Rapha Sportwool™ long sleeve jersey
Rapha Sportwool™ long sleeve jersey Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Colours: black (with pink and white (grey
From: Rapha and selected stores
Rapha jerseys are as the only ones to allow micro adjustment to fit with an adjustable elasticated hem, so they don't ride up and fit snugly, which is the start of a long list of 'USP's'. There is also the unique Rapha ‘Bite Grip’ will help you adjust the zip 'one handed' whilst on the move without damaging the fabric. It's also anatomically cut; with extra length at the back, wider shoulders to accomodate the shorter zip and it's slightly longer than the short sleeve version at the front - just for some added protection.
However the big secret to the Rapha jersey comfort is the fabric. It is maximum sweat-wicking and drying hybrid type fabric called Sportwool™ – which combines the feel merino wool on the inside (52%) with the drying and wearability of polyester (48%) on the outside. This means it stays good looking from the outside and is totally itch-free. Naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant. Best of all it isn't nasty 100% polyester stretchy stuff which feels clammy and uncomfortable when you turn up the heat.
Rapha chose the YKK 3C zip and not just because it's one of the most expensive on the market. They feel it is the best for the job and it's certainly smooth, lockdown puller prevents it from loosening and, as with all Rapha garments, the zip is fully lined to protect your skin.
Pockets are a variety of shapes and provide easy access. One for a mini pump and a zipped waterproof pocket for valubles. They are a bit more generous than the jacket's pockets and they swallowed up a day's worth of food and spares quite easily. The pockets are well spaced out and the zipped one has an 'O' ring pull on it which makes it easy to find even with gloves on.
Look in the zipped pocket there's a story about a famous cyclist (I won't spoil it for you, it's something Rapha do in all their kit and it's a nice touch) and the washing instructions. To be honest I'm a bit nervous of clothes that need special washing care. Especially cycling clothes. But I managed to get this one through the wash on a cool delicate cycle (didn't know the machine had one!) and it looks as good as new.
For me the highlight of this jersey is that the Sportwool™ does not get over heated and keeps the water moving away from your skin all the time you are riding. As it passes away and into the polyester outer shell as the 'moisture management' really kicks in. This drys the garment as you ride or after you have stopped for a cuppa. It's very well thought out and it works too.
Like the Softshell jacket there are loads of little extras that set this apart from your average jersey, like a zip cover at the neck with a 'bite grip' next to it for when the going gets really tough. This jersey is really comfortable and super stylish. At £105 I'd be happier if it had a full length zip, just because I prefer them. Although the washing isn't a problem it does need special attention away from your synthetic 40° cycling kit wash, but it's hard wearing too so I'm happy to put up with that.
|Good: Like the Softshell jacket - it's comfortable, warm and stylish|
|Bad: Be careful how you wash it|
For more on Rapha go: here