The warm, bright and comfortable Triban RC 500 Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey is a great option for winter riding. Coming in at just under £35, it offers plenty of bang for buck with its soft fleece lining, good quality build, and more pockets than you possibly thought you needed. The waistband could be tighter, but that’s a minor (and subjective) point considering the price.
Pros: Price, soft inner, extra pockets
Cons: The waistband could be a little tighter
The 85% polyester and 15% elasthane combination has created a supersoft and surprisingly warm outfit. On milder days it can get a little too warm – the ventilated areas under the arms and on the back aren’t quite enough to prevent you sweating – but on bitterly cold mornings it’s perfect for keeping you at a comfortable temperature.
The sleeve cuffs fit comfortably close without too much pressure; they’re elasticated enough to go over gloves or under depending on how tight the gloves are. There’s no silicone gripper to keep the cuffs in place, but I found the sleeves a good length when on the bike and there was no tendency to move up.
The waistband doesn’t have gripper either and, for me, could do with being a little tighter to hold its position when there’s nothing in your pockets to weigh it down. Having said that, a little added winter body weight might do the job too…
Although the waistband is a little loose on me, the main body of fabric, especially in the upper half, fits well – tighter but allowing full movement.
An extra ‘waste pocket’ is a nice addition to the spacious standard three rear pockets. Positioned on the right hip, it gives you somewhere to put your empty energy bar and gel wrappers, so no dropped litter when reaching for your next snack.
There’s also a zipped water-repellent compartment on the central pocket for your phone or valuables, although it’ll struggle to fit some of today’s larger mobiles. All in, there’s plenty of space for your snacks and extra clothing for long winter rides.
On the whole, the jersey washed relatively well. On occasion when worn during a cyclo-cross warm-up, a normal wash struggled to get the mud out, but with a bit of care and a handwash it would come up clean enough.
You’ll be highly visible in the fluoro lime yellow with charcoal grey panels on those dark evening commutes, but if you’re not a fan there are other colour choices: navy and grey, navy and teal blue and, lastly, plain black.
As with much of the Decathlon Triban range, the RC 500 long sleeve jersey comes in at a great price. One of the few items we’ve tested at a remotely similar price is its cheaper sibling, the Triban RC 100, while for just another £15 you could go merino with the Triban Merino Bike Touring Jersey.
dhb’s thermal long sleeve jersey (link is external) is the same price as the RC 500 – but you can pay a lot more.
You also get a two-year guarantee, although it only covers manufacturing defects – ‘fair wear and tear’ and ‘accident damage’ are just a few of the exclusions.
If you’re going to be covering some big winter miles, whether as a weekend warrior or late evening commuter, the great value for money Triban RC 500 long sleeve jersey will stand you in good stead.