Review: Rapha


You can call me a MAMIL or a snob I don’t care. I’m also well aware that with my gut I look like a tosser both on and off the bike. I’m still not going to lie. I like wearing Rapha gear. To be honest I have never felt comfortable with Assos, Castelli, Nalini or any other race-fit clothing brands. They just felt too pretentious and racey for my liking. Rapha ticks all the boxes between vintage racing and relaxed performance.

Some say Rapha products are expensive, but I mostly wait for their seasonal sales and have found their products well worth the money. There are some gear I haven’t been fully happy with and returns department has been more than willing to help. The money you save buying cheap chinese frames can be used to make you comfortable riding.

  • Club Jersey gray/yellow – great, but little short in the back
  • Club Jersey light blue/red – the back pocket zipper broke, the Jersey got lost in transit, but I was refunded.
  • Green country Jersey – I like the long zipper. Green is my fastest color.
  • Merino socks had holes developed rather too easily and the fabric felt pretty coarse
  • Gray bomber jacket is still my main commuting jacket during spring and autumn
  • Classic softshell jacket is toasty, often even too hot and ventilation could be better, but the key having next to nothing underneath
  • Blue brevet jersey and pink gilet
  • Purple brevet jersey and fluoro yellow gilet keep the core warm in cool weather
  • Gray, black and khaki trousers despite the funny rear cut I’ve been using at work
  • Gray and khaki 3/4 pants
  • Merino hat is easily my favourite piece of . Warm, but breaths. Wife complains I look like a cone head with it on, but I don’t care and bought fourth one.
  • Breton jersey developed holes really fast, but Rapha returns department came through and I was fully refunded
  • Cap is nothing special, just another one I can use under helmet. I prefer others.
  • Neck warmer is little itchy, but perfect for commuting
  • GS Imperial thermal bibs have proved very nice. They are thick and plush.
  • Gray merino undershirt is nice and toasty
  • White merino v-neck undershirt has not seen much use yet.
  • Black undershirt warms up nicely in the morning, but is not too hot when the day warms up.

Surely there are alternatives like Torm, Chapeau and Vulpine. I also hear good things about Swrve. My local favourite Ullmax is pretty good for hiking, but jumper’s backs are too short for cycling. I have found my favourite brand and see no need to switch anytime soon.


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