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New brand offer woollen clobber for wearing on and off the bike

New London-based bike clothing company Road Rags are offering a range of men and women’s merino wool seamless garments all made in England.

The clothing is aimed at urban cyclists, the idea being that you can wear it on the bike and then keep it on in the office, out on the town or whatever – without looking like you’ve just stepped off the bike or smelling like a locker room.

We’re pretty sure that you’ll know about merino wool’s natural wicking properties that help keep you comfortable, and the fact that it’s naturally antibacterial so it doesn’t start to hum like many synthetic fabrics do as soon as you get the slightest bit sweaty.

The Hoxton is the simplest item in the range; it’s essentially a merino T-shirt/base layer with an extended tail and a double pocket back there. You get aerated underarm stitching and a ribbed crew neck. This one is £95.

The Smithfield, priced at £115, is long sleeved with a thumb hole retainer to make sure your wrists stay covered. The underarms are aerated and the rear is dropped, like they are on the Hoxton, and the neck is really high so you can cover up your chin and even your ears when it’s cold out. Obviously, you can roll it down out of the way when it's not.

The Shoreditch, worn in the main pic up top, is pretty similar to the Hoxton but for the off-centre neck zipper. It's priced at £130.

Road Rags offer women’s clothing too. These Holborn legging, for example, come with an integrated skirt for £90.

“In essence the clothing has been inspired by the needs of the commuter and the desire to look a little more stylish than many of the present offerings allow,” said Road Rags Director Vaughan Hobbs. “We cut and shape for the normal rather than the 'racing whippet'.”

Barely a week goes by these days without us hearing about a new line of clothing intended for use both on and off the bike. Hopefully that’s an indication of the growing popularity of cycling as a means of urban transport.

The postman should be delivering some of the products to road.cc shortly so we’ll let you know how we get on with them as soon as pos. In the meantime you can check out the full range at www.roadrags.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.

40 comments

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emilyobyrne [4 posts] 3 years ago
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How lovely. Nothing to stop me wearing these in the office - apart from the massive logo on the front that screams I AM A CYCLIST...

Seriously, people, leave off the logos and the labels. I'm at work. In an office. Not in Shoreditch. Sportswear really doesn't cut it.

All I want is a nice black merino base that has NO LOGOS. Icebreaker put them on the front in embroidery. Howies either print them on the sleeve, or embroider them on the hem, in contrast colours. Rapha left off the neck label on the women's baselayer but still couldn't resist leaving the one on the side in place. And their label shows what size I am, for heaven's sake. Now, I realise Rapha don't intend me to use their base layers as office wear, but if they just left off the blasted labels then I could. *sigh*

PS what's with the integrated skirt legging thing? It looks like 80s dancewear. Leggings are for going under other things that I already own, like tunics or miniskirts. You don't need to issue them with their own skirt...

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hoski [81 posts] 3 years ago
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The 'Hoxton'... really? I mean, really!? Hipster much? I hate London.

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Mat Brett [613 posts] 3 years ago
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Is this Angry Wednesday or something? Chill yer boots, people. It's woollen clothing.

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Mr Will [91 posts] 3 years ago
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Ugly, overpriced woollen clothing. I can't honestly think of a single situation it would be well suited for.

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leedgreen [33 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks OK but massively over priced! which is the norm for cycling clothing........

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BBB [368 posts] 3 years ago
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I haven't seen cycling specific pyjamas before  3

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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Actually Mr Will I'm not sure that it is that over-priced, it's made in England and basically any short run clothing made out of higher end materials in this country is going to be expensive - it's less than the similarly English made Velobici gear.

I think it looks pretty good.

I'm with you emily on logos - I hate 'em on my clothing whatever I'm doing, but I'd have to say the ones here are pretty small and inoffensive. Seems bizarre to me that so many clothing manufacturers insist on slapping them all over stuff that is supposedly 'understated'.

@Hoski You don't like it because of it's name? Really? I mean really? Oh, and you don't like London or hipsters. Sounds like you've got a lot to let out if a jumper can get you that fired up you. Chill out or you'll do yourself an injury

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bfslxo [144 posts] 3 years ago
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hoski wrote:

The 'Hoxton'... really? I mean, really!? Hipster much? I hate London.

LOL! +1  3
or more hate things only made for people who live and commute about 1/2 mile to work in London and not near 8 miles via town & country roads

oh, their lady model though - ah now,a thing of beauty  3

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mcj78 [21 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks decent, i'm actually quite liking the designs - the price is a bit on the steep side but for quality items i'm sure it's on par with many other brands... that logo kills it though, I wouldn't buy it at 70% off with a big "ROAD RAGS" logo on it... well, maybe I would & try to remove it somehow...

