Rapha’s Pro Team range, race clothing developed with a lot of direct feedback from Team Sky, has been expanding quite a bit in the last couple of years, and the latest release sees the London-based clothing company focus on aerodynamics with the new Pro Team Aero Suit and Pro Team Aero Jersey.
The highlight of the new Aero range is the new Aero Suit (£230). It’s been three years in development and you might remember that photo of Chris Froome modelling in a very lightweight version of what has now developed into the Aero Auit, and getting sunburnt, last summer. Fortunately the production Aero Suit uses a slightly less meshy fabric, but it’s still a much lighter weight, and stretchy fabric than is used in the regular Pro Team jersey.
The Aero Suit essentially blends the Aero Jersey and new Pro Team Lightweight bib shorts together, to create a one-piece outfit that is provides the aerodynamic advantage of a skinsuit while offering the versatility of a regular jersey and bib shorts combination. It’s a style of outfit that has proved quite popular since Castelli first introduced its SanRemo Speedsuit a number of years ago.
As well as the one-piece design offering a flush fit, the shoulder seams have been moved right back behind the shoulders so they’re out of the airflow, the idea being to reduce drag across the top of the shoulders. The pockets are a new design and sit very flat, when empty, against the back. It’s an intricately designed garment, with stretchy mesh side panels and a smart one-piece shoulder and arm design that reduces the number of seams in this complex area. The fabric is treated with Coldblack technology and there are headphone/race radio cable loops.
The Aero Suit is available in an all-black colour, or the very bold Data Print design, as modelled by Peter Kennaugh here. It’s a very striking design, it’s definitely a departure for Rapha from what we’ve seen from the brand in the past decade. Data Print was designed by London-based Accept & Proceed, who took ride data from Peter Kennaugh’s participation in the 2013 Tour de France and produced this visual representation of it. The chevrons represent the stages and display the intensity and suffering level of each stage in the length and height of the chevrons.
Using this Data Print design is a new Lightweight Cap, Pro Team Base Layer, Pro Team Socks, Arm Screens, Essentials Case and Bidon.
The new Pro Team Aero Jersey (£130) is basically the top half of the Aero Suit without the shorts attached, if you prefer a regular two-piece clothing approach.
It uses the same lightweight fabric with mesh side panels and one-piece shoulder and arm sleeves, with the shoulder seams pushed back out of the airflow. There are the same flat three pockets and Coldblack technology.
The Pro Team Jersey is available in three colours and six sizes, and costs £130.
More at www.rapha.cc
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.