less material there is, the smaller the chance it can flap in the wind.
Cycling jerseys also have to be practical, which really comes down to pockets.
Pretty much all cycling jerseys feature three pockets used to store snacks, keys, and a cellphone. But some jerseys, such as the Le Col Pro Air Nexus Jersey, include a fourth pocket that typically features a zipper and is waterproof.
When it comes to pockets, you can find snacks that easily fit into any size, but you need to look at your cell phone size, which likely comes with you on all rides.
Ensure the pocket is deep enough, such as the Santini Redux Genio Jersey, to cover your entire phone, which could be trickier if you use larger phones, like the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Smaller phone users shouldn’t have too difficult of a time finding a jersey with accommodating pockets.