Hot on the news of the launch of their Pro Team clothing range, Rapha have just revealed details of their new and improved City range. Rapha pioneered the concept of urban cycle clothing and the London brand’s City range has been popular with cyclists, who want all the functionality of cycle clothing but with less of a cycling look, so you could wear it in the office, cafe, pub or wherever you spend your day on and off the bike. Here’s a look at the highlights of the 2013 City collection.
The Randonnee jersey (£150) combines a breathable and lightweight fabric with some classic old skool touches, including a pair of chest pockets with button down top. There’s a single pocket around the back, with fold out hi-vis pink tab and reflective detail, for good visibility in the evening light. The tail is dropped with gripper tape lining the hem, there’s a chin guard for the zipper and signature contrast armband.
The Short Sleeve Merino Jersey (£120) is now available in er… fetching olive green and purple colours, that luckily look a lot better than the the words 'olive green' and 'purple' suggest they should. This top takes the styling of their more race-oriented jerseys but it’s a little more understated, so you could comfortably wear it on the commute and then wear it all day in the office without turning heads. Well just those of Rapha fans (or haters) anyway. It’s made from merino so it’s breathable and quick drying, both ideal properties for commuting and it shouldn't pong - an even more ideal property in a commuting top.
It's available for women too, in - some might argue - cooler colours.
The Hooded Top (£150) is a mid-weight top designed to be worn as an outer layer and has windproof fabric on the front, sides, shoulders and hoods. So you get the casual looks of a hoody but with the functionality of a proper cycling top. Aside from the Rapha branded rear pocket, you wouldn’t know it’s a cycling-specific top really. That’ll fool your colleagues as you dash off down the road on your fixie. Details include two zipped front pockets, one rear pocket and removable hi-vis panel, full-length zipper and ribbed cuffs.
An extremely lightweight windproof fabric with DWR treatment makes the City Wind Jacket (£140) a good option for weather like we have at the moment, wet and wild. It’s 100% windproof and described as breathable, but how breathable exactly remains to be seen. There are underarm and back vents just in case it gets stuffy. Logos are reflective.
Take a regular smart long-sleeve shirt and make it from a windproof, waterproof and breathable fabric and you arrive at the Windproof Shirt (£140). Ideal for the summer months, dashing from the office to coffee house (Not everyone in the city drinks coffee and rides a fixie - ed… some of them drink chai lattes), it saves getting changed, and means you remain looking smart the entire time. There’s a concealed full-length zip, rear pocket and chest pocket, reflective tab and chain link print in the collar.
The Long Sleeve Shirt (£90) is similar to the shirt above but uses a lighter cotton fabric that is fast-drying and breathable, making it a good choice for hot summer days. If we get any of those this year. The shoulder seams have been moved so a backpack or courier bag strap doesn’t rub. Collar buttons are concealed, the front buttons are covered and there’s a buttoned rear pocket.
The Short Sleeve Merino Polo (£90) is now available in black, grey and navy. Made from 100% New Zealand merino, a slim fit, rear pocket and offset shoulder seams.
For even smarter occasions, the Lapelled Jacket (£300) is jacket made from a lightweight and fast-drying fabric with a DWR treatment and a windproof lining on the front facing panels. There’s a degree of stretch in the fabric for freedom of movement on the bike. A zipped pocket, breast pocket and two button front closure complete the details.
For wet weather, the City Rain Jacket (£220) is a very good looking top in fact if it's anything like the previous incarnation of the City Rain Jacket we tested it's very good full stop. The 2.5 ply 100% nylon micro-twill fabric has a breathable membrane so it keeps the rain out and doesn’t boil you in a bag. The seams are all fully taped as well, and there’s neoprene cuffs to stop cold air and rain sneaking up the arms. A large drop tail flap provides extra bum protection from rear wheel spray. It folds up small and is provided in a small bag. Available in fetching orange or dark navy.
With a revised cut the Short Sleeve Shirt (£75) has been updated. Just perfect for bombing down to the beer garden after a ride or long day at the office, it uses a stretchy breathable fabric with a Gingham check pattern. Side panels improve the fit on the bike, there’s a covered front panel, concealed collar buttons, internal pink trim and a fold-out fluoro pink flap.
For below the waist, there’s the Rapha Trousers (£150), made with a slim-cut and a stretchy material so you can cycle in them. There’s a reinforced Cordura seat panel, and the inside seams are carefully placed to avoid chafing, we've reviewed a previous version of these and very impressed wer were too.
The Rapha Jeans (£150) use a denim cotton Cordura fabric mix that is fast-drying and with enough stretch to not hinder pedalling. There’s reflective details on the right leg when you roll them up, high-vis pink binding and a higher back to avoid overexposure. The pocket has been reinforced for strapping a D-Lock to.
The ¾ Shorts (£120) are ideal to be worn over bib shorts if you have an appointment and need to look smartish. A ‘plus-four’-style cut with a water and stain resistant fabric, they’re stretchy and apparently breathable too. The fit is tailored, so quite slim, with button adjustment at the cuffs.
New colours for the City Riding Socks (£15), you can choose from grey, green, black and purple. Available in two lengths, they’re made from a warm winter merino fabric with reinforced heel and toe areas.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.