Rapha are the cordon bleu of cycling – they create beautiful garments that stand out from the drab flavours available elsewhere, without having to shout.
The British brand, which continues to maintain its primary office in central London, was launched in 2004 and is markedly different in its refreshing attitude to equality in production.
What is appealing is that they rarely shout about their women’s provision, moreover they act like creating high quality women’s kit for a waiting market is a given
The young age of the company might explain some of its attitudes, since Rapha’s explosion onto the market coincided with the rapid growth in women’s cycling. What is appealing is that they rarely shout about their women’s provision, moreover they act like creating high quality women’s kit for a waiting market is a given.
All but a few items are available in a fit designed for a woman’s frame, often with a range of colourways. Rapha don’t turn their back on traditional pink (even in their men’s ranges) but nor do they make it the only option, with a rainbow of options appearing in the 2016 collection.
Dedicated to celebrating the ‘glory and suffering’ of road riding, Rapha don’t appeal to every rider – and their price tags don’t suit every budget, but they’ve got a clear audience in mind and unlike many such high end brands, don’t assume women are removed from the world of sweat, blood and tears on the bike.