Our seven picks from Rapha's new collection (so far)
It's that time of year again. Rapha have cleared the halls and wheeled out their latest season's collection and it is packed full of autumnal hues and cosy long sleeves.
We've spent the past couple of hours salivating over what the cycling brand has put out and we've found a few favourites - one from each collection, in fact and starting with ...
This is a collection as old as Rapha itself. The predecessors of which started the brand back in 2004. Classic has been revamped and given a couple of energy gels and is as relevant now as it has ever been.
Favourite: The tricolour jersey (above), because it looks awesome with its gradations of colour and if it wasn't cut for cycling we'd be happy to wear it out and about. Absolute winner.
A direct result of feedback received from Rapha's now defunct partnership with Team Sky, the Pro-Team range is for the racer and the Strava freak. It is performance kit made from the most space-age materials known to cycling, with a fit that's tighter than Spiderman's nutsack.
Favourite: The aero jersey was a new pro team development for summer and it's back with long mesh sleeves. And in a nice peacock blue, for the poseurs.
Long distance riding requires a different level of kit and this is where Brevet comes in. Thicker, heftier yarns and windproof panelling, Brevet has pushed the boundaries of cycling equipment and contributed to the comfort of many a flagging bikepacker.
Favourite: Someone was taking note when they released the insulated Brevet gilet last year in a grey with pink and white stripes. It was a fantastic colour combo and it's back on the long sleeved Brevet. There's a wine-coloured version too, equally stunning. Decisions, decisions.
Rapha's streetwear, basically, masquerading as something you could commute in. The trouble is, this stuff is so good that riding a bike in it is probably going to be the last thing on your mind. Relaunched last year with a pared-down capsule collection and built on this year. Droolworthy.
Favourite: With garments like a softshell overshirt and wind-stopper knit in the collection, this wasn't an easy decision. But we've gone with the jersey we think we'd get the most use of and it's this simple crew neck knit. We love the knitted-in sleeve stripe, or bar, or whatever you call it. It's like a logo with no words.
Somewhere in the deepest recesses of the kit pit we still have the original Rapha Cross jersey, finished in a deep forest green with red details and made from a very lightweight jersey fabric. The cross collection is one area where you can not even begin to guess what they're going to bring out next. This time, the collection is based around geometric patterns.
Favourite: There are two types of jersey in this year's cross collection - the one for serious hardcore racers and this one, which reminds us of that green jersey from all those years ago, except it's blue. And that's why we love it.
Rapha's slightly less expensive collection takes it to a level where it competes - and wipes the floor - with most of the other cycle clothing brands out there. It's a no-nonsense range of kit designed for mid-week training and general thrashing about in but you'd be hard pressed to find what corners were cut to deliver this price point.
Favourite: Possibly not the colour you'll want to be wearing on a grim autumn evening without a full armoury of illumination at your disposal but there are Farrow and Ball connotations to this shade of grey that make this long-sleeved jersey a thing of understated beauty.
The best women's kit on the market just got better, with three colours of long-sleeved jersey, a gorgeous rain jacket and cosy thermal bib shorts. Souplesse is a collection solely devoted to women.
Favourite: Anyone remember Tiffany Dunks? The Nike trainers that became so collectable that a single pair would fetch a four-figure price tag? Well this Souplesse jacket reminds us of them, and it is waterproof and no doubt has loads of other nifty features.