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Verdict: 
Good looking, well fitting shirt with some subtle cycling features that performs impressively on and off the bike
Weight: 
221g
Contact: 
Rapha Cutter's Shirt
7 10

Home, ride, work, ride, meeting, ride, work, ride, home, ride pub, wobbly ride, home. When riding is an integral part of everyday life then what you wear needs to adapt to suit this. The good news is that looking good off the bike and performance on it don't need to be mutually exclusive. The Rapha Cutter's Shirt is a sharp-looking slim-fit shirt that comes with a handful of natty cycling twists.

Rapha calls the cut of the shirt 'semi-tailored'. No, this doesn't mean that a tailor got bored halfway through their job, it's more a nod towards it being slim fitting but not a fully tailored cut, allowing for some extra room when you're on the bike. The sleeves are a decent length and keep your wrists nicely covered when you're reaching forward for the bar, and the tail is dropped just enough to keep your lower back out of sight. The 'French-style' collar gives you the option of combining it with a tie if you're looking to impress your boss/mother-in-law/judge, delete as appropriate.

Buy this online here

The material is a cotton blend with a dash of elastane thrown into the mix to give it that bit of extra stretch that's essential when you're in the saddle. It's pretty lightweight and dries out really quickly if you're caught in a sudden rain shower or get slightly sweaty on dashes across town.

Other cycling details on offer are subtle but useful. The placket (top section of the buttons) is covered with a flap of material and the shoulder seams are carefully positioned on the front and back of the shoulder rather than along the ridge. This allows you to comfortably wear a messenger bag without it dragging or catching on the buttons (a common problem) and digging the seams into your shoulders, a neat detail.

Both cuffs are piped with reflective trim, but it's such a small nod towards some kind of low light visibility that it seems a bit half-hearted. A bit more of this would have been useful, and elsewhere on the shirt too, otherwise why bother?

Many of Rapha's products come with a story behind them and the Cutter's Shirt is no exception. The version we reviewed featured the cutter's print that gives the shirt its name. It was inspired by the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, a crit across Paris contested by the city's newspaper couriers at the turn of the century. The competitors had to deliver bundles of newspapers across town and the triangular motif represents the corners of the newspapers that they snipped off to fit these bundles tight against their bars. So you're essentially getting a free pub anecdote with this shirt, but if you're not of the Jackanory ilk you can opt for the grey or light blue chambray options that are also available.

Check out our buyer's guide to the best casual cycling commuter wear here

Standard shirts can often be restricting to ride in, with seams in the wrong places and the combination of cut and materials hampering movement, especially across the shoulders. The Cutter's Shirt has none of these issues and is a joy to ride in. The extra stretch in the fabric allows it to move with your body as you pedal, and the covered buttons and tactically placed seams make it easy to use with a messenger bag slung across your body. The material does dry really quickly and means you can arrive at your destination without having to worry about looking too dishevelled for the rest of the day.

Off the bike it's basically just a smart looking shirt, and that's exactly what it should be. Nothing about it says 'cycling' and it seamlessly becomes something to wear to the office or the pub. In fact it's a piece of clothing that can be worn regardless of whether a bike is going to be involved in your day or not.

At £95 it's pricey, but you knew that when you saw the name of the product. Rapha kit comes with a reputation not just for cost but for quality, and the Cutter's Shirt certainly meets that mark. If you're in the market for a good looking, impressively performing shirt then this should definitely be up there in your list of prospective candidates. Get in quick, though: stocks are running low unless you're quite small or quite large.

Verdict

Good looking, well fitting shirt with some subtle cycling features that performs impressively on and off the bike

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Cutter's Shirt

Size tested: Medium, Blue

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Cutter's Shirt is a sharp looking shirt for the 'man about town'.

Rapha says: "Semi-tailored, cotton-blend technical cycling shirt. The most recent incarnation of Rapha's shirting uses a fine cotton-blend performance fabric with a semi-tailored cut, resulting in a high-quality and slim-fitting shirt with a modern silhouette."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Key features:

- Available in Cutter's print and chambray fabrics

- Semi-tailored

- High-stretch, quick-drying fabric

- Covered placket

- French-style collar

- Reflective piping at cuff

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The shirt performs impressively on the bike – everything it claims to do it does well. Off the bike it's smart looking and suitable for everyday life without looking too 'cycling'.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The covered placket and tactically placed shoulder seams are great when you're using a courier bag, meaning you're comfortable and can sling it on and off your shoulder without catching your buttons.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The reflective piping on the sleeve is a vague nod towards some visibility but it could either do with making them a bit larger or doing away with them altogether.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Cutter's Shirt does everything it claims to do to a decent level. It performs impressively on and off the bike and has some nice subtle features, though the reflective piping seems like a bit of an afterthought. It's certainly better than 'Above Average', but lacks the killer blow to take it any higher than a 'Good'.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 5'10"  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: KHS Flite 100 Singlespeed/Fixed, Genesis Equilibrium 20  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed

 

Oli has been a road.cc staffer since day one. He's the graphic design and photography force behind the site, and has got a keen eye for good quality, well designed cycling kit. You'll find him on his bike everyday whatever the weather, he's got a penchant for a steel frame and has had 'fit mudguards' on his To Do list for nearly 6 years now. Likes: cold toast, gin, rugby. Dislikes: fitting mudguards. 

