With typical flair, Rapha debuted an updated Spring & Summer road line-up today that refreshes their complete range, but aims to break it down into six basic collections. Throughout the men’s and women’s race lines, the long distance Brevet line, Rapha’s own iconic Classics group and the lifestyle cross-over City collections the changes are mostly cosmetic. There are several completely new colors for Rapha and some more adventurous gradient color fades, plus a few more liberal applications of stripes, especially for the ladies. But new products are in short supply for now. There are a couple of updated Classics and a new piece here and there, but it seems that we will have to wait until the end of February for Rapha to unveil the sixth category, one they are calling the Core Collection. Take a closer look at what’s new and what we know after the break…
The new products are just now starting to go live on Rapha’s site. They put up a story page on the new organization that breaks it down and previews a few more products. Not all of the new gear is actually available yet, and the links to each collection don’t really lead anywhere useful for now. Have a look at our highlights below, and if you want to see more it’s probably best to browse the respective men’s and women’s New Arrivals sections over at Rapha’s site.
Of all the products, the two racewear lines – the men’s Pro Team and women’s Souplesse – seem to have received the most development over the last year. So those products themselves don’t see much completely new, but get refinements mostly by way of new colors, updated styles, and new for 2016 graphics. The men’s side leans heavily towards pastels for this update, including this new mesh baselayer admonishing you to not touch your brakes, and a new Race Cape coming soon.
The women get most of the graphics updates with a new mesh Souplesse tank baselayer that almost looks to get a little robot inspiration, along with a matching warm weather Souplesse gen II jersey and poly/cotton blend cap.
There are also now Souplesse versions in the works of the pro-level Lightweight jersey in black, pink, and purple, plus subtle women’s pro race glove and pro sock options as well, all in matching vibrant red, purple, pink, and more low-key black.
The Brevet collection also is mostly carry over, but with a new set of more-subdued, but still high visibility coordinated colors. There is also a better balance now, offering almost everything in both women’s and men’s cuts and slightly different styles.
One interesting new Brevet piece is an insulated vest that uses a semi-quilted Primaloft insulation on the front to offer packable, lightweight warmth for those unpredictable rides or long off-season mornings and evenings.
The pieces of kit that Rapha built its reputation on, the Classics also get mostly cosmetic updates (and some gradients). There is mention of an update of their Classic merino jersey for both men and women. But from images we’ve seen the new generation looks to pretty much copy the look of the current jersey, but at a 12th anniversary since its introduction claims 12 new refinements.
Otherwise the Classic updates come mostly with the fade men’s Superlightweight jersey, and new Wind Jacket and vest colors for both men and women.
The City line seems to get updates too, although it looks like they are almost all fairly minor iterations of previous garments or some new pieces that don’t really jump out of the bunch.
The forthcoming Core Collection is the last thing that leaves us wondering what is next. So far all we know is that Rapha is calling it the new Standard. Whether that means it will be an all-new modern take on the Classics or a basic set of premium accessories like the recent softshell baselayer, we don’t really know. We’ll just have to wait to learn more.