Review of the Performance Alta Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey. Sunburn and riding enjoyment are mutually exclusive. If like me you are the kind of person that quickly tires of lathering up with sunscreen before each ride then this review is for you. After a lot of online research I arrived at the Performance Bike "Alta" long sleeve Jersey in all white. While it's not much to look at the people who have purchased this item had a lot of good things to say about it.
Purchased this jersey for long rides in the sun. Works like a charm! Paradoxically, the long sleeves keep me cooler than a short-sleeve jersey, and I only need apply sunscreen to my face, neck, and legs. Liked it so much that I purchased two more of the same jersey. Really the only long-sleeve, hot-weather, UV-protective jersey out there. Price is right, too! Thanks for making this jersey. - Performance Bike Reviewer from DeKalb IL
The above quote comes directly from the Performance Bike online store, and is one of several which convinced me to go this direction. This Jersey while not cheap is very inexpensive compared to the name brand options like Pearl Izumi. For my purposes I just want to block out as much sun as possible from my arms while riding in the heat of the day. Unfortunately in the Desert Southwest the heat of the day in the summer starts about 10am and runs till dark!
Lets Talk Jersey Sizing
I am a tweener - between a large and an extra large in most off the shelf products. I always opt for the extra large however to be "safe". In this case this was a very good decision. I weigh in about 200lbs and the sleeves on this jersey are nice and long extending all the where my riding gloves meet my wrists... and I have long arms! A person with shorter arms would be fine too as the fabric is very light and would just bunch up a bit. The person who is not going to be happy with this Cycling Jersey is the person who is overly muscular. It seems like everything in the cycling world is built for a person who is about 6' tall and 165lbs. With this Jersey if you have big upper arms and chest it's going to seem tight to you even in the extra large size. I'd estimate that anyone over 225lbs will want to look for a bigger size or a different brand. Performance does have an XXL version of this Jersey as well. For me this one fits just right which I am very happy about as it's always a gamble to buy sight unseen online.
Lets Talk Cycling Jersey Features
Fabric: I'm going to take this directly off the jersey marketing tag. UV protective fabric by UNIFI - "Be sure you're covered under the sun. Throw clothes made with Mynx UV. Get a high level of dependable, physical protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Because that's protection you can really use." Read more... Mynx Cycling Fabric (Opens in new window)
The Performance Alta Long Sleeve Jersey has a UPF rating of 30+
Most of us have heard of SPF (Sun protection Factor), but some of us are less familiar with the term UPF. This Jersey is UPF 30 and UPF is protection against BOTH UVA (Aging) and UVB (Burning) rays, whereas SPF is only protection against UVB rays.
Here's more information on SPF
Sun Protection Factor
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number is determined experimentally indoors by exposing human subjects to a light spectrum meant to mimic noontime sun. Some subjects wear sunscreen and others do not. The amount of light that induces redness in sunscreen-protected skin, divided by the amount of light that induces redness in unprotected skin is the SPF. It is mainly a measure of UVB protection and ranges from 1 to 45 or above.
A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 filters 92% of the UVB. Put another way, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will delay the onset of a sunburn in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes to burn in 150 minutes. The SPF 15 sunscreen allows a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer.
There is currently no uniform measure of UVA absorption. There are broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB radiation although it is important to remember that the SPF does not predict UVA protection - Heather Brannon, MD
Here's more information on UPF
Ultraviolet Protection Factor
Just like sunscreen, the sun protectiveness of clothing can be evaluated and rated with a measuring system called Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF is a similar concept to SPF; however, UPF rates both UVA and UVB protection, whereas SPF only rates UVB protection. In 1996, the term UPF was devised in Australia as a measure of how much UV penetrates a fabric.
UPF is determined by using a UV transmittance analyzer to gauge the spectral transmission of UVB and UVA through a fabric. If a fabric is rated UPF 30, then it is absorbing or blocking 29 out of 30 units of UVR, or 97 percent of UVR. This is the same level of protection provided by an SPF 30 sunscreen that is used properly. To achieve a UPF, a fabric must undergo 40 simulated launderings, be exposed to the equivalent of 2 years of light exposure and be tested with chlorinated water if it is intended for swimsuits.
Specially Made Sun Protective Clothing
Today, many manufacturers offer special UV-absorbing clothes, from swimsuits and shirts, to hats and pants. This clothing will usually have a high UPF rating, indicating how much UVR it absorbs. These clothes have special weaves, and are treated with UV-absorbing chemicals such as titanium dioxide.
To be deemed sun-protective, such clothing must have a UPF of more than 30 and retain its sun-protective qualities after numerous washings and exposure to sunlight. Shawn Allen, MD
You probably didn't read this to get a dissertation on Sun Protection, and that's not the intent, but hopefully it helps you make better decisions when cycling in the sun.
The Performance Jersey has 3 pockets on the back which I worried about initially due to the extra fabric causing discomfort for recumbent use, but I have yet to test this and will report back after my first ride. From just trying on the Jersey it seems to make no difference. One really nice feature and another reason I selected this Jersey is the front zipper extending down chest length (12") to help with ventilation on really hot days. This also makes it a whole lot easier to get the Jersey on and off when you are sweaty! At the base of the Jersey is an elastic hem to keep it from flopping around as you ride, this is a nice plus and doesn't seem to bother me in the way that some elastic clothing does.
100% Polyester, very lightweight, made in Mexico (Because we all know that the United States isn't capable of Manufacturing anything anymore due to Corporate Greed and Regulation).
Note about Performance Bike Shipping
I paid $35 +$6.99 Shipping and Handling. And I should mention that while the Jersey was packed very nicely, the shipping time was just pathetic. Performance uses Federal Express "Smart Post" which is the dumbest way they could possibly ship. Seriously 9 days to ship after my order was put into the system. Fed Ex Smart Post takes the package, then routes it through the slowest possible hubs, finally handing the package to the United States Postal Service for delivery. Yes you read that right, the USPS is the actual delivery agent for final delivery. Why not just give it to the USPS to begin with? Beats the hell out of me. If Performance did that I would have had it a week ago!!! And it's not like I got a bargain on a 1lb item for $6.99. After this experience Ill have to think... really think about ordering from Performance again. In this case they were the only place that had what I wanted/needed in the price range.
I'll report back on the comfort after I've actually ridden with this Jersey.
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