Rapha launches Bicycle collection

Rapha partners with Independent Fabrications, Cinelli, Beloved & Tony Pereira Ira Ryan

by Simon_MacMichael   January 11, 2011  

Through its various range extensions and collaborations, Rapha has a knack of surprising the cycling world now and again, and it’s done so once more with the launch of a four-strong range of bicycles, the Rapha Collection, to be made available over the next two years, produced in partnership with, as Rapha says, “four masters of framebuilding.”

Each of those partners, adds Rapha, “has been selected because of the mastery of their craft and passion for road cycling. With each partner we have created a model constructed uniquely for a particular style or purpose of riding: is four very different machines.”

It’s worth pointing out that three out of four of the bikes are put together in the US, and it’s not entirely clear whether the prices quoted include potential VAT and import duty (the fourth is by Cinelli and with Italy in the EU, customs tariffs aren’t an issue). Rapha tell us that import duty and VAT will be applicable to the US models which will bump the price up quite a lot were you thinking of buying one.

The ‘Every Day’ from Beloved

First, there’s the Beloved Every Day, which Rapha says is “more than a ‘commuter’ bike,” and is designed by Cycle Works Oregon in the West Coast cycling hotspot of Portland and built Chris King (yes that Chris King) or the Cycle Works Oregon.

The Beloved Every Day is sold as a complete bike, and as well as the Columbus SL frame, Spirit headtube and True Temper fork blades, the bike is finished off with:

Sturmey-Archer 5-speed internal rear hub with downtube shifters
Paul levers, cranks and custom-made chainring
Chris King Headset and front hub
Nitto ‘Priest’ Bar, aluminum stem and post
A Rapha emblazoned San Marco Regal saddle
Painted Berthoud fenders
MKS Sylvan road pedal with deep leather toe clip

This is the machine that is likely to raise most eyebrows with its reassuringly Raphaesque price tag, but there's no denying it truly is a thing of beauty, as Rapha's pictures show the detailing is superb - as you'd expect given the people involved in making it. Plus there is an argument that if you are going to spend a lot of money on a bike it should be one you ride every day, and the Every Day speedster looks to be just the format that most people could ride every day - wouldn't fancy locking it up outside Sainsburys though on the way home from work.

The complete bike costs $5,195 plus shipping ($115 US domestic, $230 Canada and $400 global FedEx). Estimated delivery is eight weeks from date of order and further details together with a link to the Beloved website can be found here. One final thought on pricing scale up the cost of a Chris King headset to a full bike and it probably comes to something like this price. Sizes range from 50cm through to 60cm in 2cm increments.

The ‘Continental’ from Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira

If you’re familiar with Rapha and its website, you’ve probably already come across the Rapha Continental section which highlights some of the epic rides North America has to offer in words, pictures and video.

Not only is the Continental a bike that is up to the rigours of those journeys, but it’s also put together by two men who have been involved with the project as builders and riders since the word go. Tony Pereira in particular is a highly respected US framebuilder one of the judges at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show.

It's billed as an all conditions, all day, long haul bike. Essentially then a fast tourer or audax bike without the rack mounts, or if you like something close to the sort of bike Merckx et al would have been riding in the late Sixties - his Colnago of that era in the Madonna del Ghisallo bike museum is not a million miles from this sort of set up - it even has a frame pump. And given that it is completely handbuilt you probably could get extra braze ons for a rack if you wanted them.

The frameset uses Zona and Spirit tubing from Columbus Steel and unlike the Beloved Every Day which is fully fillet brazed it features both lugs and fillet brazing, a nod to the personal preferences of each of the two builders.

Like the Every Day, this too comes only as a complete bike, and finished off with:

SRAM Force Drivetrain
Chris King Headset
FSA Seatpost, Handlebars and Stem
DT Swiss Wheels with Chris King Hubs
PDW Fenders w/Tektro long-reach brakes
Topeak Pump
F’zi:k Aliante Saddle
25mm Continental GP4000 tires

There will be two ordering periods a year for the bike, which costs $5,000 plus shipping, with 50 produced in each production run and a delivery time of 3.5-4 months from date of order.

Further details, including ordering dates and a link to Breadwinner Cycles who are supplying the bike, can be found here.

Independent Fabrication XS

Independent Fabrication have carved out a deserved reputation for combining high quality craftsmanship and the latest materials and technology in their bikes, the CX is no exception made from carbon fibre and lugged titanium 3/2.5 Ti for the front triangle and super-hard 6/4 for the rear dropouts. The bottom bracket and chainstays are also Ti while some cush is provided by the carbon seatstays, the top and down tubes are also carbon as is the Edge Composites front fork.

