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While aerodynamic cycling apparel is nothing new, the recent proliferation of it from every major manufacturer makes aero apparel the latest frontier in the exploration of purchasable speed.
Professional cyclists know tailored skinsuits can save precious watts, but what about the rest of us who lust for those same energy savings in apparel we can actually train in? This is the aim of Louis Garneau’s new range-topping Course collection, which strives to find that delicate balance between aerodynamic performance and century-ride comfort and functionality.
The Lowdown: The performance of a race-specific kit with the comfort for everyday training
Pros: Tailored fit, technical fabric with Coldblack technology and functional features
Cons: Bib shorts may be overly compressive to the point of feeling restrictive
Course Race Jersey – $199.99
The sticker-shock of a $200 jersey is tough to get over. But once you delve into the features of the Course Race Jersey, or perhaps compare it to the latest offerings from Rapha, the cost seems a tad more reasonable.
Three types of fabric are utilized, each with its own specific function. The entire jersey is also treated with a Coldblack finish, which reflects the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them. This means you can look super stealthy in your all-black kit in the oppressive heat of summer and remain as cool as if you were wearing all white. While we were not able to truly put the Coldblack fabric to the test (it is March after all), we do have quite a bit of experience with the technology and have found it highly effective in the past. Plus, the Course Race jersey is light and airy enough to handle the heat regardless of the Coldblack.
The main body of the jersey is made of a stretchy material that feels soft against your skin. It’s extremely breathable out on the road thanks to ventilation panels under the arms and on the back of the neck. This mesh does a fantastic job of wicking moisture to help prevent clamminess or overheating.
Speedtech material on the shoulders has a dimpled pattern to increase aerodynamics. As with most aero aids, there is no perceptible feeling of increased speed in this jersey, but the extended length of the sleeve hem and perfectly tailored, laser-cut arm opening makes you feel fast, and that counts for a lot.
The overall fit of the jersey is tight, but not restrictive. While the name does imply that this jersey was designed for racing, it’s perfectly suitable for everyday use. There are three back pockets, and the two side pockets are angled to make them more accessible. The shoulders have been shaped to fit while in the riding position.