With headquarters in UK, Rapha create cycle clothing that is desired by cyclists the world over. Their first collection was launched back in 2004 and since then, Rapha have stamped their name in the world of cycling.


As well as being involved in activities to get us mere mortals cycling, in 2013 Rapha also became official clothing sponsor to Team Sky Pro Cycling. See that kit worn by the Tour de France winner Froome? Rapha were responsible for that!


With their commitment to all sides of cycling, it's safe to say that Rapha know their stuff. When you buy a piece of Rapha kit, you know it's going to stay in your wardrobe for many years to come. In fact, our editor is still wearing the Classic bibs and they look and feel as new.

Throughout the year, Rapha have been expanding their already impressive women's range, and they've sent Total Women's Cycling some of their winter 2013 collection to test. Here are our first impressions of the gear they've posted across.

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[part title="Rapha 2013 Women's Long Sleeve Souplesse Jersey"]


Chic and sophisticated, the Rapha women's Souplesse jersey screams elegance. More importantly it's full of technical features that we can't wait to test.

Pulling the long sleeve jersey out of the post bag, the fabric feels durable and hardwearing on the outside, but soft and comfortable on the inside. We were sent the Small to test, Rapha do say the jersey has 'streamlined tailoring' and we'd agree, it was snug on our size 10 frame.

Designed to keep you warm riding in cool conditions, the cam-lock full length zipper has a flap of material on the inside to stop the wind from penetrating. There's also a material zipper garage to stop it from chafing against your neck.

The Souplesse jersey has three pockets on the rear and an additional zip pouch on the right pocket. Instead of three even pockets, the central one is thinner than the other two, making it easier to stash your pump in, plus it mirrors the width of the pale blue stripe down the back.

At the hem, there is a single Silicone strip around the base of the back hem. On top of this there is an internal elastic cord with two mini toggles so you can pull them tight, to help keep the jersey taught around your waist and stop the wind from getting in.

Sizes available: XXS - XL

Colour options: Black, Purple or Bright Blue

Price: RRP £140

More information: Rapha

[part title="Rapha 2013 Women's Merino Mesh Base Layer"]

Rapha 2013 Merino Base Layer

The merino-blend base layer is a new arrival in the Rapha range, a unisex piece, it's one incredibly lightweight top. In fact it's so thin - it's practically see through. As a busty size 10, the XS base layer sent through had ample room in and was suitably long enough to be tucked comfortably into bib leggings.

Coming in both short and long-sleeve options, this is a staple piece for any cyclists wardrobe that can be worn throughout the year. The mesh structure is designed to aid ventilation and help wick sweat, making sure you stay dry and warm.

Other key features include no labels inside, just a Rapha tab on the outside of the neck. There's a drop tail on the rear, giving you enough material to tuck in and flatlock seams to keep you chafe free. The neck is also snug, so you can be sure you'll stay nice and toasty.

Sizes available: XXS - XL

Colour options: Cream or Black

Price: RRP £60 long sleeve, £55 short sleeve

More information: Rapha

[part title="Rapha 2013 Women's Classic Women's Winter Tights"]


Another new addition to the Rapha women's winter ensemble, these bibs feel incredibly luxurious; soft, stretchy and light weight. Constructed from Italian Thermoroubaix material, it's hard to explain just how soft these feel - you'll just have to purchase a pair to see what we mean! Brushed fleece is used on the inside to help with insulation but also to be soft against your skin.

The first noticeable feature is the chamois pad, or even, the lack of it. Rapha have created these bib leggings to be worn over padded cycling shorts - this is the same situation for the men as well.

Other key notable features include; a roomy zipped pocket on the rear, super soft foot loops, with silicone in a line round the inside of each hem at the bottom of the legs. The full length cam lock zipper stops just above the tummy button and the rear of the bib is constructed of mesh fabric to aid ventilation.

Sizes available: XXS - XL

Colour options: Black and hi-viz pink OR Black and white

Price: RRP £170

More information: Rapha

[part title="Rapha 2013 Unisex Brevet Socks"]

Rapha Brevet Sock

An often overlooked piece of kit, don't let socks be the poor relation in your cycling wardrobe. One of nine pairs available from Rapha, the Brevet socks are constructed of merino blend fabric.

The heel and toe are made of a different material from the rest of the sock, it seems to be more durable providing much needed reinforcement in high-wearing areas. Even the cuff is given thought with Rapha using slightly thicker fabric than the footbed to keep your exposed leg nice and toasty.

A small fitted my UK size 5.5 comfortably.

Sizes available: S - XL

Colour options: Dark Navy and hi-viz pink OR Black and Sulphur

Price: RRP £15

More information: Rapha