i finally did the deed.
i bought myself some rapha gear.
this is me after taking delivery of my purchase:
this is me after my first ride in my new rapha jersey and hat:
i bought myself a women's club jersey
in pink. and yes, in pink because it matches the handle bar tape on my cannondale. the jersey is made from 40% merino, making it my first wool jersey and i loooooooooooooooooove it. it would have to be one of the most comfortable jerseys i've ever bought. i've got loads of lycra jerseys that slowly creep their way up my back during a ride but the rapha one stayed where its meant to. it doesn't creep or ride up and it fits great. zipped up to the neck, it's a little tight but i've got admit i appreciated the firmer grip on my neck when i first set out on chilly morning recently. bought it because it was in their clearance and saved myself $50.
it's been through the washing machine twice now in a normal (mostly) cycling gear load with no problems. i do turn it inside out though. it is wool so if the velco of my glove catches on it, it's going to fluff and i'd rather it fluff on the inside.
i won't be wearing this jersey in the height of summer. the merino will make it too hot but i will be wearing on the cool spring mornings we're currently experiencing and i'll definitely be wearing it in winter. i've actually got the blue version of the jersey in my wish list on the rapha site and i'm seriously considering buying it.
the hat is a hat. got it because it was pink and my brother gave me a black rapha hat that i love. so i wanted another one.
i also bought a pair of arm warmers. i'm really liking them too. they're very tight at the moment, which means i can't do my usual trick of putting them on over a base layer but probably shouldn't as this stretches them too much (which is what happened to my sugio ones). i bought the standard fleece-lined ones as i don't think my skin could tolerate the merino version.
this is my first experience of "luxury" cycling gear. before this, the most expensive pieces of kit i'd bought were my sugio bib shorts at around $150 a pop and i think i paid about the same for my pearl izumi cycling jacket that i've nearly worn out. everything else has been under $100. initially i couldn't see the point of spending that much money on cycling kit. but i have to admit now i get it. it feels like you're really treating yourself and i followed the shipping progress of my packages from rapha with great excitement. of course, the real test will be how the jersey looks in about a year.
now the question is: can having a 15% off voucher be enough justification for buying a pair of rapha shorts
. they're really expensive for a pair of shorts but still cheaper than assos. i'm not that attached to bib shorts. they're comfy and all but i hate having to essentially get undressed to go the loo. rapha offer a no questions asked 30 day return policy on the shorts even if they're been worn and you're not happy with them. i like this. i also like the fact that if you do ship something back to rapha, they'll return the cost of postage to you. makes me think of rapha as being a more ethical, really customer-focused company.