Rapha is releasing a new racewear line called Shadow that’s designed for riding in bad weather.
We first mentioned the Pro Team Shadow Jersey last summer when we reported that it’s designed for riding in the rain, wind and changeable conditions that can make clothing choice really tricky, especially if you're racing.
One issue with regular rain jackets is that the laminate and membrane construction keeps rain out, but also prevents perspiration from escaping. It’s the age-old problem with riding in the rain; don a waterproof jacket to keep the rain out, but boil-in-the-bag and get damp from sweat on the inside instead.
“Shadow is a breathable, highly protective single layer made possible by a pioneering, Italian-milled, stretch-woven fabric that contours to fit the position of a racing cyclist,” says Rapha.
“Developed at the request of Team Sky for a garment to wear across various and changing race conditions, Shadow is the leading edge of product development from Rapha.”
We’ve not seen the Shadow clothing ourselves, we’re relying solely on Rapha for all our information here.
Rapha says that the yarn is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) before being stretch-woven into fabric. Then it gets a steam-pressure treatment that shrinks it by half before another DWR is applied.
“What that produces is an extremely dense fabric,” said Rapha’s Lead Designer Graeme Raeburn. “It wouldn’t be physically possible to actually weave yarns that close together and so, consequently, Shadow provides very high wind resistance and excellent water repellency. It also has a fantastic range of movement and fit and, that crucial difference, amazing breathability.”
Team Sky used the Shadow clothing in last year’s Classics.
As you might have guessed, the Shadow clothing isn’t cheap. The jersey is £220 and the shorts are £260.
They’re available at rapha.cc and in Rapha Cycle Club stores.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.