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Rapha comes out of the Shadow with new wet and cold Pro Team kit

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Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit

Once the exclusive market of Castelli’s Gabba, specialized wet weather clothing has become a critical item in the kit bag of professional cyclists. And with the demand from every team, sponsored by pretty much every big clothing maker in the cycling market, most manufacturers have had to step up their game to try to match or better the Gabba at the risk of having their racers compete in their competitor’s kit when the weather turns foul. So, now Rapha is the latest to put out their take on bad weather gear. Their newly released Shadow jersey and bib shorts have been raced under the Sky team since at least the tail end of last winter, and Rapha has finally sorted out the last refinements to put the kit into production and make it available to consumers…

Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit_Jersey-shoulder Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit_pocket-detail

The Rapha Pro Team Shadow line-up is now limited to a shortsleeve jersey and a pair of bib shorts with the intention of it being ridden from Spring through Fall as a shortsleeve wet weather deal for now. But we have it on pretty good authority that the arm and leg warmers that Sky were using last year will be available in next autumn so that it can be combined for more winter capability too.

The Italian-made Shadow kit is based around a new all-weather, breathable, hydrophobic fabric designed to be worn across typical seasonal boundaries, and developed at the direct request of the Sky team. It is made with a single-layer fabric, stretch-woven for a compressive fit. Its yarn gets a DWR coating before being woven, then a steam treatment that shrinks the fabric for a tighter feel, then finally another DWR finish. The resulting fabric is both highly wind resistant and water repellent, while maintaining breathability, with a comfy brushed interior.

The jersey come only in black for now and sells for $320/320€/£220. It gets extended 3/4 length short sleeves that come down almost to the elbow to keep your upper arm warm in colder weather, and taped seams at the shoulders to keep water out from above. The jersey has a standard 3+1 pocket layout with drain holes, and reflective accents.

Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit_bib-shorts Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit_bib-shorts-front Rapha_Shadow-Pro-Team_wet-weather-kit_bib-shorts-rear

The Pro Team Shadow bib shorts go for $385/385€/£260/ with the same compressive hydrophobic fabric. They use the same fit and chamois as the Pro Team Thermal bibs with which they overlap a bit in their functionality. Again the black-only shorts include small reflective tabs on the legs for a little added visibility.

The kit is available now, and we expect to give it a try in the near future, so look forward to our thoughts ahead of the Spring Classics.

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Me
Me
7 years ago

Why is all of this wet weather stuff made in black? Am I missing something or wouldn’t the times when you need this clothing also be the times when high viz is needed most? Or are all of the cycling clothing people just stupid…

STS
STS
7 years ago
Reply to  Me

Just because most of the guys who buy their crazy expensive stuff will use it only once in the rain only to find out that they will still get wet and feel uncomfortable and their also black in black hyper expensive carbon bikes will get dirty. So they will end up wearing it in more favorable weather when their aesthetic preferences don’t allow them to choose any high-vis garment.

Ryan S
Ryan S
7 years ago
Reply to  Me

Maybe because darker colors absorb heat from the Sun better?

Dallas
Dallas
7 years ago

no, absolutely, $700 for a cold weather kit with short sleeves and shorts seems totally reasonable. I don’t know why everyone hasn’t bought these yet.
F*$@ Rapha

Dude
Dude
7 years ago

If pricing is a big hangup, you’re not their target market.

Jeff Bergen
7 years ago

Dallas, you need to come to grips with the fact that not every cycling item is meant for every cyclist, which is no different than cars. Me personally, I wouldn’t spend $50K or more on a new Lexus, but my town is full of them so more power to Lexus for making a great product and selling it. I also don’t say F*$@ Lexus when I drive by one, I just accept some things will never be in my possession, but that doesn’t make them evil. There will always be cheaper alternatives, so it isn’t like you’re being forced to buy this stuff.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Bergen

yeah but I do laugh at new and expensive cars and people spending so much money on them, considering they are a quickly depreciating asset. I’m embarrassed for them, and I’m not a sanctimonious guy. I usually conclude they get some benefit from the display of conspicuous consumption I cannot not understand or empathize with.

I don’t feel the same way about bike clothing. It’s $300 bucks! It’s expensive for what it is, sure, but it’s $300. Get over it!

bc
bc
7 years ago

Endura’s Classics Jersey is very similar, except it comes in Hi Viz Green, and includes matching armwarmers (aka sleeeeeeves) for $220
http://issuu.com/endurausa/docs/endura_ss2016_us/22

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Obviously, everyone doesn’t buy Rapha stuff. It would be nice if some of the bigger players would make somewhat breathable, waterproof stuff that isn’t baggy. My problem isn’t with Rapha(all their stuff is spendy). Its with Pearl, LG, Specialized, and Bontrager not making something reasonably priced. You know they can but they don’t.

cerebis
cerebis
7 years ago

I’ve actually tried this kit on. The weave of the fabric feels interesting to the hand. I’m slightly between sizes on their normal Pro Team stuff and, in the slightly undersized option, it felt a lot like a compression garment. Lots of stretch, but I would try the larger size too if I were to buy it.

