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Rapha Pro Team II kit review

16 Aug 2017
Verdict:

Rapha blends technicality with style very well in its latest Pro Team II range

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£130 Lightweight Jersey; £195 Bibshorts; £15 Socks
For 
High construction quality, wide range of colour options, different weights of jersey to suit conditions

The Rapha Pro Team II kit is range most heavily influenced by the British brand’s four-year relationship with Team Sky: the cut, fabric and technology used reflect the demands of pro riders.

The Rapha Pro Team II Lightweight Jersey is the middle one of three in a selection that attempts to cater for racing conditions ranging from scorching heat to the clemency of a British summer.

If you do most of your riding in Britain the ‘thickest’ (they are all summer jerseys after all) of the range, the Midweight jersey, will likely see you right, but as I run hot I found the Lightweight jersey to be a good match for a wide span of summer weather.

The Lightweight is essentially a 50/50 mix of the thicker Midweight and the minimalist Flyweight to suit the temperature range in between - the back panel is a stretch polyester similar to the Midweight while the front is a perforated 120gsm fabric that the Flyweight makes use of.

To hand the jersey lives up to its moniker - it certainly feels lightweight, yet this doesn’t appear to come at the expense of construction quality, which is a problem that can plague lightweight jerseys: they’ll keep you cool and won’t weigh you down but can be fragile.

The Lightweight strikes a nice compromise in this area.

On the bike the jersey’s performance is true to its intentions; the cut is racy yet not untenable for a normal rider so while it fits snugly it remains comfortable in a variety of riding positions, not just an aggressive tuck.

The mix of fabrics does a great job too - the front is well ventilated and and I didn’t notice the back of the jersey holding onto too much heat, despite being a heavier fabric.

All of Rapha’s bibshorts have undergone a thorough redesign for the 2017 season. The headline update in the Pro Team II binshorts is a new chamois.

It is a dual-density design and the size varies according to overall bib size, which is a feature that makes ergonomic sense to me even if it isn't particularly applicable to my on-the-large-side-of-normal physique.

To me the updated chamois didn’t feel night-and-day different to the previous iteration, but that isn’t meant negatively - it attests more to the proficiency of Rapha’s design: these are comfortable pair of shorts on which to sit, regardless of whether your are out for an hour’s blast or an all-day ride.

New thigh grippers that are printed directly onto the shorts mean the body of the shorts resolutely stays in place and you have the unusual option of specifying leg-length - so if you want pro-levels of thigh coverage you can get it.

It is a nice touch to round off an outfit that performs well enough to have me to picking it out of the wardrobe time and again this summer.

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