Except for the more casual fits, most jerseys have elastic at the waist to help keep it in place and prevent wind blowing beneath. Some also add a gripper to keep the jersey from sliding up over your hips as you change positions, stand to climb, etc.
Women's jerseys and tops have zippers that make it easy to get them on/off and allow convenient ventilation. Longer zippers let you let in more air, which is handy in warm weather and if you ride in hilly terrain and constantly heat up and cool off over the ups and downs.
A full zip is especially convenient if you wear bib shorts because it means not having to remove your helmet to pull the jersey over your head to take it off. There are also "invisible" zippers that are sewn into the jersey in such a way that they hide when up. This way they don't interfere with the jersey's print design.
Many women's race-style jerseys will have three pockets across the back just like traditional men's jerseys. However, since women have smaller backs and narrower waists, many manufacturers are putting only two pockets across the back for a better fit, which you may or may not like, since that's one less pocket to carry your essentials.
Some designers incorporate a hidden rear pocket for an MP3 player, phone or keys. Casual and mountain styles will often have just one hidden zip back pocket that doesn't scream "biker!" when you stop for some ice cream or wear it to Spin class.
Some jerseys with pockets for MP3 players incorporate a method of headphone cord management. Even more common are reflective accents for safety.
Sleeveless Jerseys have the same fit and features as sleeved models but without sleeves.
Halter Tops have completely open backs with no shoulder straps and a built-in shelf bra. You get the fewest tan lines. They're fitted with a loose hem.
Camis have narrow, sometimes adjustable shoulder straps and a built-in shelf bra. They're fitted.
Tanks have wide shoulder straps like a traditional sports bra, and may incorporate a built-in shelf bra. They're fitted in the top and a little looser at the waist. They may have a pocket or two. This is the common style used for triathlon-specific tops.
Shelf Bras are built-in bras that eliminate extra tan lines. These are usually best for small to medium cup sizes. Women with larger busts may still want to wear a sports bra underneath for better support.
Long-Sleeve Jersey Styles
While they're practical, long-sleeve jerseys for women aren't all that common. This is because they're usually too warm for nice-weather riding so they don't typically get that much use. And, because you can simply wear arm warmers to turn any short-sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve one. A lot of women also wear base layers beneath their short sleeves to get a little extra comfort. Layering means it's easy to change for the conditions too.
Sun-Blocking - There are a few lightweight long-sleeve jerseys for those who require extra sun protection and blocking. They are usually a light color and the fabric has extra UV protection built in.
Mountain-Bike - There are also some long-sleeve or 3/4-sleeve mountain-bike jerseys that are cut very roomy to fit over armor or for a casual, T-shirt style look.
We hope these tips for tops will help you find women's jerseys you love. If you have any questions, please let us know. We look forward to showing you our wide selection in person.
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