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 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.