THE LIGHTNESS OF SPEED
Ahead of each summer, Rapha presents a selection of the lightest, coolest products, with innovative that’s designed to meet the needs of the top pro riders.
As the season heats up, Rapha makes sure that these features are translated into their Pro Team Collection, in order to keep the rest of us mortal riders well equipped for our biggest rides in the sun.
PRO TEAM CLIMBER’S JERSEY
The Pro Team Climber’s Jersey is made for hot and humid days when riders strive to stay cool. By testing various mesh fabrics with Team Sky, Rapha’s developers have found a blend of open and eyelet meshes that maximise breathability, keep weight low, and maintain a good fit when unzipped.
The main panels of the jersey are made from an eyelet-based mesh, which gives a better structure to the jersey’s fit than an open mesh, while retaining high breathability and a low weight. Two stabilising bonding lines run up the back of the jersey to reinforce the back panel, preventing it from stretching when the pockets are full. An open mesh is used inside the pockets for ventilation, and outer section of the pockets is made from a high-stretch fabric to secure the contents of the pockets – this allows a rider to keep a jacket, gilet and warmers in the pockets for use in changeable conditions. The back of the jersey is finished with reflective details, giving an element of visibility in the long and often unlit tunnels of the mountains.
PRO TEAM LIGHTWEIGHT GILET
For riders who like to stay as bulk-free as possible during a fast ride, the Pro Team Lightweight Gilet is an extremely lightweight outer layer for use in spring and autumn conditions. Despite weighing only 76g, and easily fitting in a rear pocket, the garment provides a vital defence against cold winds or a drop in temperature. Originally designed for use by Team Sky’s cyclists during warm-ups, early-morning starts, or as a last-resort back-up if the weather suddenly changed, the gilet is shaped to suit an aggressive, in-the-drops riding position. A low-friction zip with oversized puller makes taking it on or off very easy, and a mesh-lined collar and rear panel prevents clamminess and allows for temperature regulation.
PRO TEAM LIGHTWEIGHT BIB
The pro peloton has a long history of modifying their kit and equipment – including snipping away at the straps of their shorts to create a lighter garment for hot days. With this in mind, Rapha’s designers have dedicated a summer-specific bib short for racers, using lightweight fabrics and a perforated chamois to enhance moisture transfer and leave riders feeling cooler in the heat.
The bib straps are made using a far lighter mesh than the original Pro Team Bib Shorts, and have been trimmed to ensure less coverage of the skin. The lightweight perforated chamois is more resistant to sweat, while still delivering comfort for long days in the saddle. The seat panels of the shorts use a resilient performance fabric to prevent wear, while the short’s side panels are made from a very lightweight and breathable fabric to enhance moisture transfer. The grippers use a fine silicone print across a broad surface area to give a secure and comfortable fit.
Using materials and construction techniques that prioritize low weight and ventilation, the Climber’s Shoes offer cutting-edge performance and an understated, classic aesthetic.
The uppers are made from a mesh-backed synthetic leather, chosen for its low weight and exceptional breathability. Retaining the tensile strength required to support a foot during intense efforts, the mesh lining also allows sweat to evaporate from inside of the shoe. The leather’s perforations enable fresh air to circulate, leaving the foot feeling cool. Low-profile hook and loop fasteners are chosen for their simplicity and minimal bulk.
The EC90 SLXII sole is an evolution of that found on the Rapha GT Shoes. It keeps weight and stack height to a minimum, incorporates a replaceable heel protector, and is shaped to complement Giro’s SuperNatural Fit™ footbeds that allow riders to choose their preferred level of arch support.
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