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Tweaks to the lineup and lots of new colour choices for both men and women

Rapha have launched their new Spring/Summer 2014 clothing range featuring more colours than we’ve become used to, an extended women’s range, and new trade team jerseys. Here are some of the highlights…

There are three trade team jersey designs in the range, all of which are intended to celebrate the 1974 Giro d’Italia, the year when Eddy Merckx won for the fifth time. The jerseys aren’t replicas of those from the race, but they’re inspired by the style.

The jerseys are made from a Sportwool fabric (61% polyester, 39% merino wool), the same one used for Rapha’s Classic Jersey, with embroidered graphics and three-quarter length zips.

The pick of the bunch, in our view, is the Phoenix jersey in light blue (main pic, and above) with an embroidered number 11 on the middle pocket. Number 11 in the 1974 race was Felice Gimondi, riding for Bianchi-Campagnolo.

This is the GiBi one, which looks a lot like the jersey worn by Gianbattista Baronchelli’s SciC team. It has Baronchelli’s race number on the back – 132.

And this is the Vleeseter one, in the same colours as Merckx’s Molteni team. They’re priced at £140 each.

The Classic Jersey is also £140 and it’s available in pink again this year. Rapha are bringing back this colour from the past to mark their 10th anniversary year. The Classic Jersey comes with a set of arm warmers included in the package, and it’s also available in black, blue and red.

Rapha are re-using other colours from the past across the range. The Classic Wind Jacket (£180), for example, is now available again in this grey version with pink stripes on the sleeves.

Other items come in entirely new colour options. The windproof and water resistant Rapha Gilet (£125), for instance, now comes in chartreuse (a vivid yellow) as well as black.

The Super-Lightweight Jersey (£100, available soon) now comes in chartreuse too, with brown trim. As the name suggests, this jersey is designed for hot conditions. It’s made from three different synthetic fabrics with mesh panels down the sides. The pockets have been redesigned for this year, the idea being to provide more stability when you have them fully loaded up.

Lightweight Socks (£12) are available in the same colours as the Super-Lightweight Jersey – chartreuse, light blue and white – so you can match them up.

The Brevet Jersey (£195) is available in purple and blue options. It’s made from a Sportwool fabric with hi-vis stripes around the chest and cuffs. Rapha’s signature band around the left arm is hi-vis too. Each jersey comes with a vest/gilet to wear over the top when required. In the case of the blue jersey, the vest is pink; with the purple jersey, the vest is chartreuse.

The Club Jersey (£110) is a merino/polyester blend and it now comes in three different colour options, each with a vivid stripe around the chest.

Rapha have redesigned their Arm Warmers (£40) so that they’re now less bulky than previously with a thinner gripper fabric at the top. 

This is one area where Rapha haven’t added colour: they still come in just black and white. The Merino Arm Warmers (£45) now come in a new navy option.

Finally on the men’s side of things, Classic Mitts are on the way, priced at £70. They’re made with padded leather palms and Lycra backs with laser-cut knuckle holes to help keep your hands cool. The nose wipe on the back of the thumb is really soft.


Rapha have been expanding their women’s clothing lineup for a while now and turned it into an extensive range. The Women’s Classic Bib Shorts (£160) come in a new black/high-vis pink option. Some women found the leg seam too tight previously so Rapha have let it out a touch this time around.

Rapha have tweaked the design of the close-fitting Women’s Souplesse Jersey (£140) too. The arms are a touch longer than before and the front is a bit longer too so it doesn’t come up short around the middle.

Women’s 3/4 Tights (£150) will be available next month. They’ll come in both standard black and slate grey.

Rapha now have a large base layer collection with a women’s sleeveless version (£50) now being available for the first time. Like the existing short sleeve and long sleeve versions, it’s 100% merino (18.9 micron) with flatlock seams.

For details on the entire Rapha range head over to www.rapha.cc.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, 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 youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

43 comments

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hardgrit [42 posts] 1 year ago
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I do love Rapha kit and do own a few bits but they really are taking the P**s at the moment. I saw yesterday they have increased the price of their Pro Team shorts by £20 to £190!! I would be interested to hear their reasoning for this.

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Nick T [913 posts] 1 year ago
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Inflation? Because they can? School fees gone up? Simon wants a new Merc? Doesn't really matter why, does it.

I don't need another jersey but I do fancy that pink one. The Giro ones are quite nice but I always go off the fancy ones after a few weeks so I'll probably pass on them, and the zip isn't full length.

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hardgrit [42 posts] 1 year ago
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Yep I love they're pink clothing (apply jokes now  21
I have the shorts and they fit me better and comfier than my Assos Millie and S7 ones

I imagine that new proteam SS top will be a ludicrous price though. My high flying wife my treat me again

I have just bought the grey and pink SS top from these guys. Rapha snyde
http://ardenbike.com/
Arrived a few days ago. Very well made and way cheaper if you not arsed about labels.

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othello [359 posts] 1 year ago
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Let the haters hate. 3, 2, 1...

