We tested the Flouro-Orange ‘Colour Block’ jersey, which we believe is ideal for winter riding, where safety is paramount and you want to be seen. It’s a body hugging race fit, so you’ll need to understand Italian sizing and stay away from the cakes if you want to look your best. Alternatively, just cycle lots of kilometres and you can have your cake and eat it! The fabric is a mid-weight thermal and elasticated technical polyester with plenty of stretch and strength, ensuring that you’ll look good if you put the miles in. The standard of finishing and stitching is truly superb and the garment oozes quality. Albeit that Alé say that this jersey isn’t designed for maximising wind-proofing, rather focusing on breathability, we found that it performed surprisingly well against the wind of the Yorkshire Dales, deliberately riding in it with a thin base layer to test the warmth and wind-proofing on stormy days.
It won’t keep the rain at bay, but Alé produce specific waterproof jackets for that purpose. The waist is held tight against you by a narrow elasticated and silicone lined hem, and the wrist cuffs are wide double lined material which utilise the elasticated properties of the fabric to stay in place and perform perfectly adequately. There’s a high cut and double thickness fabric collar to keep the neck warm and a full length super zipper. Those who know me will know that zippers are a pet thing for me. Far too often a good garment is let down by a cheap zipper and poor finishing. Alé are all about quality and they’ve ensured that all of the little things are well dealt with, including a good strong zipper.
The 3 rear pockets are deep and strong and stretchy, ensuring that you can fit lots on. On our rides they held things in place well and allowed easy access on the move. The whole cut of the jersey and the quality fabric means that whilst it’s super warm in temperatures just above zero (with the Alé carbon base layer underneath), movement is still easy and unrestricted. There’s a good choice of colour options too, but we certainly prefer the high vis option, which with the reflective strips along the edging of the rear pockets is spot on for being seen.
We’d have preferred a small zipped pocket, but it’s a small omission in the overall scale of the test. Branding is limited, subtle and stylish, as Alé let the technicity, performance and general design and fit of the Colour Block jersey sell itself. Ultimately, on both long all day rides and short spins it certainly fits the bill as a great all around winter jersey, that’ll keep you warm, has adequate wind proofing, is very breathable for a thermal fabric and is super stretchy to fit your race ready form. It’s also the sort of jersey that’ll do quite nicely on cold or chilly early spirng days and early autumn.
Yes, it’s a simple but effective all rounder that everyone should have in their cycling wardrobe. No, it does not have the waterproof protection that some may ask for, but it’s not designed for that. What it is designed for it does very well; keeping the cyclist warm and comfortable, but not being restrictive.
There’s a sense in the simplicity of the Alé Colour Block jersey and it’s priced just about right too, being a high quality winter jersey which we love.