I’ve always regarded Assos as the firm to beat in producing high quality, practical and stylish cycling kit. Then along came Cervo Rosso. I have already reviewed their long sleeve sportswool jersey and mk1 bibshorts in extemely favourable terms but wondered how the short sleeve lycra jersey could improve on my favourite Assos Uno jerseys. I was delighted to receive a package from Switzerland which enabled me to find out.
The National Pride Short Sleeve Jersey continues the red white and black theme with Cervo Rosso’s usual aplomb.
The brand name is written across the chest and back in black lettering on a white band. The red deer ( or cervo rosso) motif is featured on the chest and arms and the red collar and cuffs feature a lower case ‘cervo rosso’ in white. In this instance I’m temporarily Belgian ( was Australian with the long sleeve jersey), so the left cuff features red, yellow and black Belgian stripes. The over all effect is clean and smart with a nod towards retro design without looking self consciously old fashioned.
Cervo Rosso describe the construction of the jersey in the following terms:
‘This jersey is designed to optimally support you during high intensity and longer duration rides. Made from the MITI TECH POWER, the Short Sleeve National Pride incudes a Lycra SPORT front panel that gives the jersey an exceptional body fit cut and feel, whilst the rear portion of the jersey utilises a cross construction of polyester that provides exceptional vertical moisture transportation capacity. This simply means that the jersey remains dry and ensures low moisture retention.
Additionally our choice of the rear Polyester fabric, provides exceptional lateral stretch enabling the jersey to be highly elastic whilst minimizing vertical stretch that leaves most jerseys sagging through the lower pocket region.’
In practice this means that the jersey fits perfectly. The front panel is wonderfully soft to the touch and fits snugly (for better or worse) over the torso. I wore the jersey on the recent Drumlanrig sportive and stuffed the rear pockets with the usual assortment of essentials (gels, energy bars, pump etc).
One feature that I really like is the use of silicone dots on the sleeves which helps to keep them in place. It also kept my arm warmers from slipping down. This is an example of real attention to detail. These also feature on the hem and stop the jersey from riding up.
I was particularly pleased to find that the jersey has a robust zip . The zips on my two Assos Uno jerseys can be a little temperamental . Possibly in the interests of style, like a lot of manufacturers , Assos opted for a very thin and lightweight fastener which compromises performance particularly for one handed use. The Cervo Rosso zip is substantial and works perfectly with one hand. Because it is white and fits in with the other colours on the jersey there are no aesthetic penalties.
What is it like to wear?
This feels very much like a race jersey. By contrast the Assos Uno feels constricting and the fabric coarse when first put on, while the Cervo Rosso jersey immediately feels like a second skin. Rather like the shorts, it tends to be forgotten about once you start riding.
It wicks moisture away very effectively and is supremely comfortable. I rode the Drumlanrig Challenge in full Cervo Rosso kit and felt comfortable throughout the day. The understated style did wonders for my morale and gave me a psychological boost. At 54 I need all the help I can get!
I have worn the jersey regularly over the last month or so and have washed it after each ride with no ill effects. The pockets have been filled to capacity and seem to be coping happily with this abuse. It is made from considerably lighter fabrics than the Assos Uno so there is the thought in the back of the mind that it might not have the same long term durability, but there is no evidence at present to support that contention. On the other hand, the zip appears to be of a much higher quality and I would expect it to last much longer than the rather flimsy item on the Assos garment.
This is a supremely comfortable and stylish jersey. I was very impressed by the bibshorts and long sleeve sportswool jersey and this is an equally successful design. I am torn between naming the bibshorts or the short sleeve jersey as my favourite items in the range. Fortunately, I can wear both!