Assos Airjack 851 or perhaps Rapha Softshell?

primalcarl Posts: 579
edited December 2011 in Road buying advice
Looking for a decent winter softshell style jacket. Like Assos stuff but also Rapha. Can any owners give me some input? What do you use as your main winter insulation?


  • Canny Jock
    Canny Jock Posts: 1,051
    Gore Oxygen, very good quality and a good bit cheaper.
  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    I have both jackets and find the Assos a much better proposition out on the road. Much tighter fit than the Rapha but I find it a better all round jacket for cycling. The Rapha is much better for scooting down to the shops or even as a casual jacket dandering about town.

  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I've got the rapha soft shell. It's very nice and can be worn round town whereas the assos can't unless you're off to a fancy dress. I can't see it's worth the money though. I have cheaper ones that I wear more though.
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I have the Assos and come winter I swear by it :)
    Okay you do look a bit camp wearing it (I have the white) due to the shiny air block material but it is nice and tight fitti g so no flapping about
  • Have you considered the Rapha Pro-team jacket?
    15% off code floating around at the moment - 'Comeback15'
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Like the look of the Rapha Pro Team jacket but not sure it would be warm enough on club runs
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    It is a BIT specific in it design isnt it ?

    "The Pro Team Jacket is designed for high-tempo interval training in cold weather."
  • Yeah exactly. I think the Airjack 851 would be warmer. But with the discount the Rapha Softshell is looking appealing
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    I have the Assos 851 which is an excellent piece of kit for cold weather riding.
    My rule of thumb is that if it is too cold for the 851, then I should stay indoors !

    Just taken delivery of a Rapha Pro Team Jacket.
    It seems incredibly lightweight for cold weather riding - even intensive cold weather riding.
    It is tighter fitting than a Rapha jersey (ride a L in the Rapha jersey but need XL for the PTJ)
    It is more like an Assos fit.
    Will give its first test ride out on the Weekend - weather permitting.
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    2 different items. The 851 is windblocked and fleece and the softshell isn't but works well with different layers under it and with the underarm zips offers good venting. The 851 is cold weather kit. That Rapha Pro jkt. might be ok, but note that bit 'intensive' ie going full-gas which warms you up anyway.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I wouldn't consider Rapha anything quite honestly. Overpriced overhyped badly-designed rubbish. Assos all the way!
  • Thanks for the code Sloppy. Just topped up with a pair of leg warmers and a winter hat.

    I can only comment on the Softshell Gilet - it's pretty special. Toasty warm, great features and it looks cool to boot. It also doesn’t make you look like a camp spaceman which is a big plus :-)

    I'm a total Rapha convert.
  • shane r
    shane r Posts: 326
    I've got a Shutt soft shell jacket and I love it! Great for on the bike or off. Really well made and cut perfectly, a snip at £75. ... ell-Jacket
    Coupla Road Bikes
  • Rapha stuff is expensive but I do think it's great, love my Stowaway jacket. Everyone else has Assos these days and it gets a bit boring. I just wish Rapha's gear wasn't so specific
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    I have both and each is good in their own way. The Assos is slim fit, I need only a base layer underneath. The Rapha softshell is slightly more versatile. A more generous cut means you can layer up, so it's my choice for the really cold days with a long sleeve jersey underneath. It's also well vented and copes well with rain, unless it's torrential. Someone mentioned the softshell gilet. This is probably what I use most of the time either with s/sleeve jersey and armwarmers or l/sleeve. It's the most versatile of the lot.
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    I love the way people dismiss Rapha for being too expensive whilst promoting Assos as an alternative!

    I like both brands personally, Assos in particular for shorts, Rapha for jersey and jackets as I don't want to look like Captain Scarlet or an extra from Dr Who on the bike. :lol:

    I had a debut ride in the new Rapha Pro Team jacket on Sunday. The temperature ranged from 6 degrees up to 12 degrees on a 4 hour ride and at no time did I give a second thought to being too hot or cold despite that cold northerly wind, it is an awesome bit of kit. Sizing wise it is similar to Assos - one size up required from regular Rapha jerseys.

