Despite the fact that summer has clung on for dear life, there is an apparent chill in the air. Winter is on its way and alas it is time to start turning our attention towards waterproof jackets, baselayers, overshoes, gloves and cosy winter jerseys. Many of us are not rejoicing the arrival of colder temperatures and shorter days but here at TWC we like to embrace the brighter side of things – it’s an excuse to purchase some gorgeous new winter gear.
One of the first winter cycling jerseys we have put to the test this year is the Rapha Souplesse Long Sleeve jersey. Slipping it on, one of the first things I noticed was how good it felt against my skin. It is super soft and envelops you in a friendly hug, immediately reminding you of the feeling you get from your very favourite piece of gear.
I opted to try the Size Small for my UK 10 frame. Due to the fact I am tall, I felt it rode a little high on my belly, although when worn with a bib short there is definitely no gap and it fit pretty perfectly elsewhere.
At £160 this jersey certainly does not come cheap so my expectations were high when it came to how the jersey would perform under pressure. Thankfully though Rapha delivered.
I have worn this jersey on both mild autumnal days and much nippier days. I feared the Souplesse jersey would be too warm on the mild day, but thankfully it wicked away sweat fantastically and the full zip allowed me some much needed ventilation. I actually wore it with the Rapha Classic Bib Shorts and thanks to the in-built baselayer style on the shorts, I was able to open the jersey completely without exposing myself.
Fast forward a week, temperatures had dropped dramatically and I had that zip fastened all the way to the top. The jersey dealt with the wind admirably and I was super grateful of the soft collar wrapped around my neck. Elsewhere the jersey has elasticated cuffs which sit really snug and comfortably on the wrists. There are three pockets on the rear, with plenty of room for all of my kit. In addition to this there is a central pump pocket and a zipped pocket for valuables.
As per usual Rapha has delivered when it comes to style and performance. I love the little touches on this jersey such as the block colour stripe along the back and the polka dot inner collar. It’s these touches along with the sublimely soft material and fantastic performance that make you feel like you are wearing something a little bit special.
The price. £160 is a lot to pay for a jersey.
Overall I loved the Rapha Souplesse jersey and I have no doubt it will be hauled out of the closet for many a winter ride in the coming months.
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