The collar is high and the sleeves are to the elbow and finish snug. Looked like they really tried to attend to the details overall, but ya I was surprised at the price.

@Me
One reason some rain gear is black/dark is because the yarns going into the fabric are not white, so the colour outcomes from the dyeing process are severely limited.

@STS
I know it’s popular to disparage Rapha and its customers, but the reality is there is healthy chunk of riders that wear the brand and ride a lot in all weather. It does last well in my experience and they try to offer a high level of customer service — such as with returns due to faults.

Antipodean_eleven
7 years ago

@STS, as @cerebis said, a lot of ‘real’ riders wear Rapha and it is good kit – that’s coming from someone who competes against them! Actually, I’d say of all the kit out there, Rapha really sets the benchmark for overall quality and attention to detail.

@Jeff Bergen hits it on the mark, not everything is made for everyone. That’s not how the world works and cycling these days is just like everything else… maybe even worse in some respects. For example, in Sydney, where we are, Rapha is everywhere. High paid corporate types buy into it and can afford it and it looks good with their uber black carbon whatever it is bike. Yes, it’s a ‘thing’ (and I have always disliked the latest ‘thing’) and a large sector of the ‘new’ Sydney riders have to have the ‘thing’, but I give it to Rapha for hitting the mark so well. Read the interviews, they know who they are and how they polarise the market. It’s smart and here we are talking about them!

Actually, Sydney is so bad for the ‘thing’ that we sell kit to everywhere but Sydney, where we actually are based, in a ratio of something like 30:1!!!!

STS
STS
7 years ago

If you know a lot of riders regularly riding in Rapha stuff even in inclement weather then you can probably come up with a better answer than mine why that stuff is all black. Even if it would cost only $100 I would not buy a black rain jersey. With the Gabba I waited until it was available in high-vis yellow.

S. Molnar
S. Molnar
7 years ago

I wonder if any of these companies will ever figure out that wool is the perfect material for cold and wet. Probably not – too low-tech.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
7 years ago
Reply to  S. Molnar

Rapha has wool, so does Castelli, Road Holland, DeMarchi, Giro, Bontrager, Ibex, etc, etc. Somebody isn’t paying attention. Sure, Rapha is expensive but you get what you pay for. Most of these clowns that are poo-pooing Rapha have no argument other than the price, because you can be certain that they’ve never tried on one item.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

Liking the Gabba stuff, in real colors no less, but black? Again & again black?
Rapha PLZ

Then again we color-bearers seem to be the minority.

Chimong
Chimong
7 years ago

What’s the difference between this and the pro team softshell base? If it’s anything like it then then can stuff it. It’s great for commuting but for its intended use as a wet weather race base layer it sucks. After you heat up you get drenched from the inside out. It’s no better than neoprene. Hopefully this new stuff is better. Till then I’m sticking with a wool base and a vest over my race jersey.

Sascha Roszak
7 years ago

Well said Jeff…

Antipodean_eleven
7 years ago

@S. Molnar, urrrrrrr…. we have!

Corky
Corky
7 years ago

Dave, Rapha products are made all over…. Rumania, Portugal …… Ignorance is bliss eh?

S. Molnar
S. Molnar
7 years ago

Antipodean: Yes, I have one of your wool jerseys and want more (plus shorts). I was thinking of the bigger companies that have wool blends at best (maybe I missed Rapha’s 100% wool jersey, but I only see them doing pure wool in baselayers).

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

No problem with the price but the fact that Rapha makes all of it’s stuff in China makes me laugh. They are just great at marketing and pr.

Before Rapha pulled out of bike shops and now only wants to sell online or in it’s own stores a few shops I know that were selling it even knew that the Rapha stuff was not that great and a bit over priced but stupid hipsters that though it was cool would buy it so they were glad to take their money.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
7 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Castelli isn’t made in Italy and Assos isn’t made in Switzerland. You cannot depict a better picture of a two legged stool. Half the bikes in the pro peloton are made in Asia, and yet people buy them. But it’s all a conspiracy to drain your bank account, I get it.

