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I'll put my cards on the table: I'm not a world authority on shaving cream. So sue me... I'm a bike journalist. It hasn't been especially important before. I've used plenty over the years, though, so here's my take on Rapha's version...
First, it comes in a neat little screw-top tin that matches their chamois cream and embrocation tins. Good start. I like that. Looks classy. Just don't get them mixed up.
Next, it smells good. Well, it smells good to me. I'm getting lavender. I'm getting a hint of rosemary.
There are plenty of other ingredients in there 'inspired by the flora surrounding Mont Ventoux', according to Rapha (of course, there's not a great deal of flora at the summit of the Giant of Provence). You get juniper berries, cypress, pine needles, patchoui... Patchouli? It's a minty herb. Didn't you even know that? Tch!
Anyway, the ingredients all have claims to being natural antiseptics, anti-inflamatories, immunity boosters... stuff like that. There's shea butter and olive oil in there too, intended to leave your skin feeling soothed and supple.
This is intended for both your face and your legs and it works great on both. Scoop up a little bit of cream, massage it in and you're away. It's slippery without being greasy and it leaves your skin feeling hydrated rather than dry.... Yes, 'hydrated'; I'm getting into this.
Personally, I think it's a bit posh for your legs. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the hard work my legs do for me but, you know, they have to know their place. I'll be saving the rest for my chinny-chin-chin.
Coming in its own little box with a little map of Ventoux, this would genuinely make a great Christmas or birthday gift.
Neatly presented shaving cream for your face and/or legs; it works well, smells great and would make a good gift
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Make and model: Rapha Shaving Cream
Size tested: 150ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Rapha say, "For road riders, shaving their legs is a treasured ritual that heralds the start of the racing season. Rapha Shaving Cream is a blend of natural ingredients and essential oils designed to soothe the skin and leave it feeling supple and hydrated. It has been designed for shaving both the face and legs, with a subtle fragrance inspired by the flora surrounding Mont Ventoux."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Um, it has a soothing blend of essential oils and natural ingredients. That's what Rapha say.
Well, you can buy 150ml of shaving cream a lot cheaper (and there are more expensive ones out there too) but that's not really the point, is it? This is intended to work well, of course, but part of the appeal is that it's a cycling-specific brand/product. If you want a bargain, go to Superdrug or whatever.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works well, feels good and doesn't dry your skin out.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The smell, the presentation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, really. It's pricey.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? It's more expensive than I'd pay on a regular basis
Would you recommend the product to a friend? As a treat
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.