The Ultimate.

by

This morning’s ride into work was different.

Different because it was the first morning I really felt the change in the air, that is to say that I had a certain chill run through my bones.

So it is at this time of year that I usually contemplate a ‘Winter Jacket’. Up until this point it would be fair to say that whatever it is be it shoes, coat, shirt, boots whatever… I always seem to just make do with what I have and generally suffer throughout the winter pilling on the layers to try and keep warm and dry.

Not this year. This year I am ‘investing’ in a real, proper cycling jacket that I can count on and one that I will not have to replace next year. That jacket ladies and gentlemen is the Rapha Classic Softshell.

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“A thing of beauty,” according to The Times. “The best road jacket money can buy,” said Cycling Plus. This high-performance jacket is designed for tough winter riding.

I have read many, many reviews on jackets over the past few months and the only one that I can settle on and the one that keeps coming up for quality and function time and time again is this one.

Yes it may cost a little more than the rest at £240 but lets put that into context shall we ( if only to make me feel better about placing the order! ) I could quite easily spend that amount of money on a crank or a set of wheels or something similar, some folk spend that amount on a night out on bottles of ‘Cris’ and Moet for christs sake. What I am getting at here is that I can find it quite easy to throw my hard earned money at items that will make my bicycle ‘nicer’ or lighter but I won’t reach into my pocket to pay for an item that will make my winter just that little bit more bearable? Nonsense.

Sometimes it really is worth spending that little bit more on an item that you can truly rely on and more importantly for me an item that will stand the test of time and not look dated in the months and years to come.

There is also something about purchasing off a young company based in the U.K that really appeals to me and I might be talking complete trump here ( please tell me if I am ) but other cycling soft goods companies such as Endura, Altura and the like just don’t have the public ‘face’ that a brand like Rapha do. I know who Rapha are, I can call them up and speak to someone here in the U.K, I can go and watch their team Rapha Condor race professionally if I wish, I can leave a comment on their blogsite and it is all of those kinds of things that make me feel part of something. Something British.

When in france I rode almost exclusivley in Rapha products and I can say hand on heart that not one of the items I wore gave me an ounce of trouble. Every detail was perfect and well thought out, every pocket was where it should be, the fabrics used meant that my body temperature always maintained the right level, there are no garish graphics or logos and the fit is always, always on point. The only single item I wore that gave me a problem were my shorts and they were made by another company so there we have it, you really do get what you pay for.

The Rapha Classic Softshell available now at Rapha.cc

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10 Responses to “The Ultimate.”

  1. philippe Says:

    Great write-up, it’s difficult to use non-Rapha gear once you’ve gone Rapha.

  2. yourmumsonmybmx Says:

    nice, but is it hot rock proof?

  3. Dan Pistaboy Says:

    Good choice Gav. i realised too this morning just how gruesome the winter is going to be…

  4. Fixup Says:

    winter’s not even that bad once you get used to it. yeah the sharp transition feels bad but you dont even feel the cold if youre wearing the right clothes.

  5. Fixup Says:

    I prefer Howies to Rapha. Much nicer clothes IMO, and less pricey… well they used to be less pricey.

  6. dan Says:

    endura is a british company (based in scotland). i’m sure rapha stuff is very pleasant, but 240 would buy you an equivalent fabric jacket, with 80 quid leftover to spend on 2 merino baselayers to properly make use of the breathability. cotton tee + expensive softshell = sweatier (and stinkier) than it should be.

  7. dan Says:

    to be fair, rapha is unique in that it’s clothing is aesthetically desirable.

  8. Edward Scoble Says:

    I’m surprise you hasn’t considered the Swrve Milwaukee jacket.

  9. rhb Says:

    +1 on endura

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