What's the point in producing understated, "high quality", "short run" clothing & then sticking a big tacky logo on it? (sorry, but "small & inoffensive" to me means perhaps a small same-colour tag on the hem/cuff etc. or some same colour stitching away from eye level...)

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mcj78 [21 posts] 3 years ago
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I just looked at the website - they also have a side project of taking old frames, chroming them, sticking some cheap (bar the Brooks saddles...) fixie parts on them & charging you a couple of thousand quid for the pleasure of taking it home...  39

Another company hastily set up to make a quick buck from the ever-increasing popularity of cycling? Couldn't be...

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MinardiM189 [68 posts] 3 years ago
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Is wearing cleats with toe clips on your pedals the latest in cycling 'cool'?  39

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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MinardiM189 wrote:

Is wearing cleats with toe clips on your pedals the latest in cycling 'cool'?  39

I had not noticed that till you mentioned it. Must be them new fangled SPD Quill pedals.

Nice looking kit and nice that it's made in the UK. The logo is a bit unsubtle though.

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Mr Will [91 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm struggling to find an equivalent product in the Velobici range, so let's highlight a few of the alternatives:

Torm.cc Baselayer - £28
Endura BaaBaa - £39.99
Vulpine Merino T-Shirt - £55
Rapha Merino Baselayer - £60
Vulpine Merino Button Jersey - £80
Rapha Merino Polo-Shirt - £110

Ugly RoadRag Hoxton thing - £95
Ugly RoadRag Hoxton thing + zip - £130

I stand by my "overpriced" comment.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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Thumbs down from me I'm afraid, for the names of the garment, for the designs, for the labels and for the awful name.

It looks like the sort of shite spawned by a challenge for some gimps on The Apprentice.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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Mr Will wrote:

I'm struggling to find an equivalent product in the Velobici range, so let's highlight a few of the alternatives:

Torm.cc Baselayer - £28
Endura BaaBaa - £39.99
Vulpine Merino T-Shirt - £55
Rapha Merino Baselayer - £60
Vulpine Merino Button Jersey - £80
Rapha Merino Polo-Shirt - £110

Ugly RoadRag Hoxton thing - £95
Ugly RoadRag Hoxton thing + zip - £130

I stand by my "overpriced" comment.

You need to to struggle harder Mr Will
http://www.velobici.cc/firenze-pullover-anthracite-4317-p.asp

All those garments you list - the only one I'm not sure about is the Endura Baa BAA (and I'm still pretty sure) are made in China (or Vietnam in the case of the Torm) or other points in the Far East. Nothing wrong with that but would you willing to work for what a Chinese factory worker is paid or cheaper still someone in Vietnam?

Personally I'd go for the Velobici one

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Sudor [186 posts] 3 years ago
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No buyers then ?  22

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fennesz [132 posts] 3 years ago
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That top pic. Way too YMCA.

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mikemorini [41 posts] 3 years ago
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Not cycling specific, but chocolate fish merino (daft name I know)is the best quality I've found and is still made in New Zealand (unlike Icebreaker).
Strange how they can ship it half way round the world and still be cheaper than stuff made in the UK. NZ is hardly the land of sweat shops.
I'm sure road rags have a very healthy mark up, to cover the cost of living in the metropolis.

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doc [167 posts] 3 years ago
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Probably very nice, BUT.
Handwash (Merino wool), expensive, does what better ppriced technical base layers do anyway, and the logo thing.
If I'm paying £130 for a tarted up polo shirt, then you can keep the logo off, thanks. My £75 shirts don't bear logos. My £lots suits and overcoat don't carry logos. Because the makers know the quality and that you might just reference them to friends. If there's to be advertising cost price would be more appropriate, about £45 tops not £130.
It really does look like a "cash in" job on the back of the Rapha created market.

