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how much difference does jersey quality make?

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how much difference does jersey quality make?

Old 01-29-12, 08:59 PM
  #1  
profjmb
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how much difference does jersey quality make?

I've learned that bib/short quality makes a big difference. But almost all my jerseys were purchased cheap on ebay, and I don't see a difference between them. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten anything especially good (or bad). For example, Capo has the Padrone jersey (short or long sleeved) at the top of its line, and the Riserva jersey (short and long) below it. (I don't have either jersey btw.) I'm sure the Padrone is better, but in what way and how much does it really matter? And does it matter enough to justify about a $70 increase in the short sleeve and over $100 in the long sleeve?
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Old 01-29-12, 09:07 PM
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JustinHorne
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I think it's a lot like bikes. A $700 vs a $2500 bike is a pretty big jump, but a $2500 to $7500 jump DOES improve quality, but it's a lot less quantifiable. In the same way, I've found that $80 jerseys are fantastic, and $40 jerseys kinda suck. I can't afford to buy a $200 jersey, but from the ones I've seen in person, they're really nice, but probably not worth the jump in cost.
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Old 01-29-12, 09:07 PM
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Check out bonktown.com. You can get some nice jerseys for $40 or so.
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Old 01-29-12, 09:07 PM
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The same than with the bibs, cheap stuff fits very bad sometimes but the main difference is that after 10 washes, the cheap ones look like old rags. I have had some castelli and santini stuff for years. U cant compare a top of the line italian garment with a 15 bucks performance one for example.
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Old 01-29-12, 09:20 PM
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The cheap ones hold their chain stains, the better ones let go of the black marks.
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Old 01-29-12, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by p2templin View Post
The cheap ones hold their chain stains, the better ones let go of the black marks.
I've got an Assos jersey with black marks. The extra cost didn't help.

IMO, the pockets on the least expensive jerseys sag more than higher priced jerseys.

Except for the one Assos mentioned above, all my jerseys are medium priced. They're the ones that are most popular with clubs and bike shops.
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Old 01-29-12, 10:38 PM
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If you are into buying $50 "tshirts" than perhaps you might find the $100+ jerseys to your liking. If you are still wearing Fruit of the Loom, then buying $25 sale jerseys at Performance/REI/Nashbar/etc will make you happy. Fit is probably more important than price. See the threads on washing bike clothing. Personally, I find shorts and chamois are more important because ones that don't work well can result in very uncomfortable rides. The jersey just..... sits there. I don't like carrying objects like keys or phones in the jersey in case I tumble off the bike (I fell over at 0mph a month ago when my chain came off while shifting). I have a small frame bag and a seat pack that hold my ride goodies. I prefer neon yellow/lime green to help make me stand out more from the background colors.
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Old 01-29-12, 10:47 PM
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Give me a well vented, quality garment, to ride under the summery sun.
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Old 01-29-12, 10:55 PM
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I found more expensive will fit me better, have slightly better zippers/pockets, and have better feel. However, it is subjective
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Old 01-30-12, 09:31 AM
  #10  
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Hard to generalize. Some inexpensive jerseys are pretty good and might fit you well. Some expensive ones have funky features and might not fit the way you like. High price doesn't guarantee it's going to work for you.
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Old 01-30-12, 09:44 AM
  #11  
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Yes, the quality of the jersey can make a difference. Jerseys will fit differently - Race Cut/Euro Cut vs. Club cut. Some people cannot fit into a Race/Euro jersey. Some people like jerseys tight, some like them loose. Some have very tight arms and can constrict in the arm pits. All this affects comfort over time.

Jersey length can be an issue. If a jersey is too long, once you throw stuff in the pockets, the jersey is hanging down over your butt - which is not comfortable.

Venting and breathability can be an issue in warm weather. Same goes for wind protection for a cold weather jersey.

So, while it is not as critical as having good bibs, a well fitting jersey is appreciated.
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Old 01-30-12, 09:51 AM
  #12  
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I picked up the BMC/Assos Squadra Mondo Jersey pack for about what a normal jersey would cost me and have been blown away by the quality of the jersey and the socks.

The fit on the jersey is great, there are 2-3 different fabrics used and the zippers feel solid. Would I ever go out and spend MSRP on an Assos jersey? Probably not

The socks on the other hand, I would pay retail for them in fact I will be picking up another pair or two for the spring. I used to scoff at $30-40 cycling socks but after wearing them, I see the light.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:00 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
Personally, I find shorts and chamois are more important because ones that don't work well can result in very uncomfortable rides.
^ agree with this here. i don't do a lot of cold-weather riding (not much cold weather here in Houston) so i got a "winter" jersey/bibs kit from a Chinese seller on ebay. the jersey is great, the bibs fit fine and keep my legs plenty warm, but the chamois was terrible. i actually ended up removing it entirely and just wear my regular cycling shorts under the longer bibs when it's cold enough outside to need them. i've only had to use them a handful of times this winter though, so it works for me and was within my budget.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:29 AM
  #14  
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My cheap $30 Voler jerseys have small tears in every back pocket, they are black and are so sun-faded on the back that they look like they are two-tone, and the front of two of them have splits at the zipper seam which causes the white zipper backing to poke through right at my belly button.

