This is Rapha’s brand new Core range which is focused on making owning a Rapha jersey and bib shorts more affordable - a complete outfit will cost from £155.
Yes, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s significantly more affordable than other clothing in the company’s range.The Core Jersey costs £75, compared to £100 for a Club Jersey or £220 for a Pro Team Shadow Jersey, while the matching Core bib shorts cost £100, compared to £160 for the Classic Bib Shorts. The women's non-bib shorts cost £80.
The Core range ushers in a range of jerseys and shorts, available for men and women, with a clean and understated appearance, not compromising on design, with a tasteful range of colours. The design is simple and unfussy, with colour-matched zips and logos. There are details shared with other Rapha clothing and there is even a low-profile left armband, a key Rapha design detail.
“Rapha has distilled twelve years of experience in production and design to create a new standard of clothing, for every cyclist, on any ride,” says the press release.
To keep the prices low, the jerseys and shorts are made from a simply polyester material which the company describes as being a “soft and light stretch”. The jerseys, available for men and women, get three rear pockets and a concealed zip pocket, and colour-matched zips and Rapha logos. The jersey is shaped to fit the body on the bicycle, with raglan sleeves and side panels providing stability.
The bib shorts actually use the same padded insert as used in the more expensive Classic shorts, but the construction and material keeps the price down. Details include silicone leg grippers and laser-cut hems and flatlock stitching.The shorts are available in an all-black or white on black colour options, the latter intended for use with a light-coloured jersey. There’s a non-bib option for women as well.
“The Core collection is about optimising innovative fabrics and processes to set a new standard for everyday cycling apparel,” says Alex Valdman, Rapha’s Head of Design.
“It’s about making the kit that riders could wear when putting in the hours on their bikes. It’s also about us being able to release products that are still at the Rapha standard but which aren’t heavily branded. It’s about the quality, the details, the function, the fit, the fabric, and that’s where the pared-back nature of this collection comes from. But you have to create texture too, otherwise, it will be cheap, plain and boring. That was the real challenge – how do you take something that is supposed to be so toned-down but still make it very interesting?”
Does Rapha have an arty video to go with this launch? You bet.
See the new range at http://pages.rapha.cc/stories/rapha-core
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.