Rapha Italian Jersey – Lets take a closer look.

16 Jun
Rapha
Choosing cycle clothing these days is almost as difficult as buying a bike itself. Probably like many others viewing this article, I demand good quality kit. There is so much expensive mediocre kit on the market, it’s difficult for the consumer to make their mind up via a picture on the Internet. An old saying still echoes in my ears from my youth, buy cheap, pay twice! A saying that has sadly come true on many occasions! So, with this in mind, it has been my quest to seek out good clothing!

A while ago, I road tested the Rapha ‘Italian Jersey’. Its within their Country Jersey selection which is the current range. Along with the Italian jersey, Rapha also offer their customers a Spanish and German jersey. Being a lover of Colnago and all things Italian, I naturally chose the Italian jersey. It also works extremely well with my Colnago bicycles and doesn’t clash with my frame paintwork. 🙂
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When the jersey arrived, I noticed that it came in a very nice presentation case. Ideal if you were thinking about a gift for a fellow cyclist! Now, when it comes to attention to detail, I’m extremely fussy, or so my wife tells me! As previously mentioned, I like good quality and a product which is going to stand up to the vigorous of hard cycling and all round performance. Now, initially what brought my attention to the Italian jersey was styling. Lets face it folks, you have got to like the look of a jersey! Now the nice thing about this particular jersey is that its not over the top in colour and style. Rapha have under stood the fundamental principles of less is more, if you get my drift. The Italian Tricolour on the left arm is tastefully styled and works extremely well with the overall colour and design, its not intrusive. As you can see, the Rapha logo is neatly embodied onto the left side of the chest and a subtle little Tricolour design is at the rear of the jersey, attached to the pocket. Its simple elegance which will appeal to a wide audience of cyclists! There are three snug pockets at the rear, along with a small pocket which comes with a lightweight metal zipper. Ideal if you are carrying a mobile phone, wallet or any other item which needs to be secured. Its also I-phone friendly for those who require that.

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 The material and design. The material is a mix of Merino Wool and Polyester which gives the jersey a nice feel and texture. Now with the design, it is evident that some thought has gone into this. Also, take on-board that every member of the Rapha team is a cyclist, it begins to make sense. It has a full front zipp which allows the cyclist to cool down on those long rides on hot days. Now, behind the zip comes a lovely wind flap, so you don’t feel the wind blowing through the zip on those cooler rides. This is a nice touch and not many jerseys have this. The jersey also comes with grippers along the bottom of garment which holds it in place. If this wasn’t enough, Rapha have also added a toggle within the base. The jersey is double stitched for durability and comes with a slightly proud collar for those cooler rides and stops the breeze heading toward the chest area.

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So, how does it perform? As previously stated, I have had this jersey for a while now and have used it in cool, hot and wet conditions. Its the only way to assess a product. It was a real nice feel about it next to the skin, with no itching. Also, when in the drops, the jersey holds its fitting next to the body without sagging etc. I’m a size 40″ chest and a Medium fits fine. Now the amazing thing about this material is that it actually keeps you warm on the cooler rides and keeps you cool on the hotter days. The Merino wool seems to work with a dual purpose and has very good wicking abilities. On cooler rides, I just put on a pair of arm warmer (as in the photographs) and jumped on the bike. It certainly seems a great material and washes up nicely and holds its colour and size. 

Summary – The rear pockets are quite snug, however this does stop things from flying out when you ride over that bump in the road. The overall quality and design of this jersey is well thought out and offers the rider everything they need and require. It looks good, feels good and washes up time and time again. Its the perfect accessory to wear with your Italian bike!  

For further information – Please visit the Rapha web site http://www.rapha.cc/
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