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CarolineF [9 posts] 3 years ago
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If you don't like logos and labels, take a look at Rohan's clothing - the name is usually embroidered in the same colour as the fabric, very subtle. They have merino tops but they are not cycling specific (or particularly cheap)

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Gstar [21 posts] 3 years ago
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Erm, 'hastily set up'? 'Quick buck'..?the time and effort required to set up a clothing brand (sourcing, design, production, marketing, web presence ) is huge, especially if you want to produce in the UK where there are few options (much much cheaper in the Far East obv). In the current economic climate I take my hat off to anyone willing to invest in a start up and the fact that its a cycling /casual brand shows how far the sport has come. If you think it's overpriced you might be right but the market will soon decide . In the meantime ...don't be a hater

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chris75018 [99 posts] 3 years ago
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BBB wrote:

I haven't seen cycling specific pyjamas before  3

 24
You're on to somnething there - maybe they should add a Merino onesie to the range?

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AndyCap [1 post] 3 years ago
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Another brand if you don't like logos and labels is Armadillo Merino. The garments are not cycling specific but are styled with raglan sleeves, with no labels on the inside and single fabric panels under the arms to avoid chaffing. The Elite garments use a cool new fabric made from a compact merino yarn so the fabric feels silky smooth and yet it's very hard wearing. Merino is expensive in comparison to the alternatives but even with merino you get what you pay for.

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belgravedave [268 posts] 3 years ago
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Seriously the names given are so unbelievably naff nobody in Hoxton would be seen dead in them.

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mcj78 [21 posts] 3 years ago
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Gstar wrote:

Erm, 'hastily set up'? 'Quick buck'..?the time and effort required to set up a clothing brand (sourcing, design, production, marketing, web presence ) is huge, especially if you want to produce in the UK where there are few options (much much cheaper in the Far East obv). In the current economic climate I take my hat off to anyone willing to invest in a start up and the fact that its a cycling /casual brand shows how far the sport has come. If you think it's overpriced you might be right but the market will soon decide . In the meantime ...don't be a hater

I'll assume that was directed at me, I notice however that you've chosen to omit the question mark that I placed after the comment, thus changing the context slightly - also, you've ignored the fact that that particular comment was more directed towards the £2300 50's Claud Butler bargain bin fixie with they're also selling, rather than the clothing - which I clearly stated I liked... with the exception of the price & the large, eye level, white on black, bold type, hideously cheesy logo which ruins the whole range in my estimation.

But don't let that get in the way of your "hater" speech, haters gonna hate, after all.

And as for "sourcing, design, production, marketing, web presence" - in other words, designing some stuff, getting it made & trying to sell it, if they had applied even an ounce of market research prior to manufacture, they'd have realized, like echoed in pretty much every comment above, that having an eye catching, contrasting, ugly logo on an allegedly subtle, versatile range is complete idiocy. A contradicion in terms if you will.

And i'm not a hater - just cynical, do you think any of the models used in the photos look as though they ride bikes? Do you think they've deliberately chosen "hipster" types in the marketing to try to appeal to a certain demographic? Would you drop £2300 on about £500 worth of randomly assembled bike parts?

Note the question marks this time - these mean it's a question, maybe even a rhetorical one, that you don't need to answer, not a statement of fact, or even necessarily opinion.

Just to clear that up for you, and for Road Rags - best of luck with the range, I like it, take that logo off it & you might just sell some.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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Interesting how if you put a UK type brand on clothing, the Brits will slate it. But if you put a french or italian name on clothing, cyclists will pay double the price just to get that continental look. No contradiction there, entirely logical....

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Mr. Rossi [36 posts] 3 years ago
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Their bicycles are outrageously priced. I can't quite believe it. £2000 for a reconditioned fixie?! I'm actually offended. What kind of mug do they take me for?!

+1 on all the hideous logo comments, and their website is a design disaster too. As @mcj78 points out, it seems like this company has been created to cynically milk the new and expanding cycling market. I for one, will be avoiding and encouraging others to do likewise.

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Mr Will [91 posts] 3 years ago
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As much as I dislike the brand and image, I don't actually think this is the case. I imagine that it has been set up by a bunch of 20-somethings who are designing the products they themselves want.

Sadly, they seem to lack the business sense to realise you can't just design your ideal product regardless of cost, add a mark up and expect it to sell. You need to start from what the market will bear and work backwards to the product.

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Cervelo12 [77 posts] 3 years ago
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Made In England, something new and slightly different in appearance. I say good luck to them, especially at a time where starting a new business takes alot of guts and is a huge risk. Some of the comments on here really do make me sad that your so quick to slag them off before they have even launched. If it's not your cup of tea then so do we really need to know. Some of the comments on price also piss me off, the products clearly aren't aimed at you so why bother to comment. Yes i work in London, and yes i'm a hipster  16

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hatchet harry [15 posts] 3 years ago
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bfslxo wrote:

... hate things only made for people who live and commute about 1/2 mile to work in London and not near 8 miles via town & country roads

That's just bilge. "It's not made for MY commute so it must be sh*t". Cycling snobbery of the highest order  37

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