Rapha's winter guide

Style Notes

Staying warm when out on the road 

Cycling performance wear

Staying warm when out on the road is all about effective layering. Being comfortable makes enjoying a ride that much easier. Here we set out the principles for dressing correctly for the cold road ahead.




Close-fitting layers trap insulating pockets of air near your body. While they might feel tight and restrictive initially, resist the urge to size up, as looser layers act like a bellows, pumping cold air around your body and purging precious heat. Keep your layers snug and the heat you generate will ensure you remain toasty throughout your ride.



Check the conditions before dressing for the ride ahead. Don’t forget that you’ll warm up once you get going – a good rule of thumb is that you should feel the cold when you first step outside. Your outermost layer should be chosen to repel the worst of whatever is forecast, so if it’s rain, go for a waterproof shell or a softshell jersey that repels the rain. Don’t be afraid to remove layers as the conditions change – Rapha’s waterproof shells are designed to be slipped into a jersey pocket when not required.

Rapha  Souplesse womens thermal bibs from Bicester Village
£190 £126
Souplesse women's thermal bibs
Rapha  Core jersey from Bicester Village
£85 £56
Core jersey



On a short, fast ride, you’ll work harder, heat up and sweat more than on a long, steady ride when you’re more likely to feel the cold. Rapha’s new range of insulating clothing incorporates fabric technology developed for the US military and helps regulate your temperature no matter how hard your effort, ensuring you remain comfortable whether you’re out for a leisurely plod or a flat-out training session.


Insulating, naturally antibacterial and odour-resistant, merino is a wonder wool for winter riding. Merino features extensively in Rapha’s range, from winter caps all the way down to socks. Studies have shown that merino is far more effective than polyester at regulating core body heat across a wide range of temperatures.



Riding in the winter means shorter days as well as colder temperatures, so it’s essential that your clothing incorporates features that make you visible to other road users. In low light, a high-visibility fabric will ensure you’re seen, but when it gets dark, reflective features come into play. Rapha incorporates both hi-vis and reflective elements into its clothing to ensure you stand out on the road, and if you do think you will be riding in the dark, a set of lights is essential.

Rapha  Classic winter jacket from Bicester Village
£260 £170
Classic winter jacket
Rapha  Winter gloves from Bicester Village
£85 £45
Winter gloves
Rapha  Brevet jersey from Bicester Village
£140 £56
Brevet jersey

Tags: Rapha's winter guide Cycling Fitness


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