See the little field of stripes on the side of the jacket? Bars really. They signify that this Jacket is part of Rapha's Pro Team collection. Rapha includes these bars on all their Pro Team clothing. They symbolize Forcats de la route, an early 20th century term for pro cyclists. Prisoners of the road. Convicts of cycling.
In winters of yore, in the bad old days before windproof booties, the aphorism rang most true. It was nearly impossible to get the clothing mix right; either you wore gear that kept the wind out but meant you were certain to overheat, or you wore gear that let the wind through and you were certain to get cold. Winter was a Sisyphean struggle with the elements.
The cliché "there is no bad weather, only insufficient clothing" is closer to the truth today. While there are certain climatic conditions that are nearly impossible to dress for, most can be met. With this jacket, you can meet a broad swath of those conditions.
While the top looks simple, as all Rapha gear does, its appearance belies lots of thinking and design decisions made with your comfort in mind. The front panels of the jacket and the fronts of the arms are ...simple yet incredibly high-tech, the Pro Team Jacket works its magic by blocking the wind to ensure its insulation keeps you warm... made from Polartec Softshell, while the back panels, the pockets, the backs of the arms, and the side panels are made from Super-Roubaix fabric. Softshell is a windproof/breathable layer that is treated with a durable water repellant (dwr) coating. It breathes a little, but its main purpose is to keep the cold wind off your chest and arms. It's lined with Polartec fleece for greater comfort and wicking. The Thermo-Roubaix is insulating but breathes much better than the Softshell, which is why it's used in areas that the wind can't hit.
So far, you may think the windproof/breathable combo is fairly traditional. It is. But it's only a starting point; the jacket distinguishes itself because Rapha designers decided to employ "intelligent seam construction" in joining the various panels in the jacket. They looked at each seam, the materials involved, the purpose of the seam, the type(s) of stress each seam would face, and the bulk of the seam. At each seam, they made a decision on the joinery method to come up with the best solution to optimize performance. As a result they use overlocking, bonded, stitched, twin-needle, and cover-stitched seams on this top. Between the smart seaming and the mix of materials, this jacket fits close and moves well with your body.
And there are the typical, subtle design features you expect of Rapha. The front zipper is offset both to minimize bunching when riding and reduce the likelihood of neck chafing when the jacket is zipped up. The front is cut a good bit shorter in front, more than they'd do on a jersey, reflecting the reduced stretch of the Softshell panels. There is the iconic Rapha left-sleeve stripe, along with the prisoners' stripes in front. There is a hidden pocket on the seam by those stripes. As usual, there are three pockets in back. They have their traditional mini-pump loop in the middle back pocket. The right rear pocket has a zip pocket built in for keys, cash, and/or that a music player. There's also a cable port through the pocket to run the wires under the jacket and up to your ears. All the zippers have locking pulls. There are reflective stripes on the sleeves and pockets, and it has a gripper along the back hem.
The Rapha Pro Team Jacket comes in Black and Yellow (aka Chartreuse). They come in sizes ranging from X-Small to XX-Large.
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