This Saturday Rapha is encouraging cyclists to get out and put some time on the bike to show that you are Braver Than the Elements. Probably the biggest part of riding continuously throughout the year is having the proper clothing for whatever weather you are going to encounter. So as winter teases us with less and less daylight every day, Rapha introduces a revamped Pro Team Softshell jacket designed to keep the cold and wet at bay. While it doesn’t look all that different that previous versions, developed with Team Sky, the new softshell uses new fabrics and details for a premium new jacket. Check out the details below…
Winter is almost upon us in the northern hemisphere and the days are certainly getting shorter and for many of us colder and wetter. To show Mother Nature how unrelenting you can be, join one of the Braver Than the Elements rides planned throughout North America, the UK, Europe, Japan, and Korea. It started as a women’s ride last year, and will be even bigger this year with men and women together on most of the rides. Get out and embrace the weather, and ride with some like-minded souls.
Rapha see their new Pro Team Softshell as the be-all, end-all technical jacket to handle the changeable weather that we can expect this time of year. When Rapha started to work with the pros of Team Sky, they demanded a jacket to protect them through the wet winter, but that breathed well enough that they wouldn’t overheat during hard efforts. Keeping pros happy through the winter is often times harder than it seems. While most of us mortals can just blow off a few days of riding (cough; training) if the weather turns bad, most pros don’t have that luxury and don’t want to spend weeks on a trainer. And while many pros spend their winters on warm island, there are always a few crazy enough to spend time at home with their families in northern Europe and still get out and ride. Add to that the fact that many pros have an unrealistically low body fat level and you can see that they can be hard to please.
The new Rapha Pro Team Softshell Jacket then gets updated with a new Power Shield Pro fabric from Polartec, together with fully taped seams and laser cut vents. The Power Shield Pro is a three-layer laminate with a hydrophobic outer layer than should shed water much longer than most DWR finishes, and a waffled inner layer to both wick moisture away and hold warm air next to the body for insulation.
Cuff zippers with big pulls make it easy to get the jacket on, even with the less forgiving fabric, but keeps a close, tight fit that doesn’t flap around in the wind. The jacket also adds a large rubberized cover over the entire center rear pocket down to the hem that makes it easy to wipe road spray and mud off the back. Also since the fabric is waterproof, the pockets get drain holes so they don’t fill up in the rain.
The jacket would make Henry Ford blush, as in addition to black, it comes in an almost indistinguishable dark gray too. Fortunately, it does add several reflective accents on the rear pocket, collar, and arms to lend some low-light visibility. The new softshell retails for £200/250€/$295 and promises to keep you dry and warm through the winter.