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Shanks, pegs, stumps, stilts, twigs, hams – whatever kind of legs you have, they need taking care of. Using the best accoutrements to incubate and armour the legs is a must for any road-worthy rider. Your lower extremities are, quite simply, your most important weapon, the connecting components to all riding and racing. So the trappings that insulate and protect those precious pins in winter also count. Here’s our guide to what you should wear when you stride out and clip in this season.
Pro Team Cross Bibs
If they are good enough for J-Pow, Zach 'the Nuke' McDonald, Julie Krasniak and Gabby Day, then they are just the job for any budding 'crosser'. These supportive and durable bib shorts look just as good on the road, too.
Short intense rides in muddy fields, on lumpy road rides and god-awful hill repeats.
Cross racers, road riders and 90’s-rave-scene throwbacks.
Pro team Cross Jersey, Long Sleeve Jersey, Pro Team Socks, Merino Drawcord Hat
“The Cytech pad is multi-thickness/density and incredibly comfortable."
The Classic Bib Shorts
We're pretty proud of our Classic Bib Shorts. They've certainly evolved over the last six years or so, but it's now proving very difficult to improve them. And so, the hard sell: you need at least one pair of these soft, durable, stylish and oh-so-comfortable bib shorts. You can even road test them and send them back
Anywhere and everywhere. You won't actually notice you are wearing them until you're turning in for the night after a solid 100-miler.
From grand tour winners, veteran col hunters to crit-racers and long-distance commuters.
They will fit under Touring Shorts, Winter Tights and even Jeans. The rest is up to you.
“One of the best chamois I’ve ridden. Not only are the shorts comfortable but they are long-lasting."
– Kristian House, 2012 Tour of Britain King of the Mountains
Pro Team Thermal Bibs
Italian made fleece-backed bib shorts and also very Italian in style. If you’re planning to carry out intensive training in the hills of Tuscany these shorts are the only choice for that pro performance, feel, and look.
Cooler racing conditions (think Strade Bianche or Tirreno-Adriatico) to cold training rides (below freezing may require winter tights on top).
Anyone who fancies that they can ride consistently at 20mph plus, likes to keep the legs on display with embrocation or rides in territories that never get too cold.
Merino or Roubaix Knee Warmers, Long Sleeve Jersey, Softshell Gilet.
“…a product you didn't know you needed…”
¾ Bib Shorts*
Flexible and brush-backed, the breathable Roubaix fabric insulates but wicks quickly enough to keep you both cosy and comfortable.
Wet, windy, cool and even sunny. You know when it’s chilly outside but you have the feeling you're going to ride like a Belgian all day (even if it’s the coffee talking)? That’s the time to wear these. They can also be used for cold cross/ road racing.
Hard-men/ women, rouleurs, Flandrian Freds.
It has to be oversocks. We’ve got a few colours to choose from, too »
"[Rapha's] threequarter bib shorts effectively remove any potential discomfort while providing the same degree of belgian-ness…"
Classic Winter Tights*
An absolute essential for any winter rider. Like overalls for a mechanic, a road rider without a good pair (or two) of Winter Tights won’t even be able to start their engine come December/ January.
A very subjective thing – pros and old school roadies will tell you to wear tights between October and March – but when the temperature drops to 12°C and below, you’ll certainly need them.
As stated above, any winter rider worth his or her salt (or road grit).
Classic Bib Shorts (under or over), Winter Jersey/ Classic Softshell, Merino Hat, Winter Socks and Overshoes for complete winter protection.
"…these tights are actually much more versatile than the name suggests."
[The Classic Winter Tights are part of the Rapha Classics Guarantee]
Deep Winter Tights
Festive 500 riders take note: if you insist on riding whatever the weather this season, these would be a sound investment. Windproof leading edges and a very robust seat panel make for the best armour-plating you can find without ditching the bike and opting for a Humvee.
Snow, ice, frost, cold, sub-zero. Scandinavian.
The winter warrior.
Hardshell, Overshoes, Deep Winter Hat and Deep Winter Collar.
A footnote on joints
The human leg is made up of the femur (thighbone), patella (kneecap) and the tibia and fibula (shins) and then you have the all important foot (with numerous working parts essential for overall locomotion). A mechanical miracle, our legs are the levers that propel us and the feet are the cams that connect those levers to our machines. Thus it is the joints in particular which require the most attention. Therefore ensure you have a few pairs of the following:
See the Rapha Shorts & Trousers selection in the shop.
[*Women’s versions also available]
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- A Rapha travel set is up for grabs in Alpe D'Quiz today, featuring a luxurious Rapha Skincare bundle and Wash Bag. → http://t.co/3n8XlqiNYq
- Cool to see our friends @chriskingbuzz representing in the mix of the elite men's race. #mycielo Parbo! http://t.co/L8g8gNofyR
- The masked man on the cyclocross course today was @jeremypowers. It was that cold. http://t.co/KztIjCYu4O