Described as the ‘multi-tool’ of cycling jerseys, this offering from Rapha certainly had big billing to live up to, but does it actually achieve it?
I think it’s fair to say that the rise in cycling in the UK since the glorious summer of 2012 has also corresponded with the sight of ever increasing numbers of cyclists in the minimalist designs of a brand that has actually been around much longer.
Founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram with an exhibition of some of cycling’s greats and the launch of their Classic jersey, the company has grown rapidly and now includes a huge range of products, a cycling club, various shops and coffee shops, oh and until recently they were the main supplies of Team Sky’s kit.
I am certainly not against buying high end items (my wife certainly hates anytime I go shopping for cycle kit) but if I am paying significantly more than other brands it has to represent good value so when I saw the £145 price tag for a jersey I was dubious that the Brevet Jersey would even come close to justifying its price tag.
But, boy was I wrong.
Made from 89% merino wool and with a dual layer/overlaid panel at the front of the jersey and over the arms, what you effectively have is two pieces of kit for the price of one. The warmth and comfort of a merino jersey, perfect for those cool winter/spring days, coupled with the wind protection of a Gilet. Sizing is naturally rather small (as with most cycle brands these days), I had to size up from my regular size to be comfortable and the front of the jersey did sit higher up my body than I would have liked. However this was a fairly minor inconvenience compared with the exceptional performance of the jersey on the whole.
I have worn this jersey down to 7-8oC and have still been really warm (at the coldest temperatures I will admit I did have a baselayer on), and the windproofing panel is really effective, particularly descending the multiple hills to be found in my Surrey stomping grounds.
Available in three different colours, there should be something for everyone, and with the high vis stripes both front and back you can also be confident of being safe on the darker days. One feature I really like is the two zipped pockets with front access which is a really useful, and with an additional 3 rear pockets you can rest assured that you can carry all the essentials with you.
The price is high and will put people off, but it shouldn’t, not for such a versatile (and basically two pieces) of kit. Add to that the crash replacement policy and 50% off a downsized jersey if you lose weight its surely worth you spoiling yourself.
Review by @RolyRouleur