According to Rapha, “This bicycle has to be considered one of the best ever for any rider racing a sportive,” certainly the CX has a reputation for providing an ultra-plush ride without sacrificing performance. 

Neat touches on this bike include Rapha detailing including the letter R etched into the lug at the top tube and an “inside story” painted inside the fork, similar to what you will find hidden away in the pockets of Rapha clothing.

To complete the bespoke frame, you can order Campagnolo Super Record, SRAM Red or Shimano DuraAce or Di2, while wheels are supplied from either Enve Composites or Mavic.

Delivery is 8-10 weeks from date of order, with frame and forks costing $6,795 plus shipping, and full details are available here. If you are buying this one as a frame and fork you won't have to worry about quite so much about import duty as it's considerably less on bike components - one of the reasons many complete bikes are actually imported in pieces.

Cinelli XCR Criterium Racer

We're big fans of Cinelli's XCR frameset in it's polished glory, here though it comes in Pearl White with some polished stainless steel exposed on the chainstay and dropouts as well as pink, black and grey race bandsThis frame and fork represents a collaboration between the two famed Italian businesses – component and frame-maker Cinelli, and next-door neighbour, Columbus, synonymous with some of the best steel tubing out there.

The frame and fork, which come in at €3,500 plus shipping, have a four month lead time from date of order and, according to Rapha, “are intended for the aggressive racer.”

Only 30 will be made because of the rarity of the Columbus XCR steel from which the frame and fork are constructed, and full details, including a link to order through the Cinelli website, can be found here.

25 user comments

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As I mused on Twitter, when I think Rapha, I think Condor - these are nice bikes, but the makers seem like an odd choice to me.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
12th January 2011 - 9:36

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The US is likely to be their largest market hence the move on Italian and US frames but it would have been nice to have seen a few British makers as it's a British backed firm. I agree though, nice bikes even so.

UK frame builders, Enigma, build in XCR for their Extensor model and their custom built frame only price starts from £1,499.

posted by 5339 [21 posts]
12th January 2011 - 10:29

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Aimed at US luxury market surely, at those (frankly) daft prices. Esp. ~$6k for a town bike. I do so hope BikeSnob does a bit on this...

posted by fennesz [83 posts]
12th January 2011 - 10:39

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I quite like the continental

But if you wanted this sort of thing then the UK frame builders would be a better way to go. Roberts, Hewitt or Mercian (to name just 3 ) could make you one

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [290 posts]
12th January 2011 - 11:32

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Critique aside, everyone is talking about Rapha again. Maybe this is just some huge brand awareness wheeze.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
12th January 2011 - 11:41

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I think they've made a mistake in not putting rack mounts on the continental

for me - The ride is about adventure, camaraderie and the sense of accomplishment that comes after a long day in the saddle.

Mountain-Nic's picture

posted by Mountain-Nic [119 posts]
12th January 2011 - 12:17

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John_the_Monkey wrote:
As I mused on Twitter, when I think Rapha, I think Condor - these are nice bikes, but the makers seem like an odd choice to me.

+1. I love the look of the Condor frames.

Are IF being used to capture the US market perhaps?

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1240 posts]
12th January 2011 - 12:36

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Posers dream. Agree with above could have gone along the English builders route.

All the gear but no idea

matrs's picture

posted by matrs [60 posts]
12th January 2011 - 13:33

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Somehow the cost of these beautiful machines reminds me of this superb illustration from one of my most favourite artists, the masterful David Shrigley

art.jpg

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
12th January 2011 - 13:35

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...not that affordability was ever a concern.

Keeps away the riff-raff, what-what?

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
12th January 2011 - 14:19

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Quote:
Delivery is 8-10 weeks from date of order, with frame and forks costing $6,795 plus shipping, and full details are available here. If you are buying this one as a frame and fork you won't have to worry about import duty.

I think you need to check your facts there. Import duty on complete bikes is 15% and for bicycle components it's just 4.8%. Though you'll still have to add VAT at 20% on top of the total cost of the bike/frame, delivery charge and import duty... Nerd

posted by one_bad_mofo [31 posts]
12th January 2011 - 14:41

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Correct, that was supposed to read "quite so much", it will in a mo.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
12th January 2011 - 14:51

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TRs Blurb n Blog wrote:
Somehow the cost of these beautiful machines reminds me of this superb illustration from one of my most favourite artists, the masterful David Shrigley

or maybe this one Big Grin

crap.jpg

posted by piedwagtail [11 posts]
12th January 2011 - 14:54

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Rapha are performing a very valuable public service here for anyone in the market for a new bike at the moment.

