Rapha Rain Jacket Update

Rapha Rain Jacket back to creamy goodness

The sharp stuff got me again tonight. I stopped once to pump some air into the tire, but managed to get the horse back to the barn without having to fix it in the rain. There's nothing so black and mucky as aluminum rims in the slop. Some of that inky black stuff splashed up on the pristine front of my cream Rapha rain jacket... not that I hadn't considered that possibility, but I'll admit it did have me questioning the wisdom of selecting cream over grey.

After further consideration, I have no doubt the splatter would look equally bad on the grey jacket.

I rinsed the bike off, fixed the flat and set about trying to get the muck off the jacket. All it took was a liberal application of Shout Advanced Gel stain remover* (product plug) worked into the spots with an old cotton sock. To my surprise all the stains lifted with some vigorous rubbing. Given how many spots were on the jacket it took a good ten minutes to get all of them. Then I laundered the jacket on the delicate cycle, warm wash/cold rinse... and it emerged good as new. Now that's good news.

31 Responses to Rapha Rain Jacket Update

  1. Malk says:

    This site has lost it’s focus…how long is it since we had a mention of Rapha?
    Next half dozen postings Rapha centred please Michael.

    • Malk,

      Assuming you’re being serious… what pieces are you interested in?

      • Malk says:

        Certainly the new Pink Stowaway…should I buy it? considering I have four already? Would be nice to know, even though I will be doing so regardless.
        Also some photos of you around the house wearing the Rapha underpants…ahem…actually to be serious I am getting quite dizzy from looking at the Rapha website at the moment, it really is too much to take in.

  2. BR says:

    I got one….

    The Soft Shell Gilet? I can’t leave the house with out it when I cycle in to work at 6:15am. That thing feels like a weightless wall and keeps me at steady temp as I ride. The ride (80% open wide trails) has a couple of fast sections and one slow cold section as I pass by a river and that damn vest..exsqueeze me…Gilet is so damn comfortable.

    And now for something completely different.

    – I missed hitting a skunk on the trail the other morning by maybe 3-4 feet @ 15MPH OY!

    – Same day on the way home and on the street the single row of cars to my left slowed as the front car stopped to urn left. Predictably an SUV (4th car) pulled into the bike lane…I ditched the bike lane towards the sidewalk and flat handed his quarter panel with all I had. The audible koorplunk was a classic and I dented the rig very nicely. Anticipating some roadside drama I looked back at the driver and -shocking- he was in full blab mode on the mobile. He passed me and as we approached the intersection he ran the yellow and cut a bus off. I couldn’t catch him! I wanted to make a matching dent on the hood. It was daylight, I had a Knog in the helmet, a Planet Bike Flasher, and a white jacket on. We had all been sitting at the same red light 1 minute earlier. It just really pissed me off. A cyclist had been killed that morning not 7 miles from that very spot. Rant over.

  3. Greg SF says:

    Hey Michael:

    Recent new fan of your website which I learned about from the the Stowaway jacket. It is very cool that Rapha touts you for your reviews. I had been a big capo fan but love the fit and simplicity of Rapha. Indeed, the Stowaway jacket performed amazing on a 50 mile Paradise loop ride with intermittent showers.

    I have an R3 SL, but was admiring your Enigma, why did you go with Enigma over a U.S. company like Serotta or Seven?

    Greg from SF

    • Hi Greg,

      You sure can’t beat the Stowaway… I think Rapha jackets in general are standouts in their line.

      You know I don’t remember exactly how I first discovered Enigma. I did like the fact that they were rare over this side of the pond, but it was probably the beefier shape of the down tube, the carbon rear triangle and the extended seat tube on the Enigma Eulogy that sealed the deal. I’m hoping to have a steel Enigma to review shortly. Rapha’s Graeme Raeburn enjoyed the XCR that Mark and Jim put together for the Cent Cols Challenge (now a Rapha titled adventure).

      The Eulogy is supposed to be a pure race bike, the stiffest and least forgiving in the Enigma line, but I ride mine just about every day (the SLC-SL sits in the garage far too much) and love it just as much as the day it arrived.

      Glad to have you aboard.


  4. kurt says:

    I bet a few cross words spilled out over the stains and you experienced residual mental anguish until all was resolved. I am all for pristine wear and try to keep my gear as clean as possible. Occasional mishaps or reality will always challenge my intent. My usual SOP after a ride is cloths in the washer, then hit the showers or long hot bath. Every once in a while I toss the clothes in a basket and shower first. Once I left the criterium gloves on top of my white lightweight jersey and so I now own a Spotted Cow light weight jersey. I used bottles of stain remover – no real success. I still wear it though, it is the best jersey for the Miami summer heat and I can’t bear to trash it.
    Happy to hear you saved your jacket from spotted cow syndrome.