A year or so ago my wife bought me a couple of $90 Pearl Izumi jerseys because she was tired of looking at all the tears and fading on my Voler jerseys. THEY ARE AWESOME! No fading, no tears, they are smoother to the skin, they fit better, etc. I found myself only grabbing those two jerseys and was bummed when they both were in the wash and I had to grab a Voler.

Since then I have replaced all my jerseys with Pearl Izumi. I love going into my jersey drawer now.

That being said, the cheap Volers were fine for the first year and I'd recommend them to somebody that was a casual rider (once a week) or trying to figure out if they want to get into the sport. Not to knock Voler too badly because these were their cheapest jersey and they do make higher quality jerseys for a higher price. I have no experience with those, however.
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Old 01-30-12, 11:41 AM
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Go for quality every time,
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Old 01-30-12, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Go for quality every time,
Best thing I read today.
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Old 01-30-12, 03:18 PM
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I think the Louis Garneau and price range of that brands are all pretty good stuff. It is noticeable from some of my regular ride wear for training. With that said, I wouldn't spend the money on Assos stuff...ridiculously over priced, and I didn't feel any real difference from the other high end brands that cost less than half.

But there is a difference IMO from regular inexpensive no-name gear compared to the bigger brand names.
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Old 01-30-12, 03:38 PM
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It's kind of like beer. When you were in college you would drink anything, usually the cheap stuff, and it was fine. As you get older your tastes improve and you realize, life is too short to drink bad beer.

Jerseys are kind of the same. I have half a dozen old jerseys I just don't wear anymore.
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Old 01-30-12, 04:07 PM
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I have much better things to spend my money on than jerseys. Most of the time I use $15 Champion shirts from Target.

I'll spend a little more on base layers, gloves, bibs etc but I see no reason to fret over a shirt.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:31 PM
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I imagine jerseys are like suits, if you only a spend a few hours once a week in one, you won't notice the difference between a cheap one and the high-end model. Spend several hours everyday in one, and the differences become obvious.
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Old 01-30-12, 11:19 PM
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I ride in t-shirts, and I'm comfortable AND don't look like a cartoon superhero. There are six or eight jerseys in my drawer that haven't been out in years. Shorts and shoes make a difference, but at least to me, jerseys don't.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Go for quality every time,
What does that mean? That can be very subjective.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:21 AM
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For moisture-wicking purposes and staying cool, any performance shirt will do. Under Armor, Nike, Target brand...it's all made with the same stuff. With the jersey you get the same performance material but with pockets in the back. SO, depending on what you want your shirt to do (many cyclists don't even use the rear pockets) I wouldn't say the super expensive jerseys are worth it...BUT, some cheap jerseys are simply polyester and not designed for sport purposes. They are made to LOOK like jerseys, but are horrible to wear. Those I would avoid.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:31 AM
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I only own/ed four brands and I'd say...

Hincapie ($65) - Ehhh... It's alright, but the dimensions are all crazy. Don't really have an opinion on it. Don't wear it anymore.
Castelli ($30 on Bonktown) - It was ok. The material just felt really thin though. Not a good thin either. Pockets were TINY too. Got what I paid for it in this case.
Louis Garneu ($65ish) - Everything is good. The pockets are big, the cut is nice, pretty air-y and nothing really to complain about.
Craft ($100) - Race cut; Leopard Trek. Definitely worth the cost. The jersey is really tight, but not constricting. The graphics are clear. The different types of material in the jersey do what they're advertised for. The air-y material in the back really cools you down (I have to wear something underneath if it's below 65, works TOO well). The material everywhere else is silky, feels really good. The little details everywhere are great (like the zipper cover). Gripper on the bottom actually grips. Only complaint, the pockets are small. But it feels like it should be small so really a non-issue.

Above the Craft jersey, I don't really know of any way to make a jersey better. I think the comparison to bikes is a good one. From $30-$120, there's big gaps in terms of quality. Anything above, it's very tiny improvements that are justified by the amount of expendable income you have to use.
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Old 01-31-12, 06:57 AM
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Quality makes a huge difference on the bike, especially the farther you go. I got sick of the trial and error approach with cycling clothing. I'm not going to spend $200 for a jersey, but I wanted the quality. It took time and patients, but I found what I was looking for. The two places I hit often are Bonktown and Geartrade. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but the prices are hard to beat. Geartrade is a real interesting place that is not used as much by cyclists. I've purchased some great products like Castilli bibs and jerseys and Capo bibs at a fraction of the retail price. The quantities are limited, so you have to keep checking back. I've litterally saved hundreds for every set I've purchased.
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