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Simmo72 [583 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't hate it, its lovely stuff but I would rather feed my family, put some money in the bank, keep the dog and wear a £30 nalini jersey which does the job very well.

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Roberj4 [214 posts] 1 year ago
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I like Rapha but noticed their 'Classic Bib Shorts' had increased to £150. I'd have to think again before purchasing or seeing the product in my hands to determine quality and fit.

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redmeat [147 posts] 1 year ago
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Rapha, lol.

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othello [359 posts] 1 year ago
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The standout item for me is still the Brevet Jersey. OK, so its £195 which is a lot of money. But that includes the gilet, which retails for £110 separately. £85 for the jersey makes it the cheapest in the range, and given it comes with a full length zip give it a thumbs up in my book.

I have two Rapha country jerseys that are a few years old and still going strong. Its a shame they seem to have stopped those as they were always at the cheaper end of the range and came with a full length zip. I like the retro ones above, and the team jerseys, but the zip... Did I tell you I like a full length zip?  4

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peterlb [56 posts] 1 year ago
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for all those who feel that £140 for a cycling jersey is value for money please buy me one (size  30 as I will never be able to afford or justify spending that amount of money  2

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dughs [13 posts] 1 year ago
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So can someone explain to me why an English cycling brand started in 2004 creates this false historical image and then charges an absolute mortgage for its product? Most of the people I see wearing it do not look anything like the arty marketing shots that portray the brand. They think they are more Continental than a continental that's is very continental! Congratulations on the success and on hood winking the upper class and fashion conscious cycling community with your sleek stylish designs but at the end of the day, it's mostly fat slow 50 plus business men who wear it!

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hardgrit [42 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm not 50, fat or a businessman but Ill have to concede on the slow bit  1

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fennesz [127 posts] 1 year ago
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They've put £20 on almost everything over £100 & £10 under £100. e.g. jeans now £170. I'm wearing nearly all Rapha at the moment, but now I'm priced out. Oh well, was nice while it lasted.

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dughs [13 posts] 1 year ago
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hardgrit wrote:

I'm not 50, fat or a businessman but Ill have to concede on the slow bit  1

I did say mostly  4 apologies if offence is caused

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hardgrit [42 posts] 1 year ago
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non taken  20

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othello [359 posts] 1 year ago
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fennesz wrote:

They've put £20 on almost everything over £100 & £10 under £100. e.g. jeans now £170. I'm wearing nearly all Rapha at the moment, but now I'm priced out. Oh well, was nice while it lasted.

One of the chaps in the Condor store warned me this was happening a few weeks ago. Apparently, its a combination of increased shipping costs, materials costs etc.

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mtm_01 [195 posts] 1 year ago
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othello wrote:

The standout item for me is still the Brevet Jersey. OK, so its £195 which is a lot of money. But that includes the gilet, which retails for £110 separately. £85 for the jersey makes it the cheapest in the range, and given it comes with a full length zip give it a thumbs up in my book.

Bargain then!

My beef with it is that although I like it design wise it's mental cost wise.

Then there's the stigma of the brand that effectively marks you out too...it's almost as bad as seeing someone in a Tour jersey.
I'm happy in my cheap, cheerful, still good quality stuff blasting past these guys!

Noticed too that for this season the Chinese guys on Ebay are printing Rapha designs on the cheap onto good solid jerseys.

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themartincox [466 posts] 1 year ago
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mtm_01 wrote:

although I like it design wise it's mental cost wise.

Then there's the stigma of the brand that effectively marks you out too...it's almost as bad as seeing someone in a Tour jersey.
I'm happy in my cheap, cheerful, still good quality stuff blasting past these guys!

surely design costs though?

I don't get the stigma you talk of, I saw a bright pink gillet yesterday on my commute, visible from hundreds of meters away, and when close it was paired with a brevet jersey, looked quality

if it marks me out when I wear it, I presume it marks me out as someone who wants to dress the way I am and am comfy in my kit.

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Mashedmallow [10 posts] 1 year ago
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Also postage for items over £100 is now no longer free, it's £6 for standard delivery. That's £6!!!

Classic jersey is £10 more expensive and doesn't come with armwarmers anymore  2

I do like their kit, but it's been strictly sale only stuff for me for a couple of years, which is a shame as it's a British company I would like to support.

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wwfcb [85 posts] 1 year ago
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Mashedmallow wrote:

....

Classic jersey is £10 more expensive and doesn't come with armwarmers anymore :(.....

It still does come with armwarmers, check the features & care section on the Rapha website for the classic jersey.

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chadders [83 posts] 1 year ago
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No one has mentioned the fact that now Rapha have got in bed with Team Sky some one has to pay for the kit, oh yes the punter. Love their stuff but couldn't justify £100+ for a jersey or shorts. They had some good offers on their website as long as you were a small or extra small so next to no one got a bargain!!

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svenrokk [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Well, this looks decidedly like the current Morvelo range.

