The Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Aero jersey is nicely designed jersey that's stylish and comfortable if a bit thin for proper chilly morning riding.
Great fit and very comfortable
Fabric doesn't feel robust enough to last all season
Sleeves come up a little short
As stylish as ever, the Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey lands itself a spot on our Editor’s Choice list for 2019 thanks to its great styling and perfect fit.
The Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Aero jersey is the evolution of its aerodynamic, short-sleeved sibling but now with the additional of long arms and brush-locked fabric for additional insulation.
However, this is definitely a jersey designed for autumn temperatures rather than the freezing chill of winter. The jersey's dual fabric construction is neither fleecy lined nor particularly thick (although it is 'brushed back' for more insulation), and it has a low cut collar that won't do much to keep the wind off of your neck.
In fact, on recent August mornings when the temperature has been around 15 degrees, the Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Aero jersey has been my go-to top and it hasn't made me overheat or too sweaty.
The back of the sleeves and the shoulders is a textured mesh that's very thin, and gives the jersey its aerodynamic credentials. According to Rapha, the textured mesh helps create a turbulent flow of air that reduces the low-pressure wake behind the rider, reducing the overall drag. Other brands such as dhb are also doing this with its Aeron LAB Raceline kit, suggesting there is some substance to the theory.
Of course, it's nigh on impossible to quantify this on the bike, but the mesh layer does have the added benefits of wicking sweat and heat away very well.
The jersey's performance fit keeps it sitting very close to the torso and there's a good level of stretch so the fabric moves with your body. The material doesn't bunch across the shoulders or chest when hunkered over the handlebars. It's worth noting that on my long arms the sleeves sat just short of my wrists, which isn't a problem in this milder weather but would affect my choice of gloves in the winter.
Ultimately, it's a great looking piece of kit that's finished with some tidy design features, including three rear pockets and a beefy zip with a wind flap behind.
It also has raised lettering and logos which after a couple of washes are still attached (I feared they'd come straight off), although there has been some slight fluffing of the material along the seams which belies the jerseys limited use.
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