The Rapide is the ﬁrst of the jackets that we tested that uses Gore’s new Active Shell (AS) fabric. Keep a look out for those two letters on garment labels. This is the only waterproof fabric that we have come across that feels as breathable as a windproof, even after we wore it on brutal rides in summer rain when we would usually decide to go for breathability over waterprooﬁng and accept that we’d come home wet. Now it appears, you don’t need to make that compromise.
It’s clear this jacket has been designed with high-energy stuff in mind and the styling does incline more towards running, because on a bike and for a tall rider the sleeves could be longer. But the movement through the body is good and the clean-lined styling keeps it light. We personally don’t like the elastic thumb loops, but they are easily snipped off. The zip was a puzzle though – it engages at a right angle then folds ﬂat to do up to an almost invisible seal. It is a triumph of ﬁne-toothed engineering but beyond ﬁddly, especially with cold hands.