    I do use a great product called Winn and formulated specifically for technical wear. It really does a nice job of keeping the funk out of the bike gear.

    I just tested my new grey rain jacket during Monday’s commute complete with traffic inducing downpour. I just love riding by motorist trapped in gridlock. The jacket performed perfectly and the style points stack up high on this garment.

    BR – We lost a fellow cyclist in Miami on 1/17. Hit by a drunk driver at 8am Sunday morning. I read an article that cell phone use has the same affect as 0.8 level of alcohol. Cell phones scare me the most becuse their abuse is the most prolific.

    Be careful with the retaliation though, it may incite the motorist to use you as target practice. We need you around for additional Velo fodder :) (ei: Chrome shoes -still laughing)

    Ride on

    • Kurt,

      You’ve definitely got the right SOP post ride… straight into the washer. I usually strip down right in the laundry room so as not to track grit through the house. For god’s sake Juli keep the curtains closed on that back window ;-)
      I was just heart broken when I saw the quality and quantity of shit spattered on it. And funnily enough, not a mark on the back of the jacket where you usually get something, even with fenders.

      I’ll talk to Brendan about that temper of his…


      • BR says:

        Kurt…I will be a good boy and only draw & quarter those that deserve it. Post surgery I am no longer having my adrenalin managed with meds so the filter is off. We all excuse a lot of driving incidents but the one I mentioned was a bad one. The old me would have followed and confronted that dude. I could have caught him but elected not to. He thought he hit me and actually decided to keep going as I had not fallen. In hindsight I should have stacked it just to see what he would have done. He certainly would have pulled over to confront me if he had known that I punched his car vs him hitting me and not causing a fall which is what he assumed. Regardless he never had a clue I was there despite being next to or in front of him for 3-4 minutes prior. Cyclist vs vehicle incidents are all over the news and it’s a troubling trend.

        The best part of owning the chrome shoes is the brief silence another rider exhibits for 10 seconds after they do a double take :-)

        • kurt says:

          Little burns one more than the “Passed me and immediately forgot I was there” – Velo except of course, the hit and run.

          There was an article about a motorist in Oregon (bike Central USA) that buzzed a group ride, there was the appropriate hand gestures given in response. The motorist put his vehicle in reverse and drove into the groups direction. Riders were ditchen themselves left and right but one rider chased down and slapped the truck or snapped off the mirror (just can’t recall the details). Somehow this action on the part of the rider provided the motorist with amnesty once the legal boys got involved.

          But how Does a motorist ignore the chrome shoes I wonder?

          Hey is it me or has the word “Epic” hit the mainstream? It’s use has become prolific on TV shows and news reports.

          Ride on

  5. I cringed when I read this post. Happy that it had a good outcome.

    I’ve so much Rapha gear that it’s getting silly. Actually, I think the clothing tab on Rapha alone would almost pay for a nice Italian carbon frame!

    I did notice that they have discontinued the lightweight Gilet (they still have the winter weight available)… I shot off a quick e-mail to Rapha requesting clarification and was told that, yes, the lightweight Gilet has been end-of-lifed but there will be a new design for northern hemisphere summer. Given that I’m in Australia, it never really gets cold enough to warrant the winter weight gilet so I’ll wait a few months and pick up the new design.

    Similarly, the grand tour gloves, the pro team mits and the crit gloves are all out of stock – new stock this northern summer. Same with the country and club jerseys. It appears that Rapha are mid-season!

    Still, it’s good to see new colour ways and new styles coming out.

    • Hi Kim,

      Rapha’s Graeme Raeburn let me know I could tell you the new gilet takes its styling cues from the softshell gilet, classy contrast piping instead of the solid stripe. Slate showed me one a few weeks back and it’s very smart. It’s another must have.


  6. CCH says:

    The cream rain jacket is definitely more stylish, but I went with gray because, after all, you are going to get dirty in a rain jacket. I use fenders in the winter which keeps me mostly clean, but on club rides I just get sprayed constantly with road grime.

    I have a Stowaway as well, but the rain jacket is a better item in my opinion. Almost as breathable and much more water resistant.

    I also love my lightweight Gilet. The item of gear that I use most often.

  7. Chris says:

    Nothing worse than potentialy ruining a fantastic piece of gear. Glad that it came out with no issues. I’ll have to remember that trick since I was able to get my hands on a white Rapha Gilet. I wanted black but it sold out when I put my order in. Laura from Rapha assisted with the situation. I have to admit that their customer service is top notch.

