Cervo Rosso: first impressions and first rides

Official Tester

Before I write any more I should declare an interest. I have been provided with the ‘Cervo Rosso‘ kit  free of charge as one of 10 international cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities. The kit has been supplied to us so that we can provide feedback to help in the further development of the  product line. Carlyle from Cervo Rosso has been adamant from the beginning that our assessments must be honest and balanced. It is in this spirit that I provide an early review.

Cervo Rosso is a Swiss company and all the kit is designed in Switzerland and manufactured in Europe. The jersey is made in the UK by ‘Shutt VR’  and the shorts are manufactured in Italy. It’s nice to see  a company producing quality clothing in Europe as this now seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

First impressions on opening the package were extremely positive. The overall design treads the thin line between contemporary and traditional and in my opinion carries this off very effectively. You can’t go wrong with red,white and black in my opinion and the Cervo Rosso kit is no exception. The National Pride jersey features an arm band in national colours. You will see from the picture that I am now an honorary Aussie.  ‘Cervo Rosso’ means red deer in Italian and the logo features a stag’s head.

The clincher for me is that the kit is a perfect match for my red white and black Hewitt bike.


The first thing I noticed with the shorts was the very different looking insert. This is grey and labelled HG70. It’s one I haven’t seen before and looks impressively technical. I was keen to try it.

When I first put on the shorts, my first thought was that the stitching above the leg grippers was a little tight, the grippers themselves felt spot on.  However, once the shorts were on, they immediately felt right, and my concerns were completely allayed. This was later confirmed when riding in them!

On the bike I was immediately won over. I’ve tried De Marchi and Gore and have worn Assos (both Uno S5 and Mille S5) for the last few years. After a number of rides, my initial feeling is that these are the best shorts I have worn. The fabric is light and supportive and the insert is comfortable and works unobtrusively. Usually with new shorts you are conscious of evaluating how they feel. As soon as I started riding, I forgot about them. The lycra is light and stretchy without feeling tight. The shorts hold everything in the right place and the padding is just where it should be. Sometimes the price you have to pay for that is tightness on the shoulder straps, but not on these!

The consensus down at the bike shop was that the shorts would look better without the blue on the thigh, and I know this is something that has been addressed in the latest version. I would be happy with either design.

It’s early days but these are likely to become my first choice shorts, relegating the Assos ones to back up duty. I never thought I would say that!


The jersey has long sleeves and is made of ‘Merino Perform’ which is a merino/ polyester mix. The styling is classic with subtle Cervo Rosso branding. It looks stunning. I found the fit appropriate for a long sleeve jersey, slightly looser than I would opt for with short sleeves, but perfect for layering  in cooler weather. Initially I had a slight concern about the length of the front.  However after several rides I realised that I was nitpicking.  In use the fit is spot on.  The other quibble is one that has already been addressed. My jersey is a Mark 1 model, and has a zipped centre pocket. I prefer an open one in which to store a race cape and pump. I understand that the latest version has three open pockets, combined with a zipped security pocket.

I’ve now worn the jersey several times in temperatures between 5 and 7  degrees.  Layered with a merino vest it has kept me warm, comfortable and perspiration free. The wonders of merino wool meant that even on Sunday’s very wet ride I returned home with at least my top half feeling warm dry and comfortable. I was amazed to find that the jersey was extremely wet when I removed it. Its wicking properties meant that it never felt that way.

The pockets stayed in place even when full. This is testament to the design and cut of the garment. In use this has proved to be a fine technical garment.

With the judicious use of different base layers it is likely to  be used for at least three seasons in the British climate.

I look forward to trying the new short sleeved jersey when the warmer weather arrives!


The cap fits well (even on my large head). Its simple styling goes well with the rest of the kit. I’ve washed it twice and it has emerged as good as new, which has not always been my experience with cycling caps

Early conclusions

I was very excited when asked to be a Cervo Rosso tester.  First impressions and early experience would suggest that not only is the kit very stylish, it is also extremely functional and comfortable. The fact that it is likely to relegate my Assos kit to second choice says it all.

30/3/11 Update

Still loving the kit. I wore the jersey on a very changeable day riding 82 miles through the Forest of Bowland on Sunday. Worn with a merino base layer it coped with raised body heat on climbs  and potential windchill on descents. It is on its way to being a must have piece of kit. It was too cool for the shorts on Sunday, but I wore them on shorter rides during the week and they remain as comfortable as ever.

3/4/11 Update

I wore an old pair of Assos Uno shorts under my winter leggings on Sunday! It emphasised how good the Cervo Rosso shorts are. I’ve always rated the Unos but the insert felt like a nappy after the more structured CR insert.

15/4/11 Update

Received my National Pride short sleeve jersey yesterday. I will write a proper review after I’ve worn it a few times. First impression is of high quality , great fit and classic styling. More to follow


About lakescyclist

I'm a cyclist and a lover of landscapes. I've walked, climbed and tried most ways to explore the varied upland landscapes of Britain, and latterly the continent.
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3 Responses to Cervo Rosso: first impressions and first rides

  1. adrian Yate says:

    Nick your 12″ shorter than me and got the same chest measurement Im glad the jersey is too long for you…… Didnt know you where a previous Oz champion though….

    • lakescyclist says:

      It’s raw power. It isn’t too long really, I think I was just nitpicking. The Assos jerseys are cut very short at the front.I’ve found it very comfortable over the last few rides.
      re the Aussie bands,
      I’m going to take on the Robbie McEwan persona and start headbutting anyone who rides too close!

  2. Cervo Rosso says:

    Adrian, we will adopt Nick based on his passion for the bike alone!

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