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Verdict: 
High-performance hot-weather jersey with a great fit, if not the absolute lightest in this lightweight category
Weight: 
104g
Contact: 
Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey
8 10

Rapha's race-inspired Pro Team range continues to expand. This season it has added this new Flyweight jersey, which uses a lighter and more breathable fabric to provide superb cooling on very hot rides.

The Flyweight joins the Lightweight jersey, already a part of the Pro Team collection, and a new Midweight model, providing you with even more opportunity to tailor your clothing to match the conditions.

> Buy this online here

The Flyweight is the lightest in the range and is designed for the hottest weather. The first thing you notice about it is its weight – or lack of. It's seriously light, although even at 104g it's still giving away 7g to the same sized Sportful R&D Cima jersey (review to come).

Ignoring that, this is still one very light jersey, and almost disappears once you pull it on. The superb panel shaping and fabric stretch contribute to the great fit. Rapha has been really finessing the Pro Team jerseys since they first launched a handful of years ago, and I have to say they are about as good as it currently gets.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - riding.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - riding.jpg

Rapha has cut the weight down by using a very thin 75gsm (grams per square metre) polyester fabric for the front-facing panels. It feels startlingly thin between the fingers and has a nice degree of stretch, which serves to enhance the fit. The jersey is constructed using bonded hems and folded sleeves and the number of seams has been reduced to a minimum.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - chest.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - chest.jpg

To enhance the performance of the jersey in hot weather, there are perforated holes under the arms to improve ventilation and a panel of mesh fabric underneath the rear pockets. A full-length Vislon zipper obviously provides the option for extra ventilation and it works smoothly and easily with one hand.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - mesh.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - mesh.jpg

Despite the lightness of the jersey, the three generously sized pockets can be loaded up with enough food for a long ride without the back of the jersey drooping down over your bum. They're reinforced on the inside for good measure too. The waistband has a thin film of silicone tape to help it stay in place.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - gripper.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - gripper.jpg

Rapha has conceded a little weight penalty in the form of a side zipped pocket, which is an ideal place to safely store keys and money. It's a small sacrifice to the weight weenie gods that I'm happy to make.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - zip pocket.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - zip pocket.jpg

The black jersey looks sleek and everyone knows black is a flattering colour, but if you're worried about visibility be minded that there are reflective details on the back. Grey, light blue and orange versions are also available if you want a brighter colour, and the size range covers XS to XXL.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - pockets.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - pockets.jpg

The jersey's performance in hot weather is very impressive. It feels cooler than the regular Pro Team jersey, less stifling on long, draggy climbs when sweat is beading on your forehead. The breathability of the fabric and those perforated underarms do help reduce heat build-up, leading to a more comfortable ride when the mercury rises.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - back.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - back.jpg

On cooler rides you can feel the chill a little more than the regular Pro Team jersey, which is to be expected, so a lightweight gilet is useful when the weather forecast isn't as hot as you'd like.

Fit and shape are excellent, and as with all Pro Team clothing it's cut on the slim side and works best when hunched over the handlebar. It's not as restrictive a fit as some other very lightweight race jerseys I've tested, but it's still a jersey for riding rather than sitting around in cafes.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - shoulders.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - shoulders.jpg

It's not an aero jersey, but there's no excess fabric to flap in the wind, and the figure-hugging fit likely enhances its aero credentials. The sleeves are fashionably long and sit comfortably on the arms with a stitched hem that isn't at all restrictive. The curved collar has a neat zip guard to cut out irritation of the puller against the neck.

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - sleeve 2.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey - sleeve 2.jpg

In terms of value, it's hard to say £130 is 'good' for a jersey with a pretty limited range of use, but if you can afford it and you know you'll need it... You can always save a tenner by going for the Assos SS.equipeJersey_Evo8 but it's another 22g. Or there's Sportful's £95, 97g R&D Cima, which I've been seriously impressed with. (Full review will be up very soon.)

Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best summer jerseys

For coping with hot weather or long mountain climbs in sweltering heat, the new Pro Team Flyweight is an easy jersey to recommend. It might not have the all-round versatility of the regular Pro Team jersey, but if you want a top that will keep you cooler on the hottest days, it's well worth a look.

Verdict

High-performance hot-weather jersey with a great fit, if not the absolute lightest in this lightweight category

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Pro Team Flyweight Jersey

Size tested: Small, Black

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?

Rapha says: "Rapha's short sleeve Pro Team cycling jerseys have been overhauled to offer three options according to the conditions you ride in. The Pro Team Flyweight Jersey is the lightest and coolest cycling jersey in the Pro Team collection. Made of extremely lightweight fabrics, including a 75gsm fabric on the front, the jersey is designed for training and racing in hot and humid conditions.

"The Pro Team fit suits an in-the-drops, on-bike position, while the look of the jersey maintains the Pro Team aesthetic: bonded hems, folded-in sleeves and fewer seams all work together to reduce bulk and improve performance in hot conditions. Pro Team products are the leading edge of Rapha's performance technology, developed and proven through four years of work with the world's best cyclists, Team Sky. Elite racewear, available to all."

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

Rapha lists these features:

Extremely lightweight cycling jersey for hot to humid weather

Perforated holes under arms for ventilation

Triple rear pocket with smart gussets for extra storage

Mesh fabric under rear pockets for breathability

Pro Team 'convict stripes' on rear

Reflective piping on rear pocket

VISLON® zip for smooth glide and easy one-handed operation

Pro Team fit for an on-bike position

Perforated holes under arms for ventilation

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Top notch quality as you'd hope for at this price.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It's excellent in warm and hot weather and keeps you cooler than most regular jerseys, especially ideal on long climbs.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It's well constructed and durability has shone through the testing period.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Rapha's Pro Team clothing is at the figure-hugging end of the scale, but it's well shaped and the stretch in the fabric ensures it fits well without being restrictive.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

No issues with the sizing.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10

It's not the lightest, but it's still among the lightest of lightweight jerseys.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

The fabric is nice next to the skin and the fit makes it a very comfortable jersey for long rides.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

It provides good performance for the price, but there are cheaper and even lighter.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Black is an easy colour to look after.

