Rapha seems to pump out new goods almost weekly, most of which we really like. The latest of these fetish items is the Circle of Death jersey, a merino-technical fabric blend with a fitted yet classic cut that pays homage to “the infamous Circle of Death, the loop of Pyrenean mountains that contains the Col d’Aubisque, Col d’Aspin, Col de Peyresourde and the mighty Col du Tourmalet – all of which feature on the route of this year’s Etape Acte II, Pau-Luchon.”
Sleeves are a bit longer with finely ribbed graphical bands as a nod to retro cycling jerseys. Rear pockets get a button closure, front is a 1/3 zip and side panels help tailor the fit. The buttons are a red and yellow circle meant to imitate the Lammergeier’s eye, a bird of prey common around the peaks of the Pyrenees.
It’s no secret we’re fans of the Rapha lifestyle, what with their Continental rides inspiring us to just keep taking lefts to see where we end up or riding to a friend’s lake house for a long weekend. We’re also big fans of Camelbak’s Podium water bottles because they’re the simply the best water bottles available.
Here, if lacking in Rapha’s signature understated flare, a simple combination of the two. Although they offer a non-standard black bite valve, they’d have to be insulated and pink for us to endorse the price premium of $8 over a standard Camelbak Podium bottle. Until then, if you’re willing to swallow (pun intended) the lifestyle charge, you could just fill it with pink sports drink.
The Rapha Bidon’s are available in 21oz ($15) and 24oz ($18).
For that, you do get a story to tell: Did you know that Camelbak’s bottles (or any screw top bottle for that matter) are not allowed in the pro peloton? The lids need to be pop-off style so that if a rider runs over one, they’ll pop off and crush rather than bounce the cyclist and potentially cause catastrophe.
Turns out that’s urban legend, confirmed by the product folks at Camelbak. Story was originally relayed in Rapha’s quasi-PR-ish-conversational emails about their products. Anywhoo, the all black lid is sweet. Cheers.