Once again Rapha has sent out teasers of what’s to come in their fall, winter & next spring lineups. And again there is something weird & wild lurking there. “A sleep system for cross-country adventures” is coming to the Brevet Explore family – looks like it pairs a sleeping bag & a jacket into one! Plus, Pro Team is getting better and full Custom team clothing is coming too.
Rapha Brevet Explore, something to sleep in for adventuring
While tiny teaser images of clothing might not seem like the biggest news, the last time Rapha did this in February we ended up getting the ic(r?)onic Banana-pocket cargo bib shorts, the actually oil slick-inspired iridescent Crit collections, and an entry into the premium saddle market. Curiously enough we’ve ridden the first & last of those, and they really are solid products.
So what’s coming next for their Explore family (that gave us lycra cargo shorts) in October is a sleeping bag.
Tentatively called the ‘Rapha Sleep System’ it is rumored to use a new Explore Sleeping Bag that zips together a new Explore Down Jacket, a new pair of Brevet Cargo Winter Tights with a chamois, and even a new set of waterproof bikepacking packs. All to create a single thing to sleep in on the side of the road or trail for your next adventure.
It has reportedly been developed with past Transcontinental race winners & pros. It also sounds like the most Frankenstein cycling clothing we’ve ever heard of, with guaranteed reflectivity. I’ve only seen detail shots (of the down jacket chest & elements of the tights), but won’t lie that I am really curious as to what in the world it will be!
Rapha Brevet gets more Hi-Viz, Commuting stays dry
The rest of the Brevet line adds more visibility with even more printed-on retroreflective and eye-searing pink for the new Brevet Visibility jacket and vest in September.
At the same time the city collection gets more functional (and visible) with a new Commuter Jacket that is fully waterproof and hard to miss. Maybe you’ll even wear it off the bike if you want to stand out in a crowd.
Rapha classic merino goes Tweed & a retro callback to Milano-Roma
In the next ultra-fancy look, a new Archive Tweed Softshell Jacket is coming that will likely break the back, but might let you sneak some tech into the next wet & cold autumn Eroica.
Remembering what could have become an Italian Classic, but was only run twice, Rapha’s new Milano-Roma line goes merino and retro for the ill-fated two-day road race.
Plenty more updates in Pro Team, Souplesse, and special editions
Pro Team & Souplesse get several cool weather updates as winter approaches. Whether that is more windblocking or just better fits, fast riders will appreciate it. The biggest new thing coming here though is an exclusive to women pair of Souplesse Shadow Tights. Developed with the Canyon//SRAM team, they put Rapha’s excellent water-resistant fabric where you need it most, for training & racing in the worst weather conditions.
There will also be some new sneaky details added to some kit, these Hidden Leaves were snuck in with pro rider Hannah Barnes to celebrate riding in the fall.
Rapha Custom – full custom kit for your shop or cycling team
Then lastly in November, Rapha will finally unveil their full custom program. Not much of a secret, they’ve been teasing it on their website for the better part of this year, inviting teams to register interest and even get in on early access to the program. What we know is that pretty much everything synthetic that Rapha offers will be able to be customized.
The product is being made in Europe, and there are relatively small minimum orders for big things like jerseys, but smaller bits will require more buy-in. It definitely is intended for larger buys like a proper cycling club team or custom bike shop kit. Not for individual one-offs. So we’ll be curious to see how riders embrace custom design possibilities from a brand built on simple aesthetics, and what it will do to already premium pricing?