    I am also starting to obtain a ridiculous amount of Rapha gear and am very fortunate that my wife understands it. I just got their bomber jacket as well as a bunch of other things recently. I have to say that anyone thinking about getting that jacket should stop thinking and just get it. I tried it out yesterday when I was shoveling the driveway (I know not what it was meant for) and it definitely kept me warm. I had on a short sleeved t-shirt underneath and the temps were in the low 30s. I didn’t feel even the slightest chill.

    • Chris,

      Now you can justify the new black gilet when it arrives. If your wife rides there will be some nice looking kit for her too.


      • Chris says:

        She definitely rides which I think is great.

        I’m also glad to see Rapha is going to make kits for women. Can’t wait to see the new spring line.

        On a side note I really enjoy this site. The photography is amazing. Speaking of photography I’d love to get my hands on an old Rollei and learn how to take really nice pictures with it.

  8. Utterly fabulous news about the women’s kit – I think my partner just caught a glimpse of heaven when I told her that! You’ve made her very happy (and me a little poorer).

    Also good news about the gilet – thank you for the information, I’ll order one as soon as they’re released. It is, after all, an essential of the riders wardrobe.

    Chris – thanks for the information on the bomber jacket – I was considering one and will go now and place an order.

  9. Chris says:


    Glad to assist where I can. This weekend I’ll really get a chance to check it out since we are expecting up to 24″ of snow starting around 10am today. Lots of snow shoveling in store. Hey maybe I can have my wife snap some pics and I can send them to M? Just a thought.

  10. A grand idea!

    We don’t see snow in Melbourne – ever. It’d be nice to live in a place with real variance to the seasons instead of either too hot or not really cold enough!

    I’m a cold climate kind of person – one of those weird people who enjoy nothing more than a nice long ride through a howling gale with lashing winds! I think I enjoy it because it makes the finish and a warm shower all the more enjoyable!

    So enjoy your snow and know that at least one person is jealous of your good fortune!

  11. kurt says:

    I have seen a sneak peak on twmp. Looks like color may be on its way into your(our) wardrobe.

  12. tyro says:

    I chose the gray rain jacket just because of the stain inducing power of the road grime around here. Love the Rapha rain jacket because it makes me want to ride in the rain that much more.

  13. Huw says:

    Top tip: for no ‘inky black stuff’ riding, try Swissstop Green pads – they make wet weather riding a whole lot less messy.

    I’ve got the grey version of the jacket and it’s the best piece of kit I’ve bought since a pair of Assos 851 gloves. Used it all throughout the recent cold snap together with a helly and a long sleeved jersey.

  14. New Rapha gear is up on the site for those interested.

    Love the new lightweight, the new gilet, the country jerseys, merino polo and the pink stowaway (how am I going to convince she who must be obeyed that I need another stowaway??? I just bought an ice blue one!)… even the short sleeve checked shirt and the caps are nice but I think I might draw the line at Rapha underpants!

    And why are the new stowaways cheaper than the old model that they’re still selling? Are the different somehow?

    Ladies stuff looks the goods too – just don’t let my partner find out about that red ladies jersey!

    • Kim,

      It’s almost too much good stuff at one time ;-) I remember previous launches when the we’d get two or three pieces, this will have me scouring the house looking in drawers and coat pockets for lost cash. I liked the look of the undies, but Slate refused to let me try them on in the restaurant. I’m afraid you’ve got to tell the fairer sex sometime, from what you’ve said before she’s probably been checking the site herself.


  15. Oh, she has… she has. But (luckily for me) she has a fetish for 40s style ladies clothes and fashions… as it turns out, this is easier on the cash-flow so I suppose I can’t complain when she wants some Rapha!

    Yes, this is rather an over-abundance isn’t it? I know that I should pace myself and purchase an item here and there, but I also know that Rapha can sell out – and I’m not waiting another 7 months for gloves! I’ll just have to explain to the bank manager that an overdraft for technical clothing is totally justified.

    And I probably will buy the undies!

    Out of interest – do you know why the price difference between the two ranges of stowaway? I’m not complaining; simply curious.

  16. Rob says:

    Just got my grey rain jacket. Apart from the muck splash vulnerability, cream makes me look pasty. Lovely fit, I want to wear it everywhere.

  17. Greg says:

    I’ve got the cream, and while trying to keep it clean is a chore, it is lovely and I agree with Rob… I’d love to wear it a lot more than I currently am.