Nopinz got its name and made its reputation with window-pocket skinsuits that removed the need to pin race numbers on them, which reduced all that flapping about and the resulting drag. That expanded into other speed-fiend areas including our favorite indoor riding shorts (yes that’s a thing) . The brand now claims that its new Pro-1 MTB Jersey is, “Bringing marginal gains to enduro,” with, “aerodynamic advantage,” to, “give you the edge over the competition”. We took advantage of a recent burst of surprise early summer in the UK to get some miles in on this lightweight long-sleeve jersey and see if it really is special or extra speedy, and whether it deserves a place alongside the best mountain bike jerseys.
For information on Bike Perfect's testing procedures and how our scoring system works, see our how we test page.
Despite the "TAILORED FOR SPEED” script across the nape of the neck, the jersey cut is a basic T-shirt style. There are two different fabrics in play, though, with a four-way stretch polyester/elastane blend making up the front and sleeves and then a rear panel of semi-transparent, fast-wicking 3D mesh. The hems and cuffs are doubled back but not elasticated and the seams are proud rather than flat-locked. Don’t waste time looking for a lens wipe, hidden valuables pocket or any reflective detailing.
You do get a choice of four different colorways, though, and it’s available in both men’s and women’s cut in an impressively broad XXS to XXL size range.
Given the talk of aero sleeves and competition advantage we were half-expecting the modern equivalent of John Tomac’s iconic/infamous stretchy, black fetish skinsuit from the mid 1990s. We were relieved/disappointed (we have some secret kinks in our test team) to find that our size medium sample is just slightly more snug around the body than other long-sleeve jerseys we’ve tested recently.
The simple cut means there’s still some wrinkling around the shoulders, though, and the arms only really close down noticeably around the upper forearm too. There’s enough stretch in the fabric to mean we didn’t have any arm-pump issues with that in testing, but we were only riding in the UK, not hauling down Alpine descents.
While we’ve not got any wind-tunnel data to corroborate or counter any potential aerodynamic gains, we’d suggest they were minimal even by marginal gains standards. The fabric also has a synthetic, silky feel that not everyone on the test team enjoyed.
The airy back panel does help reduce steam buildup when you’re slogging back up to the top of the next run, though. It didn’t snag too badly when we clipped a couple of thorn bushes either, with just white pin pricks rather than unravelled threads on the damage report.
It’s always good to have new options bringing fresh thinking to a category that’s often more about fashion than function. The Nopinz Pro-1 MTB Jersey is a good-looking top in a welcome wide range of sizes for both blokes and lasses. It wicks well on hotter days, too. There’s no clever cut or extra features to justify its cost, though, and we’re sceptical about the significance of the claimed aero gains.
Tech Specs: Nopinz Pro-1 MTB jersey
- Price: £64.99 with worldwide shipping
- Colors: Black & Gray / Gray & Yellow / Purple & Pink / Green & Green
- Sizes: XXS - XXL
- Materials: Wicking four-way stretch polyester/elastane blend with mesh back