If you ever pondered the necessity of a long sleeved jersey, this would be the year that proved the need for one in your wardrobe.
If the weather is particularly cold or rubbish they might not get used - a rain jacket or windproof jersey proves far more suitable for deflecting the elements. But things are different this time round. With temperatures still hovering around 15 degrees, and the weather a unique kind of crap, the long sleeved jersey has proven a valuable asset.
Just the right amount thicker than a short-sleeved jersey, these are made for mild, grim days when you can head out with a gilet in your pocket just in case.
Rapha’s training jersey has its DNA in the pro-team development with its high-stretch fabric and minimal styling but offers a slightly more forgiving fit. As its name suggests, Rapha intends it to be worn on training rides and for crazy stuff such as hill repeats and slightly more intense sessions.
Ultimately it is the comfort that gets you. This is such a great fitting jersey that you are at risk of actually forgetting you are wearing it. There are no saggy points, there’s nothing that squeezes too hard or gives you any cause for irritation.
It is however worth noting that while this jersey has been released to slot somewhere between pro-team and the classic sportswool range, the features lean more towards the former. The neck is cut low and the pockets are limited to the standard three rear with a little zipped valuables pocket. There will be a little less warmth than the sportswool offerings and it certainly isn’t windproof or waterproof, which makes a gilet essential until you warm up a bit.
There’s also not a lot in the way of high-vis, in fact we couldn’t find anything. This shouldn’t in itself present a problem - you simply make sure you have something that reflects on the bottom half or better still, use lights - but it will be an issue to some. The colours - navy blue, maroon and dark grey - while wonderfully stylish, don’t do a lot for visibility either. But then Rapha has plenty to offer should you want to be seen so just team the jersey with something bright.
Summary: A jersey designed for high-tempo training that leans more towards pro-team than relaxed riding but retains a more forgiving cut. An absolute essential for the wardrobe, especially in milder winters such as this.
4 / 5