What to look for in a mountain bike jersey

What to look for in a mountain bike jersey


Everyone knows sweat-wicking fabrics are good, but how fast a fabric dries after moving the moisture away from your skin is important too. Anything that stays soggy for too long will give you the chills once you start to cool down.

Antibacterial treatments are also a useful feature. Unfortunately, fabrics designed for excellence in transporting sweat can eventually start to smell. We’ve all been halfway into a ride and been overtaken by our own armpits – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You might also want to think about the weight of the material. Heavier fabrics give more protection but can be warm in the summer months. Lightweight, more open mesh is lighter and cooler but less durable.

Some jerseys combine several fabrics to bring together the benefits of each – a regular solid knit through the body, for example, with mesh inserts under the arms or down the sides, and more durable panels on the shoulders and sleeves to protect against pack rub.

Cut and seams

The cut may not seem as important on tops as on shorts because they tend to be more simply styled. But designs with shaped panels that follow the articulation of your arms and body tend to feel right as soon as you put them on and prove more comfortable on the bike too.

More basic styles often rely on stretchy fabric and a baggier cut to provide movement and more flexibility between sizes.

Once you’ve determined that the fit is right for you, get on a bike. Some jerseys feel terrible initially, but once you’re in the saddle they magically morph into the perfect shape and feel barely there.

Likewise, we’ve tried a few that look cool when standing in front of the mirror but come up short at the back, hang down in swathes at the front or are just generally uncomfortable once you start riding in them.

Finally, always look at the seams. If you’re going to wear a pack then flatlock seams are your best bet to avoid irritation and chafing because there’s nothing to rub or dig in. Raglan sleeves are also good because they’re cut in one piece with the shoulder, so there aren’t any seams at the point of pressure.