Rapha rolls out spring/summer gear with limited edition kit & across the board bib short updates

For 2017 Rapha has put together a couple of limited Collector’s Edition pieces of kit, while at the same time updating their classic vest (gilet) and doing a bit of an overhaul on their range of shorts. Of course with a new season also comes some new colors, this year with more a sky blue tinge. It seems odd to produce a special edition rain jacket and vest with a name suggesting that someone might collect it instead of wear it to brave harsher weather. But the updates to the Classic pieces combine a bit of exclusivity with some updated features that actually promise improved performance, in traditional Rapha black & pink without much price premium…

The Collector’s Editions of the men’s and women’s £200/250€ Classic Rain Jacket & £150/195€ Classic Gilet are both limited to just 800 pieces. Those prices aren’t cheap so they’re probably not going to run through the stock in a week, but they still aren’t far out of normal Rapha price ranges.

To make themselves limited editions they each add a unique feature. The Classic Rain Jacket adds a new rear panel with a bunch of small horizontal slit vents under flaps to keep water out (where the standard rain jacket has no rear venting). They promise improved ventilation and temperature regulation while keeping waterproofness.

The special Classic Gilet replaces the standard rear mesh panel with a new open grid of hand-woven fabric that maximizes breathability, while trying to make a subtle statement on style. Both come only in black and include mostly low-key pink details and reflective elements throughout.

While the Collector’s Edition Classic Gilet tries to show off, Rapha has also designed their more basic £100 mild weather vest. The new Gilet II gets a new lighter fabric to packing down even smaller than before, so it will always fit in your pockets. It is now totally windproof, using a lighter-weight stretch nylon fabric and a closer fit for less flapping around.

Maybe more interesting than small updates to vests and rain shells, Rapha has done a bit of overhauls to their bib shorts for the new season. Their Classic bibs were one of the key products that they really built the brand around, and now an evolved Classic Bib Shorts II gets a subtle reworking for improved fit and performance for both men & women. They key update to the £165 bibs is the addition of size specific chamois pads. Three pad sizes will spread across the XS-XXL range of short in order to better fit the size range of the riders’ own bodies, but also to make sure that the they don’t conflict or bunch with the already size-specific panels and cuts of the different size shorts.

The bibs in the Brevet line also get a good update, this time with new fabrics for the new generation. The £180 Brevet Bib Shorts II are designed to be worn for long days touring and then be ready to go the next day again. So Rapha gives them a new fabric that is more durable and faster-drying , while also offering improved muscle support. Combined with a revamped chamois pad, they are said to be able to be hand washed at the end of the day, hung up while you sleep, and be dry and ready to ride again overnight.

Other than these updated pieces, Rapha has added a few new items to their City collections for both men and women. The highlights out of that would probably be a new £120 super-packable nylon wind and rain shell called the Pack Jacket for men or the £100/125€ striped 90% merino Breton sweater for women.

Color-wise there are also a bunch of updates across several of the ranges. Mostly the updates are pale blues. Whether you are looking for Pro Team, Breve, or Tricolor jerseys; socks, caps & vests; or women’s Classic jerseys & bib shorts, 2017 is looking rather blue.

Rapha.cc

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Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

Yeah, no. I need to retire someday.

The idea that I’m going to pay 3 times the price for half the quality and a “premium” brand name is ridiculous and insulting. Rapha should stick to their side of the pond. We’re all stocked up here.

satisFACTORYrider
satisFACTORYrider
5 years ago

honestly, is it supercar pricing good? i’ve not seen or even tried on an of their pieces so i don’t have any idea if the pricing is warranted.

SMW
SMW
5 years ago

for the haters – try the kit before commenting..

Kevin
Kevin
5 years ago
Reply to  SMW

I agree with SMW – it’s easy to hate on their pricing, but you really should spend 12 hours in their bibs before judging them. Do I have a $300 rain coat? No. Do I ride in the rain? Yes, a lot. Are my bibs the most comfortable thing you can even imagine? Unquestionably.

LHP
LHP
5 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

I agree with SMW and Kevin. I am really happy with all of the Rapha gear I own. And they do have sales periodically, where prices can be pretty reasonable.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago
Reply to  SMW

Agreed. I pick and choose which pieces I think offer value; and even those I buy when they’re REALLY on sale….. but damn are those pieces nice. I’ve got several of the jerseys, two pairs of the bibs, and some of the casual clothes too…

Russell
Russell
5 years ago

Best kit you will ever wear

Limba
Limba
5 years ago

Three times the price and half the quality of what exactly? Assos, Castelli, Sugoi, Garneau, Gore, ExteOndo, Izumi … all of it is expensive. I’ve destroyed two Castelli bibs and jerseys in less than two years from normal wear and washing. I have Rapha from 2010 that’s still perfect. It’s great gear. Buy it it when it’s on sale, you won’t regret it.

Mic
Mic
5 years ago

Ive bought and returned/resold literally thousands of $ in Rapha, every year i want to like it and hope it lives up to its hype and look but sadly it always falls way way short. Totally average performance AT BEST, often sub par. And dont get me started on their “rain cape” which is an impermeable sweatbox that will leave you wetter inside than out even in a downpour. I cant imagine those fashiont little slits will do much as the fabric does not breath a whisp otjerwise. Assos all day everyday even for the higher price.
And Rapha did not supply Skybw their actual kit, Giordana did. Rapha just bought the rights to team sky offical gear marketing.
(deleted)

VeloFreak
VeloFreak
5 years ago

Guys, relax, this is the fashion part, like Armani or Louis Vuitton.

Not cause I say so, Keith Bontrager repeats it frequently, this has turned into a fashion industry.
And this includes to all those independant bike clothing designers.

BTW, you go to USA, everyone, and their brother, has a fancy trendy kit. You go to Europe and in the roads you only see cyclist with crap designed jerseys with all the awful logos from local races or local sponsors. That’s the real Euro cycling culture, not the Louis Vuitton here.