Rapha Clothing

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
#1
Rapha Clothing

Last Fall I flea-bayed my first piece of Rapha clothing and immediately new it was just a different level of clothing and it has been downhill (for my bank account) since that time. Sure it is made fun of over and over and comes along with loads of pretentiousness but from my experience this stuff is legit and not just hype. Over the past few months I have purchased quite a few items and wanted to give my review to help those since it is some coin to pick up this stuff:

Classic Jersey
As the name says, this is their classic jersey and the style that is one of (if not the) most recognizable in the Rapha lineup. Sport wool fabric which I think this one is a 60/40 split between merino wool and polyester, so it provides the best of both worlds, wool for its breathability and body temperature regulation and polyester for fit and better shape (no sagging) when wet. From the second you put this thing on you realize one of the reason it cost so much, the fabric is just luxurious and feel excellent against the skin and this falls into the category of fabric sex. Fit is tighter than club but not racer, kinda the “just right” category. The construction of the jersey is superb with a bunch of stuff you don’t see on cheaper jerseys that aid in durability, such as some of the stitching locks and such. It also has all this fancy crap in the pockets like a zippered security pocket, a little sleeve for a pump, a reflective strip and a sewn hole to slip your head phones through. One of my first places testing this last year was Covered Bridges, which I rode to and from and it rained off and on. There is no better thing that wool on cool, wet, autumn days and this jersey was excellent for these conditions. Can’t say enough good things about this jersey. Due to the high wool content, this jersey gets a little warm when the temp get above 75, especially when you add in the humidity.

Light Weight Jersey
Wool/Poly construction but more poly than wool for warmer conditions. Similar fit to the classic jersey but the pockets are different in the back. Two side pockets and one vertical pocket in the middle that actually covers the entire width of the back behind the two side pockets. This pocket is kind of weird and the extra fabric on the inside makes the lower back kind of warm. I haven’t loaded it up but it seems like the shape of it may be awkward if not loaded symmetrically. In any case, this jersey is a tad cooler for warm conditions but still give you the wool blend for a range between say 50-80 without base layers, maybe a tad warmer if low humidity.

Middle “Gapping” Pocket.
Yes, I see what it looks like….


Inside of the pocket. Yes you can fit your iPad mini in it. Also noticed the small slip pocket on the left. Not sure what this is for, maybe a key or like 2 quarters.


Super Light Weight Jersey
This jersey is 100% poly construction and has similar features to the classic jersey but made for hot and humid conditions. This jersey is excellent but due to the lack of wool, isn’t much different than any other high end poly jersey. The higher end castelli is really no different in terms of breathability and such. The sleeves are long on this too so it may mess with your tans lines if you worry about such. This isn’t a factor for me as I barely ride in tanning time conditions.

Club Jersey
I actually have two of these mainly because of the colors. One with the pink strip and the Dario Pegoretti one because it is pink as well, actually almost too pink, but whateves. These jerseys have more of a club cut then the other jerseys mentioned and a similar wool/poly mix to the classic jersey. Same performance as the classic jersey minus the arm band. So if you like the rapha stuff but don’t want the arm band, get these.

Note, one of my club jerseys was slightly shorter than the othewr and I sold it on fleabay 8 months later at ¾ the retail price. Talk about ROI.

Classic Bib Shorts
These are the first shorts I bought from Rapha and they were different than one I expected. Thicker chamois, similar to Castalli’s pergoretti chamois thickness wise and the lycra is on the thicker side. These bibs have a bunch of stretch so they run pretty true to size and no need to size-up and they have a matte finish, which goes well with the wool jersey offerings. After wearing these for a few months, they are the best bibs I have owed and I have had top pieces from castelli and giordana. Maybe a tad warm when it is 100 degrees and humid, but nothing to complain about. These are the pick for those “epic” days. The thicker chamois simply disappears and you are left with nothing other than comfort.

Light Weight Bib Short
These shorts were more like the lycra I was used to with other brands. These are a thinner chamois then the classics and it is perforated more. The bib portion of these is super light and made of almost like a web like material, which is also super delicate. I actually just returned these to Rapha and had them warrantied because parts of this web material started to fray and developed a hole in spots. Rapha explained that these bibs needs to be put on more gingerly, however it does not state that anywhere. In the end, they were warrantied, showing that Rapha stands behind their stuff. These were my go to shorts during the hot and humid days of summer.

Pro Team Bib Shorts
I got these short recently has a warranty to the issue. Again, the fabric is similar to the lycra most people are used to and these shorts have a ton of compression, similar to Castelli’s body paint shorts. I sized up in these shorts and they still have a ton of compression. Short inseam than the classic and lightweight, which may cause issues with the tan line police. Chamios is similar if not the exact same to the classics. More of a tailored fit to these shorts and all the bells and whistles, even a name tag so you don’t end up getting a team mates shorts on the next stage of your race (super duper useful). They also have a “shaped” fit and feel tight on the shoulder while standing but feel awesome in a riding position. There are excellent in every way but classics are still my top pick.

