Rapha’s Women's Classic Jersey is part of the company's new three item capsule collection for women, and you get a free gift a pair of colour coordinated matching armwarmers. this should really make it a four part collection.
The jersey is smart, with Rapha’s signature looks, and some subtle use of contrasting colours without being garish or overly girly. The matching armwarmers contrast nicely, and succeed in making the whole long-sleeved ensemble look like it works. It’s an undeniably good looking jersey.
Performance is good, with the Sportwool (40% merino/60% polyester) mix offering the comfort and wearability of wool, with the extra moisture management offered by the inclusion of synthetics. That said, the quite thick fabric does run a little on the warm side for use in the height of summer, but it also doesn’t feel quite as soft and luxurious as you’d probably hope from a merino based top. It’s also very prone to pulling which is a downer. On the upside though the armwarmers make it useful for most of the year.
Details are thoughtfully implemented, such as a bite patch on the neck to facilitate zipping and unzipping the full length zip on the fly, hem drawcord to secure the shaped tail, a small zipped key pocket and three rear pouch pockets, one of which houses a pump sleeve and a reflective tab, and one an earphone cable hole. The tail has a gripper to secure it to shorts.
The fit is contoured and sleek, with no unnecessary fabric to bunch up or crease, and curves in the right places to suit women who have curves in those places. Even the armwarmers, which can be a minefield for women who have more muscly biceps than standard (me), fit well, with enough give to compensate for and accommodate most dimensions of upper arm, slender or beefy, without the hideously unflattering gaps that can sometimes occur.
A good looking and comfortable jersey/armwarmers combo, but the fabric was just a touch disappointing for the price.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Women\'s Classic Jersey
Size tested: Black, 12
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?
Aimed at female road riders, for a variety of conditions.
In reality not ideally suited to high summer, but useful for spring and autumn, even mild winters.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
40% merino wool/60% polyester
Colour contrast zip baffle.
Three rear cargo pockets, one with pump sleeve, one with MP3 earphone hole.
1 small side zipped pocket.
Bite grip patch on collar to aid zip adjustment on the fly
Gripper at hem
Matching cream arm warmers included
Well made and with good attention to detail
A little overwarm for warmer conditions, but a useful top for 3 season use.
Wicked and dried reasonably quickly.
Grippers maintained good connection between shorts and jersey, no gaps.
Fabric pulls very easily.
A comfortable cut/fit and a good option for all but really warm conditions. Armwarmers comfortable and good fit.
Fabric slightly disappointing for this price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well, was comfortable in use and versatile with the inclusion of the armwarmers.
Well designed and with nice features.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Full length zip with colour contrast baffle.
Zipped side pocket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fabric felt not 'woolly' enough and too much 'polyester'
Fabric pulled/caught really easily.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A well thought through jersey with some nice features and great styling. Just a shame about the slightly disappointing fabric.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.