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Mat Brett [599 posts] 1 year ago
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wwfcb wrote:
Mashedmallow wrote:

....

Classic jersey is £10 more expensive and doesn't come with armwarmers anymore :(.....

It still does come with armwarmers, check the features & care section on the Rapha website for the classic jersey.

Or just read the article above: "The Classic Jersey comes with a set of arm warmers..."

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colin267 [25 posts] 1 year ago
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Buy it if you like it but I fail to see where there's any value for money in Rapha kit. Try a jersey from Torm - also made from Sportwool and IMHO really well put together and more importantly, looks equally as good but is less than half the price - a bit of a 'no brainer' in my book.  1

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yiman [9 posts] 1 year ago
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The blue and white one is nice!

While they are way beyond what I would pay for a jersey, if fat 50 year old businessmen or even skinny 18 year old bin men want to buy them, why would anyone care?

This says far more about the people passing judgement than the people spending their own money on something.

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arfa [694 posts] 1 year ago
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Just curious, for all those who can't stand it because of the price and have an aversion to those that wear it, do you have the same aversion to someone who say rides a top of the range Cervelo ?
For the sake of disclosure, I have neither Rapha or top of the range kit but I admire the success of a British business and the Mottrams' success all the while whilst caring for their autistic child, which believe me breaks the majority of affected families.
Perhaps time to put away the green eyed monster and celebrate achievement ?

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Chameleon78 [20 posts] 1 year ago
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Well said yiman.

Love the reverse snobbery, how many Rapha wearers post copious amounts of unfounded opinionated shyte about cheap garments?

"Man I hate those cheap shorts and their cheap ass style"

Says something about the Rapha wearers, they like to ride their bike rather than bitch at peoples choice in clothing.

For me I like function and fit and also to look smart. I don't buy into all the garish euro kit but then nor to I prattle on to those that do. Each to their own.

We all have one thing in common and that is to enjoy riding our bikes, be that a 15k bike a £100 bike we all seek the same pleasures, the same goes for our clothing.
seriously guys as I've said before, if you don't like rapha or anything for that matter, don't look at it, don't buy it but more importantly stop griping about it, you're getting very tedious.

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Metjas [359 posts] 1 year ago
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Rapha is the only cycling retailer I'm aware of where you pay £6 standard slow postage unless you spend more than £200. That doesn't sit well with their usual customer service imo.

Lovely stuff, have bought until quite recently, but I'm out.

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Nzlucas [122 posts] 1 year ago
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They are a 'Luxury Brand' thats why and that is there brand image. Its like asking why Diesel clothes are so expensive when they are clearly made in the same factory as cheaper brands.

have a gander at James Fairbank the head of marketing talking about the brand https://vimeo.com/51028052

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brackley88 [135 posts] 1 year ago
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Hey, everyone complaining about price...it's not too expensive for loads of people. You don't have to buy it. Cheaper alternatives are available. Torm is good. Altura is good. I can afford Rapha, and am not 50, not fat, and not slow. I am the grandson of coal miners from South Wales so not from a priveleged background. I am not a banker.

The implicit message in many of the comments is that Rapha must be mad to think they can sell at these prices, and/or people must be mad to buy it. But enough people do have the money and love of what they make for Rapha to be the riotous success story we see today (and I celebrate that a UK company is doing this!!). A £140 jersey would be the same % of my annual income as a £40 jersey for someone else. It's not a big decision. And there are a lot of people for whom this is true. I promise I am not saying this to show off, but to make the point that there is no fixed absolute of affordability or value for money. Clearly there are a lot of people who can afford Rapha and like it. So those for whom it seems too much should not judge how it may feel as a purchasing decision to others. I would certainly not do the reverse for someone wearing a £40 jersey.

One other thought. I sell a load of Rapha stuff on Ebay, where it often sells for 60-70% of the original price. So actually, you misjudge the price. The cost to me is often just 30% of the price, as I recoop a large share later. In fact I have a one in one out rule for Rapha jerseys, so look out for what I am about to sell to make space for the new pink Classic, and the short sleeve Brevet. So they cost me about 30% of the RRP, and you get to buy them at 30% less than the original price, though admittedly not new. This means I have, in effect, leased a Rapha jersey for perhaps 2 years, at a very affordable cost.

It's all good. Everything is as it should be. Love everybody.

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MattCartwright [32 posts] 1 year ago
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I think Rapha make great products, the new range looks great as always, the pro team range is fantastic. Hating on them because they are expensive is absurd. Chameleon78 makes a great point. I guess its a sign of the times, you see someone in a nice car or on a nice bike and instead of thinking 'he must have worked hard for that I'm going to do the same' a lot of people go right to 'spoiled git, he doesn't deserve that, he must be a tool'. The sneaky price rise is a little disappointing, but then they did this a while back on some of the pro team kit and then changed them back when people were not buying them. Love the typical Rapha inspired comments that you always get, especially that 'you laugh at guys in Rapha kit as you pass them'.... Really, do you, I would love to see that.

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