Rapha launches new affordable Core collection

U.K. apparel maker claims same premium quality as higher-end offerings

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For the first time, the U.K.-based high-end apparel maker is targeting a more budget-conscious consumer.

For the first time, the U.K.-based high-end apparel maker is targeting a more budget-conscious consumer.

In an effort to broaden brand reach, U.K.-based road cycling apparel maker Rapha has launched its new Core collection, which claims to offer the same premium quality of higher end Rapha offerings, but at a lower price point.

“The Rapha Core Collection delivers everyday essentials rooted in performance functionality,” read a news release. “At the heart of the brand’s pared-back design philosophy, Core garments are a distillation of Rapha’s expertise at making the world’s best cycling clothing. Rapha Core is nothing more and nothing less than the basics, perfectly crafted, and should be training day staples for every discerning road cyclist.”

“The Core collection is about optimizing innovative fabrics and processes to set a new standard for everyday cycling apparel,” adds Alex Valdman, Rapha head of design. “It’s about making kit that riders could wear when putting in the hours on their bikes. It’s also about us being able to release products that are still at the Rapha standard but which aren’t heavily branded. It’s about the quality, the details, the function, the fit, the fabric, and that’s where the pared-back nature of this collection comes from. But you have to create texture too, otherwise it will be cheap, plain and boring. That was the real challenge – how do you take something that is supposed to be so toned-down but still make it very interesting?”

Here’s the answer in the form of a rundown of the new line.
Rapha Core Collection

Rapha Core Men’s Jersey

Made of a soft, light-stretch fabric, this jersey is shaped for on-bike fit, has attractive color-matched details, and a deep-cut silicon gripper to ensure it stays in place when you’re riding.

  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Men’s Colors: Black, Navy, White, Grey, Red, Hi-viz Pink, & Light Blue
  • Composition: 100% Polyester
  • 5mm ribbed cuff tipping on sleeves, collar and zipper guard
  • Raglan sleeves for on-bike fit
  • Deep-cut silicon gripper rear
  • Elasticized front hem
  • Triple cargo pocket on rear
  • Extra zipped compartment on rear pockets
  • Price: $115

Rapha Core Collection

Rapha Core Women’s Jersey
  • Sizes: XXS-XL
  • Women’s Colors: Black, Navy, White, Cherry Red, & Hi-vis Pink
  • Composition: 100% Polyester
  • 5mm ribbed cuff tipping on sleeves, collar and zipper guard
  • Raglan sleeves for on-bike fit
  • Deep-cut silicon gripper rear
  • Elasticized front hem
  • Triple cargo pocket on rear
  • Extra zipped compartment on rear pockets
  • Price: $115

Rapha Core Collection

Rapha Core Shorts

Featuring the same chamois pad used in its Classic bib shorts, these cycling shorts have leg grippers lined with soft silicone for a smooth, low-profile fit and are made with a dense-knit fabric for support and modesty.

Rapha Core Collection

Men’s Bib Shorts

These cycling shorts have a comfortable chamois pad and looped bib straps for enhanced performance. A wide silicon leg gripper and flatlock stitching adhere to Rapha’s design features and quality.

  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Colors: Black with White straps, Black with Black Straps
  • Composition: 82% Polymide, 18% Elastane
  • Soft chamois pad (same as Classic Bibs)
  • Wide silicone leg gripper
  • Flatlock stitching on the bib section
  • New seam construction for clean design
  • Three small Rapha logos on the bibs
  • Price: $150
Women’s Shorts

Flattering cycling shorts with a longer leg length and the same chamois as Women’s Classic Shorts.

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: XXS-XL
  • Composition: 82% Polymide, 18% Elastane
  • Soft chamois pad (same as Classic Shorts)
  • Wide silicone leg gripper
  • Flatlock stitching on the bib section
  • New seam construction for clean design and fit
  • Price: $120
Made of a soft, light-stretch fabric, this jersey is shaped for on-bike fit.

Made of a soft, light-stretch fabric, this jersey is shaped for on-bike fit.

For more on the new collection and Rapha in general check out this video and hear more from Valdman, Rapha’s head of design, in the interview below.

[vimeo width=”610″ height=”343″]https://vimeo.com/155556965[/vimeo]

How did you set about building this new line?
Alex Valdman: In a sport like cycling, where traditions are really important, people are starting to play with them, and question them, and I think that mood is where this collection came from. I also looked a lot at Tadao Ando’s architecture, which is really simple and plain. It’s always just four walls, but the order in which he builds the walls creates gaps, and it is those gaps which produce light and brings real drama to his buildings. With Core, the main idea was how to use only one or two fabrics but still offer drama? The main principle that makes Tadao Ando’s stuff so amazing is that you don’t expect these experiences to happen. The touch points of the jersey were created to give you an unexpected new sensation and a new experience.

In what way do the garments deliver these unexpected touch points?
AV: I wanted that new touch and feel to be rooted in something quite comfortable but it had to feel like performance wear too. A good example is the gripper: when you touch it you don’t expect it to have such grip. And when you look at the arm band, it has a risen effect and you’re not sure where it comes from. Instead of being external, or exposed, it’s underneath and sewn in a manner where it creates a step, almost like a shadowy, embossed effect. The collection is beautiful – it’s Rapha, it had to be – and I love the way the light shines off the knit structure. It doesn’t have that sheen that Lycra products do. We wanted to make the jerseys look dipped in color too, to build in layers and use color blocking, because that feels a lot more refined.

Core seems a rather different undertaking for Rapha. Would you agree?
AV: I, like many here at Rapha, thought that this is something which has been missing from our repertoire. We’re getting to the volume of units where we can offer unmatched value for the price too, as we have an amazing network of mill manufacturers who are willing to work with us. We optimized fabrics and processes across the entire collection to reduce production hours and wastage. For example, the leg-gripper trim reappears in the jersey back, the material for the zip guard is used again on the sleeve tips, and bindings use rolled edges.

For more info visit www.rapha.cc.

About the author: RoadBikeReview

RoadBikeReview.com is an online community of cyclists who share a passion for the sport. Visitors of the site regularly purchase gear to upgrade their bikes, share inspiring photos of rides, and keep up to date with the latest industry and technology news. Which products perform best? Where to buy them? Where to ride? How to ride better? Cyclists come to RoadBikeReview.com for the answers.


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Comments:

  • Tim King says:

    It would be nice to see some real xxl and xxxl. At 6’3′ I would not get into any of these. Not all cyclists are built like Contador.

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