At road.cc 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.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
Galibier's Rapide Aerosuit is a good quality one-piece cycling garment: aero, comfortable and reasonably priced.
One of the things aerosuits can lack is comfort. Unlike the bespoke suits that the pros use, which are designed to fit anatomically to their bodies with a hint of compression thrown in, off-the peg suits can be constricting in the body – but the Rapide Aerosuit is nothing of the sort.
Getting it on takes no longer than an ordinary bib short/jersey combination, while pulling it over your shoulders and getting your arms in is also easy. I say this, because despite my swimmer's frame I was able to fit in it snugly. The zip zips down to the waist, at about the same length as a full-length zip on a standard jersey.
The sizing works on an overall weight measurement, with medium, for example, suiting a 68-78kg rider. I weigh a slim 83kg presently, so it's not hugely accurate, although the sizes are set up in an overlapping matrix so there's a bit of wiggle room, as I amply demonstrate.
The body is made mainly of an elasticated polyester blend, with mesh panelling in the back for improved ventilation. It works well, and, thanks to the body-hugging fit, wicks away moisture extremely effectively, though there aren't any of the high-tech fabric stripes that help channel air neatly over your body.
In keeping with the aero feel, the hems are textured rather than fitted with silicone gripper – an approach I like to see in every jersey and bib short I ride in, to be honest – and seams are internal to keep them out of the wind. Nothing unusual here, but their overlocked nature does result in a neat look and no chafing.
The neckline is relatively wide, pulled down by the overall fit. It's a little odd if you haven't ridden in one like it before, but actually goes unnoticed after a while, which is ideal for first-time aerosuit users.
One area where the suit does constrict is around the arm. As comfortable as the textured arm gripper is, it is a little tight if you don't have pipe-cleaner guns. Still, having extra folds and fabric in this area could be to the detriment of aero performance, so it's a small price to pay.
It's a resilient garment, washing through on a delicate cycle without any problems, and the quality of the 3D pad is also very good. It's the same as seen in Galibier's Pro Team4 bib shorts, which means it has pedigree further up in the range. It lacks slightly in density compared with some I've used, but for rides of up to 100km, plus time trials, it cuts the mustard.
Finally, Galibier has fitted three pockets in their usual spot on the lower back. They're not big, just enough to carry bare essentials and a bar and gel or two, but they're ample for the presumably shorter distances this aerosuit is designed for.
Overall, this is a very competent aerosuit. At £84, it's also not ridiculously expensive – and although it's not absolutely cutting edge with wind-tunnel-researched tech, it does offer sleek performance if speed is your thing.
A solid drag-reducing design that doesn't sacrifice rider comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Rapide Aerosuit
Size tested: Medium
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?
Time trialists, and lovers of speed.
"Rapide Aerosuit delivers an aerodynamically superior speed suit that still offers the versatility of a jersey. We utilize 6 different high-stretch performance fabrics in the construction of this garment. The multi element fabrics has allowed the seams to be moved behind the shoulders, creating a smooth profile across the back of the jersey and ultimate comfort.
"An aerosuit seeks to address the downsides of wearing a skinsuit for longer events by creating a more practical item of clothing while still retaining the aerodynamic advantage of a tight-fitting, one-piece suit. Our Rapide Aerosuits is a combination of our new race-fit jersey sewn to a pair of Lycra® shorts, negating the need for bib straps. This joining leaves the front quarter loose, just like a regular jersey, allowing more ventilation, and makes it considerably easier to get on and off. Practicality is increased by the addition of three compact pockets at the back.
"3D Gel Coolmax pad features a twist gel core made of a silicone compound that consistently absorbs shock without losing its shape or elasticity, even after long hours in the saddle. The padded canal permits blood flow to penal tract. The seamless surface fabric eliminates abrasion and the low bulk construction moves and flexes with the body across the full range of cycling motion."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Smooth performance fabrics on body for a contoured fit
- Aggressive Pro Team on-bike fit
- Close-cut ergonomic collar
- Same 3D chamois pad as Galibier Pro Team4 Bib Shorts
- Seam placements reduce drag
- Overlocked seams to prevent chafing and improve durability
- Reinforced, low-profile triple rear pocket
- Mesh inner on rear pockets for improved ventilation on hot days
- Direct-print silicone leg gripper
- 78% polyester
- 22% Elastane
- Weight: 211g (size Large)
Strong construction – not at all delicate.
It's body-hugging so turbulence is kept low.
Impressive, for a garment of this type.
Surprisingly comfortable, just a bit tight around the arms.
Fairly vague – but you'll be safe if you go for your normal size, or possibly slightly smaller.
Surprisingly good here, overall.
For a TT suit that fits so well, this is good value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very well, no complaints.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well – I'm impressed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort overall, and the cooling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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 good aerosuit – if you want aero gains without sacrificing comfort, this is a great option.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding