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Rapha Merino Crew Neck



Comfortable, practical and very, very nice

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Rapha reviews usually follow a set pattern. Yes, it's very nice. Yes, it's very expensive. This review of their Merino Crew Neck jersey isn't going to buck that trend. Hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it...

The crew neck jersey is made from a slightly heavier grade of merino than Rapha's standard base layer and a little more expensive. As we all know, merino is about as good as wool gets, with no itchiness and miraculous powers that keep you warm when it's wet and free of whiffy smells when the going gets tough.

In the name of research and because I liked it so much, I wore the top for more than a week of commuting before washing it. Although the end result wasn't exactly daisy fresh, it certainly wouldn't frighten off anyone wanting to invade my personal space. Which is good, because once I put it on, I didn't want to take it off. The wool is amazingly soft and the cut is comfortable without being saggy or too tight. I wore it under a normal short sleeve jersey and that was warm enough for some cool late autumn commutes. Once the weather turns nippy it'll be easy enough to work it into a slightly warmer layering system.

The style is subtle and the only hint that it's Rapha is on the, sensibly placed, inside labels. It certainly doesn't scream 'HELLO I'M JOLLY EXPENSIVE!' which suits me nicely.

There are other, cheaper, merino base layers out there but for sheer quality and that inimitable Rapha-ness, this is well worth considering.


Comfortable, practical and very, very nice.

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Make and model: Rapha Merino Crew Neck

Size tested: L

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?

It's a long sleeved base layer for colder days. The well heeled Rapharatti will love it but anyone else in the market for a quality base layer will be interested.

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

It's pure merino wool with flatlocked seams.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Nicely made with no annoying neck labels to spoil the itch free loveliness.

Rate the product for performance:

Not the warmest base layer, but warm enough and very easy to wear under pretty much anything.

Rate the product for durability:

Wool needs more care and attention than other materials, but properly cared for it should last years. In the interests of scientific enquiry and because I know how most chaps do their washing I bunged it in at 40 with regular non-bio detergent. Happily it came out just fine, so you can afford the odd deviation from the instructions.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Like a second skin.

Rate the product for value:

It's Rapha innit? Not as jaw droppingly silly as the price of some of their other stuff though.

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


Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The feel and the sheer practicality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Well, it is a tad expensive.

Did you enjoy using the product? Oh yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

My new favourite base layer.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 5\' 8  Weight: er....86kg

I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion  My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

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

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