The stylish looking Rapha Pro Team tights have a fantastic tight and comfortable fit. We really liked the Cytech chamois, which we found to be well-positioned and comfortable during our 100-plus mile rides.
Part of the high level of comfort is thanks to the brushed fleece lining, which is soft and warm – the Pro Team tights do a great job of keeping your legs insulated. The exterior is similarly geared towards keeping you protected from the elements – the front panels are water and wind repellant. The wind protection is welcome; on very cold days we never found ourselves bothered by chilly air biting at our legs.
The water-resistance is effective up to a point – it deals well with road spray and splashes, but if it’s raining hard then it’s only a matter of time before you start to feel the moisture seeping in.
The Rapha detailing is typically understated and stylish
The wide mesh bib straps are comfy and unobtrusive and the mesh continues down the back of the bibs to let sweat escape. At the front, the bib comes up high to provide extra insulation – effectively providing an additional layer to shield your kidneys from the cold. The fit everywhere is superb – thanks to the cut and materials, even though the bibs are tight, they aren’t restrictive.
There are no ankle zips, so quickly getting the bibs on and off requires care; the small leg cuffs require you to point your toes down to get your feet through, but once they're on, the elastic keeps them firmly and comfortably in place.
The only time we felt hindered by the lack of a zip was when we were soaking wet and cold, trying to get free of our wet kit, at which point we ended up ripping our legs out of the Pro Team tights, turning them inside out in the process.
With ‘Rapha’ printed in capitals on the legs and above the back of the pad, branding is simple, and it looks good. The black and white bars on the lower calves are a similarly simple touch.
The less-is-more a philosophy hasn't been applied to the price though – £200 for winter tights is substantial, but then there are only a handful of options out there as good as these.