Rapha’s Core collection provides trademark style and functionality at prices that make the competition look expensive.
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Rapha Core jersey
The Core jersey is extremely soft to the touch and is a close fit without being clingy. It’s made with a stretchier fabric than before, which is orientated for generous lateral (rather than vertical) stretch, ensuring it remains flattering without sagging or deforming from loaded rear pockets.
The rear is held in position by a wide, flat, silicone-printed elastic gripper.
The collar’s inner layer is a soft, lightly-ribbed fabric, also used for the armband, sleeve cuff and full-length zip guard. It’s elasticated just enough to make the medium-height collar snug.
All of the upper seams are flatlocked, while well-shaped shoulder panels help its excellent fit.
Three rear-drop pockets are topped by heavyweight elastic. They’re simple to use, with sufficient capacity, great security and durability. A zipped valuables pocket on the right side is a practical, non-waterproof addition, and the jersey’s overall feel exceeds its £60 cost.
Rapha Cargo bib shorts
No one complains about the unnecessary tiny race radio pockets prevalent in many top bibs, so why balk at the pair of generous mesh pockets above the waist?
If you want the freedom to ride without a conventional jersey they’ll provide two-thirds of your usual storage pockets.
The scalloped, mesh, thigh-side pockets are bigger but better for slimmer items – mainly for aesthetic reasons.
With Rapha’s Classic range pad and a light-feeling, super-stretchy dense knit fabric, these are very comfortable shorts that are a good all-round weight for general use.
Broad, printed silicone-backed leg grippers sit flat and retain their position effectively with a light pressure, and the wide bibs are stretchy and accommodating.