YSV
YSV
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

The Shadow stuff is all made in Italy. Vast majority of the stuff is made in Europe, I.e, Pro Team Bibs, Pro Team Jersey, Classic Bibs, Aero Suit, and a lot of the City Stuff…

Rixter
Rixter
7 years ago

I don’t own a single piece of Rapha kit, but I don’t have a problem with the price if it’s a quality product not made in sweatshop in China. So many brands like to look European and charge prices as though their products were hand made in Italy, where in fact they’re poorly made Chinese goods ‘designed in wherever’ with huge markups.

cmat
cmat
6 years ago
Reply to  Rixter

Funny how you’re so sure that they’re made in a sweatshop.

Rapha’s Chinese manufacturer is actually a global leader in socially responsible manufacturing.
– your vehement self-righteous view is based on nothing more than xenophobia.

Corky
Corky
7 years ago

Wool loses it’s ability to a)wick and b) insulate when wet, wether through sweat or precipitation……

Antipodean_eleven
7 years ago
Reply to  Corky

@corky “Wool loses it’s ability to a)wick and b) insulate when wet, wether through sweat or precipitation……”

Eh? Unless this is a troll, you need to do your learning before commenting: http://www.eleven.cc/merino/

MBro
MBro
7 years ago

Usual price arguments aside, you cannot fault their customer service. I had a tumble last year, tearing my pro team bibs and jersey, sent them back for free repair and came back good as new. Definitely worth the price, you don’t get that kind of service very often.

Loki
Loki
7 years ago

@Corky What? Do you mean wool, the hygroscopic insulator, the stuff with an epicuticle, the stuff with cortical cells that breaks down hydrogen bonds (H2O anyone), that kinked fibre stuff filled with air pockets ? That wool?
If that isn’t a troll attempt, google is your friend.

Loki
Loki
7 years ago

I am continually disappointed by the covert racial discrimination evident in the comments sections. Yes, all garments made in China are made in sweatshops. No, North America has no sweatshops. Yes, everything made in China is inferior because it wasn’t made by a ‘Merican. Etc.

Ugly and inaccurate.

Allan
Allan
7 years ago
Reply to  Loki

Then enlighten us all on the conditions at Rapha’s China plant…I’d actually be curious. Do you actually know if their factory is not a sweatshop, or are you also making an uninformed comment?

Loki
Loki
7 years ago
Reply to  Loki

Allan you missed the point. I’m not championing Rapha; personally I find the false heritage marketing and coat tail association to St Raphael disingenuous. My point is that if you are assuming that Asia equals inferior until proven otherwise, which is implicit in a number of comments, then you’re exhibiting racial discrimination. In this case discrimination is meant pejoratively. The fact that you’re looking to whether Rapha is made in a sweatshop or not to justify that prejudice after the fact is maybe more telling than you’d like.

cmat
cmat
6 years ago
Reply to  Loki

Nothing wrong with “coat tail” marketing as you put it.

Reviving long-lost brands is nothing new.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Right Loki. Chinese workers get healthcare and better than US equivalent wage for working in garment factories. That said, my problem is with the disgusting profit margins that Western companies make while taking advantage of being able to pay low wages and send goods abroad with lower taxes than Asians pay for Euro imports. A Filipino pays double for US Nikes made in the Philippines because its an “American product”

Allan
Allan
7 years ago

Lots of arguments back and forth about pricing. It’s funny though…I wonder if the same people who glow over Chinese-made 1000% mark-up clothing like Rapha are defending people who spend 10G’s on an American made Trek bike, instead of an ultra-cool custom bike from an independent small builder? Or is it only cool to “waste” your money on Rapha kit, and totally lame to buy an expensive Trek or Spesh…How much of this defensiveness is founded in beliefs, and how much of it is just noise? I know how BR works!

Matt
Matt
7 years ago

Fancy way to ensure getting run over by a F150 in low light conditions.

adam
adam
7 years ago

Why short sleeved?!?! Wtf. When it’s warm and rainy I have no problem riding or racing in a wet kit. It comes with the territory. It’s those early wet spring rides and races that really need special gear. So I’ll wear this new $700 kit with my old baselayer and legwarmers…which will; both get soaked. This is just a waste of a product.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

A fool and their money……

Rampant greed in the bike industry.

Wes
Wes
7 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Couldn’t agree more Tim. We have been working with a pro level manufacturer for the past 4 years and they are phenomenal! Because of the rampant greed – we are now building a platform that will connect cyclists of all levels with pro quality kit at cost! To give you an example for a pair of premium bib shorts – Italian Lycra, Cytech Pad / chamios all the bells and whistles – $74 + shipping. They are camparable to all the big brands in quality and longevity! Feel free to email us on gsprocycling@gmail.com

Pitbull
Pitbull
7 years ago

Say what you will about Rapha but their stuff is amazing.

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