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Rapha launch ‘affordable’ Core collection and updated Classic Jersey

Core range launched with £75 jersey and £100 bib shorts

Rapha’s clothing has been pitched at the high end since the London-based firm arrived on the scene in 2004 but that’s set to change with the launch of the Core range for 2016.

With Rapha’s sponsorship of Team Sky to come to an end at the close of the current season, the Core range marks a subtle change of direction for the company, as they seek to lower the entry point in becoming a Rapha customer.

The Core launch range is made up of a men’s and women’s short sleeve jersey, men’s and women’s bib shorts, and women’s waistband shorts. At £75 for the jersey, £100 for the bib shorts and £80 for the waistband shorts, it’s still very much mid-range kit, but Rapha’s most affordable performance wear to date.

Rapha’s Core collection is made up of a jersey and bib shorts, with the men’s jersey available in four colours

The jersey is made from 100 per cent polyester, described as a “soft, light stretch fabric” which has been given an anti-bacterial treatment to help keep the jersey fresher. Details include a concealed zip pocket, alongside the three open rear pockets you’d expect to see, as well as colour-matched zips, and side panels and raglan sleeves which Rapha say helps lock down the fit.

The men’s jersey comes in four colours (navy, black, high-vis pink and light blue), while the women’s jersey is available in three (navy, high-vis pink and black).

As for the shorts, Rapha haven’t skimped on the chamois, using the same pad as the more expensive Classic shorts, which come in at £160, but instead using a simpler fabric for the rest of the construction. That said, Rapha say the main panels use a supportive, dense-knit fabric, while the laser-cut leg grippers are lined with silicone and aim to provide a close, comfortable fit. There’s also flatlock stitching throughout. Rapha also say some of the cost-savings attributed to the Core range have come through the manufacturing process.

“The Core collection is about optimising innovative fabrics and processes across the entire collection to reduce production hours and wastage,” says Rapha’s head of design, Alex Valdman.

The Core range is Rapha’s most affordable performance clothing to date

“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. This means we can produce Core garments without compromise, leading to a new standard for everyday cycling apparel.”

Rapha’s first ever product, the Classic Jersey, also updated

While the Core collection may be Rapha’s latest venture, the Classic Jersey was the first product launched back in 2004. Now the jersey’s been overhauled and Rapha have introduced the Classic Jersey II.

It’s still made from a merino-polyester mix but the fabric has been upgraded – it’s called RPM150 and that stands for Rapha Performance Merino, with the 150 referring to the weight, or grams per square metre. Rapha say the fabric is “lighter, softer and more breathable than generic merino-blends, adaptable to a huge range of conditions.”

The Classic Jersey was Rapha’s first ever product, launched back in 2004, and has been updated for 2016

Rapha have also worked on the cut, pulling in the fit to make it more streamlined, and the different sections of the jersey are bonded, rather than stitched, and this apparently reduces weight and bulk further. The pockets have also been tweaked and Rapha claim they’re more stable and supportive when fully loaded.

The styling remains classic Rapha, with simple colours – black, grey, navy and purple – with a band on the left sleeve. Yours for £110.

Website: Rapha


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