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

Keeps the heat down when riding in warm and hot weather.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great fit and very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's 7g more than the Sportful R&D Cima jersey. Tsk.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

This is a seriously good jersey for hot weather, and would score 9 overall but for the fact that you can go even lighter and cheaper.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

16 comments

Avatar
Valbrona [244 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

2/ Only Numpties were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt.

Avatar
Leviathan [2863 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Valbrona wrote:

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

2/ Only Numpties were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt.

Ridiculous. No one is wearing this jersey on a wet November evening in Shoreditch and if they are they better have some good lights. Stop denormalizing cycling. 

Avatar
drosco [415 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

It's a fine line between understated and boring looking.

Avatar
Duncann [1158 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Why would you choose a black jersey in hot weather?

Avatar
derek n clive [264 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Rapha's black kit is remarkably cool in hot weather. I thought the 'Cold Black' tech fabric they used was just spin, but it works.

Avatar
abrooks [21 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

So there are pro team midweight, lightweight and flyweight jerseys, on top of the pro team aero, training and shadow jerseys.  No place however for the pro team jacket or its replacement, the training jacket which are some of my favourite bits of kit and get a lot of use for at least three seasons.

Anyone else confused by this, or are Rapha international now and the range has to reflect long hot summers?

Avatar
StoopidUserName [368 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
abrooks wrote:

So there are pro team midweight, lightweight and flyweight jerseys, on top of the pro team aero, training and shadow jerseys.  No place however for the pro team jacket or its replacement, the training jacket which are some of my favourite bits of kit and get a lot of use for at least three seasons.

Anyone else confused by this, or are Rapha international now and the range has to reflect long hot summers?

It's June. Wait a few months and it'll probably be back  3

Avatar
StoopidUserName [368 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Valbrona wrote:

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

2/ Only Numpties were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt.

1) Explain how the Aldi ones are so shit. *

2) Get a life.

* You get what you pay for - they are excellent value, but in my experience still a bit crap - your experience may be different, good luck to you!.

Avatar
rkemb [53 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I find Aldi ones very variable; sometimes they're great, sometimes the fit is a bit weird, I guess due to sourcing from different suppliers each year. They've improved a lot over the last ten years though.

 

Decathlon are pretty good value and consistent though.

Avatar
alansmurphy [1172 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Valbrona wrote:

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

2/ Only Numpties were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt.

 

But cycle lanes are all red or blue!?!

Avatar
ClubSmed [472 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Valbrona wrote:

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

2/ Only Numpties were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt.

 

1) Just because it is made in the same place (and I am yet to be convinced that they are) does not mean that they use the same materials or same templates for fit!

2) If they "were cycling tops the same colour as wet asphalt" what are they now?

Avatar
Duncann [1158 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
Valbrona wrote:

1/ A business insider tells me these are made in the same factory as the Aldi ones.

1) Just because it is made in the same place (and I am yet to be convinced that they are) does not mean that they use the same materials or same templates for fit!

I think that's the thing: the factory isn't likely to be responsible for design or material choice. They just stitch the things together as directed. So long as they can do that then it doesn't really matter  what else they do for who (all for rock bottom wages, of course).

Picked up quite a nice, lightweight Aldi jersey myself the other week. Good fit and made in the same factory as Rapha, so I'm told.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [959 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:

Why would you choose a black jersey in hot weather?

Actually in anything above a few mph black is cooler than white.

There's a thread on Road CC re the new SKY kit they are using for the TdF where I explained why.

 

I bought a Rapha lightweight, it's okay but a bit small for us with 47" chest and big shoulders, i also don't have the waist size I did 20+ years ago which doesn't help.

best fitting jerseys I've bought have being from lidl and Polaris, both have worn exceptionally well, shorts and nicks I tend to buy castelli, Assos, Nalini.

Avatar
hsiaolc [367 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:

Why would you choose a black jersey in hot weather?

There are other colours to choose from. 

Avatar
hsiaolc [367 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Duncann wrote:

Why would you choose a black jersey in hot weather?

Actually in anything above a few mph black is cooler than white.

There's a thread on Road CC re the new SKY kit they are using for the TdF where I explained why.

 

I bought a Rapha lightweight, it's okay but a bit small for us with 47" chest and big shoulders, i also don't have the waist size I did 20+ years ago which doesn't help.

best fitting jerseys I've bought have being from lidl and Polaris, both have worn exceptionally well, shorts and nicks I tend to buy castelli, Assos, Nalini.

Their XXL shoud fit you? 

The fly weight is relaxed cut so it should fit fine.  I have two and I like them.

I didn't now black is actually cooler than white at higher speeds.  It is great to know.  Thank you. 

Their new Lines range kicks ass. Super design. 

Their products really do improve with each generation. Love everything they do. 

Their new gloves are many steps above their previous ones.  

 

 

 

Avatar
Chris Hayes [174 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

There are lots of haters our there, but one of the attractions in buying Rapha is that you can always get 50-60% of the cost price back for it on eBay.  I doubt that is the same for Sportful.  Hence the cheaper jersey that's 7g lighter doesn't look such good value afterall once you recycle your wardrobe.  Then there's the aftercare service; free crash and fault repairs, etc.  And the fact that they'll give you 50% back for it if you downsize within a year.  That too has value.  Now, don't send me hatemail... I won't read it I'm off for a beer in Shoreditch.  I'll be the one without a beard.