When we imagine cycling clothing, our minds shift to Spandex and chamois. But despite that vision of barely-there, body-hugging apparel, cycling isn’t a fair-weather-only pursuit. Rain, snow and sub-freezing temperatures — in a word, seasons — are inevitable. Thankfully Rapha, a company renowned for its high-quality cycling garments, just teamed up with Gore-Tex, perhaps the biggest name in waterproof fabrics, to create a line of on-bike outerwear meant for the worst weather imaginable.
The product of the collaboration between the two companies is three foul-weather cycling jackets. There’s the Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover ($345), which Rapha designed with extra durability and a looser fit for multi-day adventures far from paved roads. The Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket ($295), on the other hand, fits more closely and uses Gore-Tex’s superlight Shakedry fabric.
And then there’s the Pro Team Gore-Tex Insulated Jacket ($430). It’s a piece that, with a balaclava-style hood and fuzzy Polartec Alpha insulation, feels more like an exposure suit than a jacket you’d wear while riding a bike. Its combination of waterproofing, warmth and breathability begs the question, if the weather is bad enough that you need to wear it, should you be riding at all? But then again, there’s that adage the hardcore often return to, in one form or another: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. With this rule in mind and this jacket at hand, we’re not sure if any conditions could be considered inclement.
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