Rapha’s autumn/winter range is now available, and here are the highlights...
One area where Rapha have really been concentrating lately is their City range of clothing that’s designed to be worn both on and off the bike. The idea is that you commute in the clothing, or ride into town for a drink, and you don’t need to change when you get there.
This, for example, is Rapha’s new Merino Gilet (£120). It comes with a windproof stretch lining to keep the cold air out, and the side panels are ribbed so you can get a close fit without any discomfort.
The Merino Hoody is a little more pricy, at £140. The main fabric is 100% merino (as opposed to Sportwool which has a polyester component), and you get windproof panels over the top in the most exposed areas – the front, sides and shoulders.
The hood is windproof too, and it’s stowable when not in use – you roll it up and button it down. That hi-vis tab on the back, by the way, is detachable, so you look a little less conspicuous when you’re off the bike (take care not to lose it). That’s a feature that Rapha carry over to many other City products.
The Track Top is made from fine merino but in quite a heavy weight. This one is £135.
The Long Sleeve City Jersey (£130) is lighter and has just a quarter-length zip. This colour is called Old Gold.
The Women’s Long Sleeve Jersey (also £130) is made from the same mix (90% merino, 7% nylon, 3% elastane), but it has a four-button collar.
More merino here, this time the Merino Roll Neck (£110). You get subtle knitted stripes across the chest, and there’s a pocket around the back.
Ah yes, the merino wool boxer shorts are back. The idea of wool boxer shorts might not fill you with delight, but the merino wool that Rapha use here is incredibly soft, and there’s a bit of polyester in there to provide some stretch. Being merino, it wicks well and is antibacterial. The seams are flatlock stitched throughout.
This orange colour is new for Rapha, by the way. It’s an option that they’re using for a few other products too: the City Rain Jacket and the Classic Wind Jacket, for example. The shorts are also available in grey and back, priced at £35 per pair.
The final item we’ll show you in the City Range is the Lapelled Jacket (£300). It’s designed to be a smart, business-type jacket, but made from technical fabrics and incorporating some bike-friendly features. The main cotton-nylon fabric includes elastane so you can stretch on the bike, it’s antibacterial and rain repellent. You get vents on the shoulders, and the storm collar is finished with hi-vis tape that you can’t see when the collar is folded down.
We’ve showed you this new Cross Transfer Jacket briefly before, but it looks good so here it is again. It’s designed for pre- and post-race use, but you can obviously wear it pretty much anytime you choose. It’s insulated with PrimaLoft One synthetic insulation and is priced at £190. This jacket isn’t available just yet – it’ll be about mid-November. And standby for another version soon too.
Rapha have a whole new winter glove system. The Winter Gloves use a windproof, water-resistant, breathable and stretchy fabric with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. You get high-density foam padding across the palms, and reinforcement from Pittards goatskin leather on the palm, thumb and first two fingers. These are priced at £75.
The Deep Winter Gloves (£95), as the name suggests, are for really cold conditions, and they come with a waterproof/breathable membrane in there, along with PrimaLoft insulation to add the warmth.
Both the Winter Gloves and the Deep Winter Gloves are designed to be worn with Rapha’s Merino Liners (£40) when needed, These are simply slimline merino wool inners with a ribbed cuff.
Rapha also have Merino Gloves (£60) that are different in that they come with goatskin leather on the palm and fingers/thumb, and high-density foam padding.
The other gloves in the winter range are the Overmitts (£70) that are made from a waterproof fabric, and the seams are fully taped. They’re a lobster-claw design, the idea being to provide additional warmth while still allowing you to brake and change gear with just your first two fingers. Rather than using these on their own, you wear them over the top of other Rapha gloves for extra weatherproofing in really harsh conditions.
There are more items on the way from Rapha that we’ll tell you about when they’re released. In the meantime, check out the full range at 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.