Castelli Alpha Full Zip Wind Jersey – Black – £152.64
You can buy this from Wiggle now for £129.99 which is a steal…
This was my first foray into very expensive cycling clothing, it was scary. Over £150 on a jersey seems like madness but I wanted to get something that would keep me warm and I only needed one so I thought I would give it a go. And I’m delighted I did.
I’m a fatty, namely XXXL in Castelli, but the jersey fitted well. Nice and tight so nothing flapping around and room for a thin base layer underneath. You will only need a thin base layer as the jersey is warm.
You get a long sleeve jersey made from Windstopper fabric with a sewn in front base layer that protects you from the wind as you cycle forward. When you have the base layer zipped up you can open the external zip if you come warm and close it up when it chills off. A great little design. The rear of the jersey is made from the same material but there is no extra layer here so your back can keep cool.
On the front there is a little zip pocket. Can’t say that I will use it but it’s nice for your change or a key. Three big pockets are to be found at the rear with a little compartment in the right one for keys but no zip.
The back of the jersey is slightly longer that normal to keep you snug and the collar zips up right round your neck, again, keeping the wind out and the warm in.
It’s not branded as a waterproof jersey but I did use it in the rain and it kept the showers out fine. In heavier storms you may need a rain jacket but for the odd bit of drizzle it was more than adequate.
So, temperature. I have been out twice in this jersey, once in 11 degrees and the other on a really windy and wet day at 6 degrees. 11 degrees with no base layer I found the jersey really warm, I had the zip down halfway to let some cold air in. The second ride I used a light short sleeved base layer and found with the jersey zipped up I felt no chill from the wind of rain.
It really seems like this jersey is a great utility choice. Cheaper than a Gabba, maybe a bit warmer too, but when coupled with a base layer can easily be used down to freezing but you can ride around in much warmer temperatures and be comfortable.
Was it worth £150? I think it is. You can scrap the need for a cycling jacket, head out in this with a little rain gilet and you are good for pretty much all of the November weather.