19 comments

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Colin Peyresourde [1805 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I just keep thinking 'Breaking Away'.....

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matthewn5 [987 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Horrible fit. All boxy around the shoulders and tight around the waist!

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mike_ibcyclist [65 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I admit it . . . I clicked through to read the comments, rather than read the review. Slightly disappointed at this stage, but will monitor for chuckles.

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MamilMan [51 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Just £3 per month can help us keep hipsters out of cycling. Will you help?
The natural habitat of cyclists will soon be over run with hipsters called Tarquinn dressed like this. But with your help we can save cycling for the nation.

£30 will pay for a gang of skin heads to go round to his flat and slash his tyres.

£50 will bribe the man at the cycle shop to not sell him the parts he needs to repair his hand made Pashley.
Hope may one day return to the cycle paths of Haringay and Islington. Please help. Before it's too late.
Issued on behalf of the 'Keep Hipsters Out Of Cycling Campaign' a charitable trust.

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gazpacho [106 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Wore this on a first date 4 months ago. Still with the lovely lady. Chick magnet shirt. Probably rubbish to cycle in. That is all.

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Dr_Lex [399 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I like it, and it fits the model well, although the comment about long sleeves for riding doesn't quite marry up with the picture. Shame that the covered placket doesn't extend all the way down the front of the shirt. No pocket?

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geargrinderbeard [97 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I am constantly agonising over the performance of my shirts

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stenmeister [338 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

If it wasn't Rapha, would you still be perceived as a hipster if you wore this shirt and rode a bike  39

my £3 trouser clips make me look more of a hipster than any of my Rapha gear does.

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farrell [1946 posts] 1 year ago
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stenmeister wrote:

If it wasn't Rapha, would you still be perceived as a hipster if you wore this shirt and rode a bike  39

I don't think so, triangles have been pretty much done to death for past 7/8 years (or whenever it was Alt-J changed their name from Daljit Dhaliwal).

It may be a great fit and fabric but the print looks like the sort of thing even Primark have been knocking out for a number of years, it probably would have been better to keep it plain as the blue is quite a nice colour.

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WolfieSmith [1378 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
drmatthewhardy wrote:

Horrible fit. All boxy around the shoulders and tight around the waist!

You can't buy Rapha if you have a waist. Rapha's 'spare tyre' holder is the back pocket or a fancy leather pouch - not the jersey or shirt itself. As an XL man I know that only too well.

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michophull [142 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Plenty of 100% cotton shirts are available in charity shops for three or four quid each. Quite often they're top brands which have never been worn.  3

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mikeakelly [9 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The grey version of this is my new favourite shirt - it's a great cut and fit. I certainly wouldn't want to wreck it by riding a bike in it though.

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Morat [250 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks like something Eddy Jordan would wear on TV. So I'm out...

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stenmeister [338 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Morat wrote:

Looks like something Eddy Jordan would wear on TV. So I'm out...

Don't know about Jordan but Matt Barbet was wearing one whilst presenting The Cycle Show on ITV4 during the summer.

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The _Kaner [1046 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

discodiscodisco!

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hsiaolc [328 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
MercuryOne wrote:
drmatthewhardy wrote:

Horrible fit. All boxy around the shoulders and tight around the waist!

You can't buy Rapha if you have a waist. Rapha's 'spare tyre' holder is the back pocket or a fancy leather pouch - not the jersey or shirt itself. As an XL man I know that only too well.

Thats not true at all. I am an XL man myself and with some rapha stuff I wear large instead.

I have over 20 Jerseys from Rapha and most of them I wear large. With their latest aero pro jerseys I have to scale up to XL size for perfect fit and they have XXL for even bigger and I have a 38 inch waist with a big belly.

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Nick T [1045 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looks exactly like the sort of "going out shirt" an 18 year old would wear every Friday night, when he went uptown with the lads to the Pitcher & Piano in Norwich

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Anthony.C [221 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
hsiaolc wrote:
MercuryOne wrote:
drmatthewhardy wrote:

Horrible fit. All boxy around the shoulders and tight around the waist!

You can't buy Rapha if you have a waist. Rapha's 'spare tyre' holder is the back pocket or a fancy leather pouch - not the jersey or shirt itself. As an XL man I know that only too well.

Thats not true at all. I am an XL man myself and with some rapha stuff I wear large instead.

I have over 20 Jerseys from Rapha and most of them I wear large. With their latest aero pro jerseys I have to scale up to XL size for perfect fit and they have XXL for even bigger and I have a 38 inch waist with a big belly.

Why do you need so many jerseys ?

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Kadinkski [655 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The Spanish dude doing the wrap ups at the end of the day on the vuelta wears this shirt all the time. Must pong a bit by now.