We review Rapha's most affordable jersey yet
When the Rapha Core jersey first arrived in the Cycling Weekly office there was a fair bit of confusion. “Are you sure this is a Rapha jersey?” everyone was saying. “It doesn’t have a coloured band around the left arm and it only costs 75 quid.”
Well yes, despite appearances and cost, this is a Rapha jersey, and the most affordable one that the North London-based company has ever produced. Yes, more affordable, not “cheap”. After all £75 is still a lot of money to spend on a jersey, and brings Rapha’s prices out of the stratosphere and into the troposphere, rather than all the way down to earth. And “cheap” might also imply that Rapha has compromised on quality in the pursuit of a lower price, which it most certainly hasn’t.
The Rapha Core jersey maintains the exceptional quality that we’ve come to expect from all Rapha products. The main part of the jersey is made a polyester fabric that is not designed to be ultra breathable or ultra aero, but feels lovely and soft against the skin and is really comfortable in all but the very hottest conditions. The collar and the sleeves are also given a slightly different fabric which also aids comfort and adds to the high quality feel.
The fit of the Rapha Core jersey is also very good. When you first put it on in front of the mirror then you might think that it is a little short at the front, but this is entirely intentional. Once your on the bike, leaned over the bars, then the cut is absolutely spot on. It’s a really nice ultimate goldilocks fit, not too tight, not too loose, so is a great option for most training rides.
At the back you have a silicon gripper along the hem of the Rapha Core jersey which stops it from riding up (although frankly, such is the good fit, this might not even be necessary). There are also three good-sized open rear pockets (as well as zipped security pocket) which are positioned perfectly to make it easy to get stuff in and out.
To cap things off, the Rapha Core jersey is available in a wide range of sizes for men (XS-2XL) and women (2XS-XL), so it should be easy to find a jersey that fits, and four different colours (light blue, pink, black, and navy) meaning that it should be easy to coordinate with the rest of your kit. And another plus point for some is that the Rapha branding is so subtle that you could wear this jersey without anyone being able to spot who makes it.
The Rapha Core jersey manages to deliver the high quality construction, fit and style that has made Rapha such a popular brand, but without the exorbitant pricetag that you might usually expect.