Rapha Super Lightweight jersey review

The stripped down version of Rapha’s summer jersey shares the same great features and classic styling with the rest of the range, in a lightweight package designed for the hottest of conditions

rapha super lightweight jersey
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Sharing the same functional DNA as the brand’s other jerseys, the Rapha Super Lightweight jersey works efficiently as a summer top. The more traditional styling and soft, comfortable fabrics make it a great option as an everyday jersey.

Reasons to buy
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    Practical construction

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    Comfortable fit

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    Hot weather performance

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Reasons to avoid
  • -

    White accents get grubby quickly

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    Middle pocket is quite small

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The Rapha Super Lightweight jersey attains its stripped down feel without losing its ability to function as an everyday jersey. Rather than going for out-and-out weight reduction they have chosen a slightly more robust material and a cut that leaves the Rapha Super Lightweight jersey looking more like a ‘normal’ jersey.

>>> Buyer's guide to summer cycling jerseys

This practice will certainly appeal to the full spectrum of riders regardless of body shape. Certainly you won’t need to be a 55kg racing snake to feel comfortable in the jersey.

The heavier construction puts it out of sub 100g jersey territory but clever design and material choice still allow it to function very well in hotter conditions. The main body material is a close weave, light mesh fabric that moves moisture well and never felt too restrictive or suffocating when climbing on still, hot days.

Watch: how to dress for hot conditions

The Rapha Super Lightweight jersey also manages to not feel too chilly at lower temperatures or higher speeds although a gilet is still recommended for longer descents, especially if you are really sweaty.

A great design feature is the use of a more open mesh fabric on the side panels and also for the rear pocket area – typically an area that can heat up quickly if your pockets are loaded. Taped seams run the length of the back panel, in line with the pockets to reduce movement when loaded. Storage is good, although the middle pocket is quite narrow, making accessing smaller items difficult.

>>> Best deals on summer cycling clothing available right now

As stated before, the fit is not as restrictive as some and if you turn up to the café stop or club run you shouldn’t get as many odd stares as with some of the more extreme hot weather jersey styles.

The fade print on the Rapha Super Lightweight jersey is great but having the white part at the bottom is, I feel a mistake. It is quite easy to end up with oily marks around the pocket areas after mechanicals if you are not careful.

For more details visit the Rapha website.

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James Bracey

James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.