Pro Team Socks
They are socks, not much to say, but they are super thin and super breathable and they are also the blackest black you will ever see. They are good, not running out to buy 10, but if you have a Rapha kit, you can’t not have the socks.

Merino Socks
Now these socks are something special and I realized it the second I opened up the package. Thin merino wool and superb tailored fit. These are my new favorite socks, thin enough for the 80’s, insulating enough into the 40’s. $25 bucks a pop is steep, but get the 3-pack and save. Did I mention these are the best socks I have owned?

Light Weight Cap
There is a reason Rapha is known for their caps and it is because they are awesome. I am not a cap person and only wear them in the rain, but this one I like to wear. The brim on this is perfect, just enough for protection without hindering vision. The bill is more ovalish than other caps I have tried and it is one of the reason it is great. Lightweight fabric for summer rides.

Winter Collar
This is the first item I bought directly from Rapha. Super thin merino wool that is just enough to take the chill off your next. I pretty much only used this starting in the low 20’s. Long and stretchy enough to pull over your chin and tip of nose. Let’s be honest, balaclavas are the dumbest thing and possibly only acceptable below zero degrees. This is one of the other options and a fine made one at that.

Classic Softsheel Jacket
So just got this but Jshort reviewed someplace. Quality is just top notch. Wore on one ride in the high 30's, which is probably alittle warm for this jacket but has all the signs to become a favorite.

Direct Source
While you can buy Rapha from some select retailers, they are mostly geared to buy from their website or from one of their stores. Luckily, one of their stores just opened in NYC, so you can at least try the stuff on and not have to deal with buying two sizes and returning one (however, free shipping on returns). One cool thing is that you can call Rapha yourself and talk about what you are looking for and they will make recommendations. From my experience, their customer service is top-notch. So from a local perspective, this kind of sucks, but home many small shops can afford to keep inventory of this stuff?

So where to start?
The cost of this stuff is crazy and the resale is excellent. Start with ebay if you want something or wait for end of season sales and if you are a size small, you canb get some steals. I would start with either the classic or club jersey or if you want something cheaper, the wool socks or a cap. You can’t go wrong with this stuff.
 

walter

Fourth Party
#3
holy hell, possibly the best review ever on our little site here.

The one time time Mr Short laughed at me, he later tried to kiss me, so be weary. ;):D:p:eek::):confused::cool::rolleyes::drooling::p
 

mattybfat

The White Shadow
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#5
Great write up Kev you know I have been searching for classic bibs but not much luck on fleabay. Can't wait to get me some Rapha bibs. Classic shirt for commuting too will be on the horizon.
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#7
The one time time Mr Short laughed at me, he later tried to kiss me, so be weary.
I'm laughing because Rapha is a slippery slope. I've got more than I'm willing to admit. But I've never regretted a Rapha purchase.

When I crashed with my $400 jacket I was pissed. It ripped on the right sleeve.

Then Rapha fixed it for free.
 
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1speed

Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
#10
Cod be worse ... Could be Assos ... That stuff costs more than the GDP of Eastern Europe.

Prefer the Twin Six myself ... But then I'm biased ...
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
#11
Cod be worse ... Could be Assos ... That stuff costs more than the GDP of Eastern Europe.

Prefer the Twin Six myself ... But then I'm biased ...
Assos is super roadie, not that rapha isn't but, well, you know, you know? However their winter glove is system is great but now Rapha just released one an the lobster shells will be mine.

Twin six has nice designs, but not near the quality of rapha.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#12
I have a Rapha rain jacket and I love it... So much more than my Champion Sys MTBNJ rain jacket. It is breathable and doesn't flap around like I am in a tornado. It is awesome.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
#13
I bought about a grand worth of stuff for myself last year. The quality is super but fit is king. I'm too tall and skinny for their sizing. I returned everything but the rain jacket. Like Bard, I found it to fit really well with no flapping. Only issue, it doesn't breathe any better than other stuff. I wore it below freezing with only a light base layer. When above forty degrees, I sweat bullets in it.
 
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jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#18
The softshell jacket has been getting used again this year. It's awesome.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#19
I just looked at a few of these pieces and thought that maybe I'd finally spring for some real actual f'real winter clothing. Holy hell the prices were far & away more than I would have guessed in my wildest dreams.

Having said that, the gloves make me wonder:
http://www.rapha.cc/winter-gloves-1

Then I see deep winter gloves:
http://www.rapha.cc/deep-winter-gloves

These guys are the ones who suggest the 3-tier system, right? To the tune of like $265 in all? Did anyone try this? Seems insane but my hands are always the weak spot for me.
 

jShort

2018 Fantasy Football Toilet Bowl Lead Technician
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#20
These guys are the ones who suggest the 3-tier system, right? To the tune of like $265 in all? Did anyone try this? Seems insane but my hands are always the weak spot for me.
I think that is Assos.. which is actually twice as expensive as Rapha stuff.


It is expensive, but once you wear some stuff, you'll appreciate it.