    I wore a short sleeve base layer underneath but I reckon with a long sleeve I could wear it down to 4-5 degrees. Comparing it to an 851 is difficult. The 851 is a tad warmer and a little more fitted, but the Pro Team has more of a soft shell fabric and so looks like it could deal with light rain or drizzle a little better.
  • Cheers you two that was very helpful indeed. I would like the security of knowing I was going to be warm in the coldest weather. I know people have said its hard to compare but the Pro Jacket looks like a slightly warmer equivalent of the Assos Intermediate Evo? I already have this which I can make warmer with base layers etc, so think I might go for the Rapha Softshell but now I have to decide on colour!
  • ajb72
    ajb72 Posts: 1,178
    Not a great comparison - the Rapha Pro Team is more substantial than the Assos intermediate - far more like a jacket than a jersey. The Rapha softshell would be too warm right now depending on how hard you are working of course. I cannot be sure yet but I suspect that the Pro Team with a l/s base layer and a rain jacket over the top would serve as well as a softshell in the coldest / worst UK days.
  • I've seen people saying to go up a size with the Pro Team, I'm usually a M in Rapha should I go L?
  • Mccaria
    Mccaria Posts: 869
    If you are getting the Pro Team then I would size it more like an Assos than a Rapha jersey. My Assos kit is all XL whilst in Rapha I would typically get L - for the Pro Team I have XL which allows for a full sleeve base layer underneath but not much else. Since you have the Assos Intermediate Evo and assuming it fits, then I would go with that sizing for the Pro Team.

    Also I have found Rapha to be good on returns if it doesn't fit.

  • Thanks for that, I missed the same info mentioned a couple of posts before but using my phone!

    Great stuff. Pro Team in L ordered and same price as Airjack with the discount.
  • Mavic jackets should always be considered if you're thinking Assos or Rapha.

    I have two now, Inferno for the cold days, Echappee for the medium ones. Best jackets I've had.
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,464
    i got an airjack last year (£163 from primera on sale at the time) after months of thinkign about it. it's fantastic piece of kit, my gore and campag winter jackets now only get worn if it's in the wash
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Does anyone know when that 'Comeback15' code expires?
  • willbevan
    willbevan Posts: 1,241
    ive got assos, rapha and mavic jackets (i have toooo many jackets!)

    I love them more, but i find the assos doesnt do well in the wet, unlike the rapha and mavic. Assos though have brought in a wet weather line this year.

    My favorite jackets though are the mavic hydro (for wet cold weather, its changed name i think this year), rapha stowaway for when you want something packlight (i have a mavic neptune as well, never bought a climajet) and i actually prefer the mavic inferno jacket over an assos airblock jacket.

    I would seriously recommend looking at the mavic jackets, at great features and you can get some great deals on them
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
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  • The Airblock is like a t shirt next to the Inferno! :D
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  • on-yer-bike
    on-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Im M in Rapha and just bought M in Pro Team. I think it fits as its meant to – snug and its very short at the front. Not sure buying the next size up is the answer as that is not how its been designed. I couldnt fit anything other than a tight jersey or base layer under it. The Rapha website fails miserably to inform what this jacket should be worn with and show useful pictures of how it is meant to fit.
  • oyb - on the Rapha website some of the photos show it as looking a bit loose
  • Had this response from Rapha from an email I sent them:

    "I must admit I am not familiar with the Assos item mentioned in your email. However I can confirm that the Pro Team Jacket is definitely a great choice for a winter jacket. It is designed with people who train or race in mind, and Sunday club runs and sportives for instance are exactly the audience this jacket was created for. The front panels and sleeves are constructed from that softshell material which will stop the wind from chilling you and the fleece-lined back panels will ensure that your body stays perfectly insulated against the cold and stays warm.
    As with all our Pro Team collection products the fit of our Pro Team Jacket is very streamlined and cut closer to the skin than our regular jackets and jerseys. We recommend our customers to partner the Pro Team Jacket with a base layer. However if you wished to wear a mid-layer, such as a short-sleeve or long-sleeve jersey, in addition you may want to order a size up from your regular size."
  • I have a few including the Rapha one and Gore, Campagnolo, Descentem Giordana. Rapha looks nice but for functionality and price Campagnolo Full Textran or Gore for me.
    Colnago C60 SRAM eTap, Colnago C40, Milani 107E, BMC Pro Machine, Trek Madone, Viner Gladius,
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