In 2004 Rapha launched with its Classic Jersey. It was a groundbreaking garment at the time: understated and stylish, using premium fabrics and with a premium price tag to match. You know how that story panned out. Now, 12 years later, Rapha has updated its classic design using new fabrics and technologies for a new generation of cyclists.
In a typical Rapha twist, there are 12 updates to the jersey: one for each year since its creation. One key development is the use of RPM 150, Rapha’s proprietry performance merino fabric, which it says is lighter, softer on the skin and has greater breathability. Other updates include a redesigned cut with longer sleeves and shorter length, debossed rather than embroidered sleeve logo and one-piece bonded zip guard.
The full list of 12 updates to the Classic Jersey as listed by Rapha are as follows:
RPM 150 – Rapha’s proprietary merino fabric is, the brand says, lighter, softer on the skin and more breathable.
Forward Fit – Repositioned longer sleeves, shorter length front and back.
Stretch mesh – Used in the valuables pocket to decrease weight and increase capacity.
Reflection – Reflective tape is used around the valuables pocket.
Streamlined – Sleeve stripe and front hem are bonded rather than stitched for low-profile finish.
Debossed – Rapha has opted for a debossed rather than embroidered technique for its iconic sleeve logo.
Collar – This has been redesigned to reduce bulk and improve comfort.
Stitching – Less topstitching is used.
Main zip – Rapha has opted for a one-piece bonded zip guard, which it says saves weight and gives an improved action.
Pockets – Rear pockets are redesigned at the top to improve abrasion resistance and reduce colour fade.
Pump loop – Rapha have replaced the pump pocket with a pump loop.
Cargo – Redesigned for improved stability and shape.
The back pocket design has been redesigned, with a reflective trim added to the valuables pocket: the back pocket design has been redesigned, with a reflective trim added to the valuables pocket
The pockets have been redesigned for improved stability and shape, with reflective trim added to the secure valuables pocket
You could make a strong argument that a number of these updates could be clustered together, such as the rear pocket design, but others will certainly be of interest to Rapha fans, such as the RPM 150 fabric, cut and pump loop.
While the cut has been updated, Rapha advises that the fit has not changed, so if you were a medium in the original Classic jersey, you’ll still be a medium in the new version. On the downside, where the old Classic Jersey came with arm warmers, the new Classic Jersey will not.
The jersey is available in both a men’s and women’s version, and retails at £110 / $170 / AU$195. The men’s Classic Jersey comes in black/white, grey/pink, navy/white and purple and in sizes XS to XXL. The women’s Classic Jersey is available in black/white and navy/pink, and in sizes XXS to XL.
Aoife is an experienced journalist, editor and product tester. With 6 years’ experience of reviewing bikes and kit, she’s ridden and rated nearly every women’s road and mountain bike available on the market. She enjoys putting the latest products through their paces, helping riders find the right kit for them and sharing the best advice, hints and tips to help them get the most out of riding.