Was just looking at a Trek Speed Concept 7.2 (not for my personal use you understand) and suddenly it looked stunningly cheap.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
12th January 2011 - 15:07

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I thought shame they never used a British builder as well when I saw this. Given how they go on about the romance of the road.

However I think there is a reason. We all have a rough idea how much a frameset from Roberts, Bob Jackson etc is and if they had put a Roberts in with a $5,000 price tag we would have been screaming rip off even louder. By using slightly more out there builders they can stick on the big price ticket and market away at the posers and wannabes.

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
12th January 2011 - 15:36

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Mountain-Nic wrote:
I think they've made a mistake in not putting rack mounts on the continental

Everyone will be using Brooks, with Carraphadice saddle bags. They're like Carradice, but cost ELEVENTY HUNDRED POUNDS. And have a pink lining.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
12th January 2011 - 16:46

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Mountain-Nic wrote:
I think they've made a mistake in not putting rack mounts on the continental

I thought that too. Then I thought for that price I can have a frame custom built, and specify exactly what frame fittings I want on it.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1334 posts]
12th January 2011 - 16:49

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John_the_Monkey wrote:

Everyone will be using Brooks, with Carraphadice saddle bags. They're like Carradice, but cost ELEVENTY HUNDRED POUNDS. And have a pink lining.

Way too cheap JtM, you need to think more exclusivly. Rapha don't do ordinary. Wink

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
12th January 2011 - 17:08

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Vecchiojo has picked the nits from the plumage of these delightful bikes here http://road.cc/content/blog/29236-just-get-it-right-5

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
12th January 2011 - 21:06

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Has Rapha become the one stop shop for gullible cycling mugs? A $700 markup on the Independent Fabrication F&F!! For what exactly? - one of the ugliest headtube badges i've ever clapped eyes on, all the more ridiculous when IF's badge is a sterling silver jewel.
Personally, my alternative "collection" would be:- Steel: either Brian Rourke's Reynolds 953 or Dave Anderson's 953 if you crave some NAHBB's bling, Ti: Lynskey's R440 or Helix, Carbon: a Parlee Z1 or Time RXRS (at least they make their own carbon cloth to justify the expense) and finally Alu: why a Principia R.E.X. - just the thing to join my Principia Rex Linda McCartney!!

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [51 posts]
14th January 2011 - 1:13

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In the past there has been some suspicion of the 'Emperor's new clothes'. Now I fear we have his bicycles. Why pay over the odds to buy a 'Rapha' branded bicycle which could be purchased from the maker at a lower cost with a more discrete colour scheme? I can only imagine the reaction I would get from my 'friends' if I turned up on a Sunday morning riding one of these!

posted by nickwill [14 posts]
14th January 2011 - 21:32

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The Continental is a copy of the Charge Juicer Mid I recently brought for £700 which will give just as much enjoyment, for a fraction of the cost.
Real cyclists who know their stuff would not buy into this Rapha marketing hype and would know that a proper custom fit such as a British Rourkie would be far better for your cycling than paying over the odds (and import tax and VAT) for the addition of a pink Rapha Sticker.

posted by aloadofpants [15 posts]
15th January 2011 - 0:34

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Rapha's site features a number of US frame builders all given the same brief: 'Build us a steel frame road bike in our colours and the rest of the details are up to you'. Some of them are gob-smackingly beautiful.

I agree it would be a great idea for Rapha to run the same brief out to 5 or 6 hard pressed UK builders but Rapha was started by a pair of city bankers and they know their main growth marjet is in the US not amongst grumbling British club members who buy from er...Trek, Specialized and all those other famous British brands... : )

As for perception of value? It's Toyota vs Lexus time in terms of hype. I have a Rapha 2007 winter jersey that will last me a lifetime. The quality and cut are excellent. If I want to
pay a little more for a better quality product and more subtle tasteful branding then what's the harm? Viv la difference.

That said I'm not keen on the bling offshoots from Rapha and the Paul Smith range is overpriced and pretty vulgar. Black leather and shiny purple are not good combinations in any context (Ooo er missus) - let alone cycling.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1055 posts]
15th January 2011 - 2:24

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Rapha give so much back to the sport how could anyone query their motives........ Big Grin

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
15th January 2011 - 15:37

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“This bicycle has to be considered one of the best ever for any rider racing a sportive,”

For $6795 Surprise I think I would be looking for more than a sportive bike for my money.

posted by Marauder [239 posts]
26th June 2012 - 15:17

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