Rapha Shadow kit uses DWR and tight weave for breathable protection

Stretch-woven fabric tested by Team Sky last season

Rapha has a new line of breathable, rain-deflecting race kit called Shadow, which is made of a stretch-woven fabric instead of the typical knitted material. After Castelli pioneered its Gabba foul-weather rain jersey years ago, many brands have been creating similar pieces.

The $325 / £220 Pro Team Shadow Jersey and $385 / £260 Pro Team Shadow Bib Shorts were announced today.

Shadow fabric is made with a four-stage process. First, the yarn is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR). Second, it's woven into fabric. Third, it is shrunk with a steam-pressure treatment. Finally, another DWR treatment is applied. 

“What that produces is an extremely dense fabric,” said Graeme Raeburn, Rapha’s lead designer. “It wouldn’t be physically possible to actually weave yarns that close together and so, consequently, Shadow provides very high wind resistance and excellent water repellency. It also has a fantastic range of movement and fit and, that crucial difference, amazing breathability.”

Related: Best packable jackets for road cycling

The rapha pro team shadow short:
The rapha pro team shadow short:

As with Gabba, the idea with Shadow is that pro riders can race in these jerseys without the need to put on or take off rain jackets, giving them more versatility and better aerodynamics than a jacket. 

The Italian-made Pro Team Shadow Jersey features a large zipper pull, holes in the bottom of the pockets for drainage, taped shoulder seams and 3/4-length sleeves.

The Pro Team Shadow Shorts have the same cut and chamois as Rapha's Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, with a double mesh pocket built into the bib straps and brushed inner fabric. 

The construction on both pieces is 53% Polyamide / 47% Elastane, and they only come in black.

Team sky tested the rapha pro team shadow kit in the foul weather of last year's spring racing in belgium:
Team sky tested the rapha pro team shadow kit in the foul weather of last year's spring racing in belgium:

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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