Rapha is at the sharp end of premium image status within cycling and, not surprisingly, even their base layer reflects this. This is one of the few base layers to employ natural fibres, and the Merino wool ensures that this top is more comfortable and wearable than most.
It’s a base layer with style (although there were a few ‘cowboys in pyjama’ comments), but it generated too warm an environment – surprisingly since we perceived it to have one of the thinnest fabrics on test.
Closer inspection revealed, however, that although the structure is relatively open, the tangled woollen fibres create ample space for warm air to get trapped.
Moisture control is dealt with through absorption, which acts as a buffer against any wet discomfort. Sadly, at high levels of perspiration, this does become a slight problem. Saturation occurs, causing clinging, shape change and poor fit, as if it had been stretched.
Contact : Rapha 020 7485 5000 www.rapha.cc