Video: Rapha Cycling headquarters tour with founder Simon Mottram

Ever wonder what it’s like to work at one of the world’s most premium cycling apparel brands? While visiting London, we popped in for a quick look and lucked out when founder and CEO Simon Mottram offered to give us a tour. Here’s a walk through of their office, offering a glance at how they manage a global cycling kit brand 100% in house. From sales to design to marketing to management, it’s all here. Manufacturing is spread across several European and Asian factories, and they’re considering expanding that to include the U.S. now that North American has overtaken the UK as their largest market. Let’s have a look at how they do it…

rapha headquarters front door

Located near the very cool Coal Drop redevelopment in the Kings Cross district, Rapha’s HQ is tucked into an old industrial building on a side street. It’s easy to miss if you’re riding by quickly, save for the near constant stream of cyclists rolling in and out. And on Wednesdays, no one needs report to work until 1pm…the morning is for riding.

rapha coffee barista at the front desk of their headquarters

RCC may as well stand for Rapha Coffee Club, because they employ a barista to keep the entire office well caffeinated. For free. It’s amazing.

rapha employee bike parking inside their London headquarters and office

All employees are encouraged to ride to work. They provide a parking space and “race number” for everyone, plus showers and changing rooms, a full kitchen, and did we mention a full time barista!

rapha founder simon mottram's pinarello commuter bike

Simon’s #1.

rapha customer support center at London HQ

The tech and customer service department sits on the mid level of this split level office. The customer service team sits behind the glass walls to keep the noise of their phone calls from disturbing the web and e-commerce development team. They design, build and manage their entire web operation in house.

rapha headquarters tour in london

The merchandising and marketing teams sit upstairs.

where is rapha custom clothing made

Did you know Rapha makes custom kits? They do, and this is the team that helps you get your designs on their clothes.

rapha atelier makes samples for testing before production

A full time atelier and support team designs, patterns and sews samples to test for fit, materials, and more before anything is sent to manufacturing. This helps them prototype ideas quickly, and reduces the amount of errors found when things are sent to the factory. They’re working on up to three seasons ahead at any given time.

Huge thanks to Simon and his team for showing us around (and for the cappuccinos!).

Rapha.cc

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Joshua Laichas
Joshua Laichas
2 years ago

You guys need to make a proper baseball cap. That EF Education Bucket Hat needs to go.

Marc Smith
Marc Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Joshua Laichas

obviously has absolutely no understanding of UK culture and music, where bucket hats have an amazing standing. There is a proper cap and there is a bucket hat and if the bucket hat is worn, its because its liked, because there is a choice. Also, please dont be one of those tattoed flatjack port belly cap lover… Dont question style, espcially rapha style.

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
2 years ago
Reply to  Marc Smith

The bucket hat can easily be argued to be one of the lamest, no style hats ever made; which is a style albeit a bad one. However Rapha is of course very cool indeed w barista café @ no charge.

Involuntary Soul
2 years ago

their design went down hill lately, with large RAPHA letters slapped all over the place

Nathan
Nathan
2 years ago

But the entire point of rapha is so that other people know you wear rapha. Why wouldn’t you want enormous branding on it?

JNH
JNH
2 years ago
Reply to  Nathan

No that’s not the point at all. The logos are supposed to be small and subtle so people have to come over and ask you if your jacket’s a Rapha. There’s no point wearing Rapha if you can’t smile smugly and say that yes, it IS a Rapha jacket… and jersey… and bibs.

O. Tan
2 years ago

Yup! Just stick to the single coloured arm band! Everyone knows that’s Rapha the moment you see a jersey with a single colored arm band on the left arm.

And I really dig their EF design, sans the sponsor logos. Pity they don’t create any similar Pro Aero jersey like that.

Hurricane
2 years ago

You mean since Walmart bought Ralpha?

GAVIN LEIGHTON
GAVIN LEIGHTON
2 years ago
Reply to  Hurricane

Heirs to Walmart, not Walmart directly, and for an apparent £200 million, why not.

Hurricane
2 years ago
Reply to  GAVIN LEIGHTON

I know, it was Tom and Stuart Walton who are avid cyclist ,who bought Ralpha.
More power to the original owners of Ralpha for getting that kind of money from the sale.
Its hard to believe that Ralpha was valued that high.

Marc Smith
Marc Smith
2 years ago

I auctionned my incredible PS Rapha jersey a few years back. I’ve been told its sitting in Simons office because the Jersey was sold at such a premium price that there were no more left. Any chance to see new Raeburn special ed.?

Robin
Robin
2 years ago

I’d happily work there. It seems like they take care of their employees.