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Rapha Core jersey review

7 Jul 2020

Nice looking, well finished jersey but a bit hot for the warmest days

Cyclist Rating: 
Nicely finished with good details and the signature Rapha look
A bit warm when it gets above the mid-20s

Rapha aims to do the basics well with its Core clothing. It’s a range limited to the essentials of cycling wear, with a small range of jerseys, jackets, tights and shorts.

There are waist shorts as well as bibshorts, and in a nod to the go anywhere, go long scene, cargo shorts with pockets. There are men’s and women’s versions of the Core pieces.

As with other Core range products, in the Core jersey Rapha has saved the fancier, pricier details for where they will make the most difference. So whereas the raglan shoulder seams and those at the waistband are flatlocked, in the body and the sleeves, where you’re less likely to notice them, there’s raised hemming.

Buy now from Rapha for £60

The ends of the sleeves have simple turned hems and they’re a bit looser than those on many jerseys.


And you don’t get reflectives, unlike in many jerseys. For most cyclists in most circumstances, they’re probably superfluous, particularly if using a set of lights, so this seems like a sensible economy.

There are a ton of colour options, from muted blacks and greys through to Rapha’s favourite hot pink, all with the signature white band sewn into the left sleeve.


At the back of the waist gripper, there’s a wide, raw edged silicone dot gripper that does an effective job of keeping the Core jersey from riding up as you change position. That’s topped by the usual three open pockets, with a sturdy elastic strip at the top that stops them drooping.

There’s a fourth, zipped pocket too – a nice touch that includes an edged hole that lets you run the wire for your headphones, should you choose to ride with them, up the inside of your jersey.


The Core jersey has a flap behind the front zip, which is doubled over at the chin. That helps to stop irritation. It also means that there’s not too much draught getting to your chest on chilly starts. There’s a ribbed backing strip to the collar too, to keep it upright and which also helps keep you better insulated.

In fact, the whole of the Rapha Core jersey is made from quite substantial fabric. That adds some insulation and makes for a great weight for the typical British summer day, when it often starts off chilly and the temperature might stagger up into the low 20s.


On the few days when it reached the mid-20s or above, I found the Rapha Core jersey started to feel a bit warm.

Fortunately, Rapha has thought of that. For the same £60 as the standard Core jersey, it sells the Core Lightweight jersey. Made of thinner fabrics, it’s got the same looks but it should up the airflow, although the range of colours available is more limited and surprisingly only includes one light coloured option.

You get a couple of white Rapha logos on the Core jersey to show off a bit. And Rapha wouldn’t be Rapha without some stirring words printed on it somewhere: in this case a message from the brand’s founder Simon Mottram.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews


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