One of the not-so-secret reasons Decathlon is so popular is their affordable apparel which offer high quality construction at a fraction of the price of other brands. In this review we’ll specifically be looking at two cold weather pieces from Decathlon’s performance cycling sub brand Van Rysel. The two items we’ll be looking at are the Van Rysel RCR Long Sleeve Jersey and the Van Rysel Cycling Tights which can be paired together for cold weather riding. The RCR Long Sleeve jersey retails for $89.99 and features fleece lining as well as a contoured pro fit. As with other Van Rysel products, the jersey is only offered in black color scheme with reflective logos. The Cycling Tights retail for $129 and are windproof and water-repellent. Combined the jersey and cycling tights offer an affordable cold weather cycling kit to keep you protected in winter or shoulder season.
The Decathlon Van Rysel RCR LS jersey and Cycling Tights combine an affordable price point with premium fit and construction.
|Retail Price||$89.99 (LS Jersey) / $129 (Cycling Tights)|
|Rating||9.2 / 10|
|Likes||+ Affordable prices|
+ Extended coverage provides warmth and protection
+ Minimal branding and body-contouring design
|Dislikes||– Lacks color options|
|Where to Buy (US)||Decathlon (RCR LS Jersey), Decathlon (Bib Tights)|
As a value-oriented company, it’s not surprising that Decathlon skipped fancy packaging with the Van Rysel apparel. We received them in a simple shipping box with tags attached to each item.
RCR LONG SLEEVE JERSEY
The RCR Long Sleeve jersey offers additional protection and coverage for cold weather cycling while retaining the same contoured design of the short sleeve jersey. Decathlon offers the jersey in any color you want, as long as that color is black. Thankfully, there are plenty of reflective details on the jersey to keep you visible in low-light conditions. We hope Van Rysel comes around to more color options or prints like Velocio offers. The long sleeve jersey has a clean look with a full length front zipper and reflective Van Rysel logo on the chest. The rear is less subtle with a narrow reflective stripe and Van Rysel running down the center and on the pocket Compared to the more relaxed fit of the Triban apparel, the Van Rysel jersey has an aggressive “pro fit” that is designed to contour around you. Note, if you’re in the US you’ll want to size up as Decathlon uses European sizing which skews smaller.
The jersey is extremely soft to the touch with a highly elastic fabric that can stretch around your body. It’s constructed of synthetic polyester and spandex mix that helps keep the jersey light, breathable yet warm. For improved mobility, there are raglan sleeves which make the jersey comfortable whether you are sitting upright or in an aggressive aero position. The full-length front zipper features zipper garages on top and bottom along with a wind blocking flap. For additional warmth there is a tall collar and elastic cuffs to keep you protected from wind chill. In terms of storage, there are three deep reinforced pockets on the jersey rear for snacks or gear. There is an additional fourth zippered pocket on the right side to store smaller items or valuables such as keys securely.
One of the best clothing items for cold weather riding are cycling bib tights. By extending a standard bib short all the way to the ankles, bib tights eliminate any leg warmer / bib short gaps which is often an issue. Although these cycling tights are not explicitly listed as winter tights, Decathlon recommends temperature ranges of 27-50 which is winter for many parts of the country. As a part of the Van Rysel lineup, these cycling tights are only offered in all-black but have reflective elements for safety. These are constructed from primarily Super Roubaix which is a synthetic material and is a lightweight, soft, warm and elastic fabric. For additional durability the tights also use anti-abrasive Super Endurance Roubaix material on the saddle region.
The bib straps utilize wide stretchy mesh straps for a comfortable fit and breathability. The back panel also uses a similar breathable mesh fabric to prevent overheating and has an interesting checkerboard pattern. While it doesn’t feel as fancy as the single-piece microfiber straps found on Velocio bib straps, the mesh design lays flat and is lightweight. For the chamois, the Van Rysel cycling tights use an Elastic Interface brand pad. The pad utilizes dual-density foams with a center pressure relief channel and secure zig-zag stitching along the edges. Combined with the multi-panel construction, the cycling tights offer excellent mobility with a mid-weight thickness. The cycling tights are windproof and water repellent without the bulk of traditional winter tights.
ON THE ROAD
We tested the large jersey and cycling tights for our 6’1” 165lb rider which are sized up from traditional US size clothing. The fit on the jersey was surprisingly contoured with a race or club style fit that doesn’t leave much up to the imagination. With its highly elastic fabric it’s not constrictive which means you easily add a baselayer underneath for additional warmth. The cycling tights were also form fitting but featured longer bib straps then we expected for this size. Both items still fit well and provide excellent protection against wind chill. We’re a bit hesitant to call the cycling tights a true winter tight though as it lacks the insulation found on thicker bib tights like those offered Isadore. The all-black design of the jersey and cycling tights also pair well with other Decathlon products like the RoadR 520 cycling shoes. We’d recommend using a high-visibility gilet or jacket on colder days though as we found the jersey and cycling tight combination a bit chilly under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, we found the Decathlon Van Rysel Cycling Tights and RCR Long Sleeve offer an affordable and attractive cold weather cycling kit. The full length Cycling Tights eliminate any gaps or vulnerability between legwarmers and standard bib shorts. We found the Cycling Tights to be comfortable on short and long rides with the chamois offering excellent support and padding. The RCR Long Sleeve jersey has an aggressive “pro-fit” that contours around your body along with premium details like zipper garages and Raglan style sleeves. Although we would have liked to see more exciting color or graphic options, the all black design is sleek and has reflective details for additional visibility on the road. If you’re in the market for cold weather apparel, we’d highly recommend considering the Van Rysel clothing lineup.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Decathlon. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.