“Your brain can’t remember pain. Of that I am glad. I don’t miss the pain. I’ll tell you what I miss though, I miss the weather… sweat would drip from my nose on to the white road, snow tingling as it melted on my exposed skin. The world was frozen but I was roaring in flames, as if I was driving an open-top car with the heater on full blast. I was my own nature. I was defiance.”
– From The Weather by Rigo Zimmerman
Whether it’s a freezing mountain descent or rain-soaked city streets, Rapha outerwear keeps you riding through all kinds of conditions. But judging the correct piece of outerwear to cover yourself in or pack into your pocket or luggage on a ride can be tricky. Do you know your Softshell from your Hardshell? Your Transfer Gilet from your Hi-Vis Gilet? Here’s our guide.
Definition: Weatherproof outer shell cut from Rapha’s answer to Gore-Tex.
Conditions: When the conditions get tough – i.e. wet, windy and cold – the tough needn’t be a problem.
Rider: Road riders who know the difference between bad weather and bad clothing.
Wear with: Thermal Bib Shorts or Winter Tights/ Winter Base Layer or Long Sleeve Jersey (In the city: Merino Jersey or Polo/ Rapha Trousers or Jeans).
See the Hardshell Jacket »
Definition: The most versatile cycling jacket in the world.
Conditions: From autumn through to early spring, this jacket keeps core temperature stable. A thoroughbred amongst jackets.
Rider: Road riders, commuters and even mountain bikers.
Wear with: Base layer on mild days, or over a long sleeve jersey when colder. Also looks just at home with jeans as it does with ¾ bibs.
See the Classic Softshell »
See the Women’s Classic Softshell »
Definition: Updated this season with taped seams. This is a great lightweight waterproof or emergency layer for rides when you don’t know where the weather will take you.
Conditions: Sudden showers, rides into the mountains, Norwegian weather (it’s also windproof).
Rider: The intrepid road cyclist who needs to ride come rain or shine. Racers, sportivists and cyclo-tourists. But also city commuters.
Wear with: Any kind of Rapha Training & Racing gear or City apparel.
See the Rain Jacket »
See the Women’s Rain Jacket »
Definition: Almost on a par with the Classic Softshell in terms of iconic status, this lightweight jacket is another very versatile garment.
Conditions: Wet and windy spring days, when the descent calls for an emergency layer, early morning starts.
Rider: Every road rider should own one of these.
Wear with: Anything from a winter jersey in the colder months to a base layer on warmer days.
See the Classic Wind Jacket »
See the Women’s Wind Jacket »
Definition: A softshell/ brushed back outer layer with the comfort of a jersey and protection of a jacket.
Conditions: Cool to cold.
Rider: Riders who don’t want excess bulk, who ride high tempo and who want the very best money can buy.
Wear with: Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, Leg Warmers and Merino Base Layer.
See the Pro Team Jacket »
Definition: Originally designed for Team Sky, streamlined protection from precipitation.
Conditions: Wet and windy, sudden showers, deluges and so forth.
Rider: Pro or amateur racers, high tempo riders and weight weenies.
Wear with: Pro Team Jersey (short or long sleeve) Pro Team Bib Shorts (or Thermal).
See the Pro Team Race Cape »
Definition: The Souplesse Jacket uses two distinct fabrics to allow for temperature regulation and protection from the elements. With contrast colourways, offset zip and reflective detailing.
Conditions: Cold, dry and blustery days.
Wear with: Women’s Winter Hat, Women’s Padded Tights.
See the Souplesse Jacket »
Definition: Exceptional protection from the elements in a jacket styled for the everyday. The hood is shaped for clear peripheral vision while riding, and can be rolled away when not in use.
Conditions: Wet, gritty, city weather. This jacket is extremely water resistant, insulating, windproof and is cut to look good wherever you find yourself.
Rider: From the city riding dandy to the hardcore commuter.
Wear with: Rapha Trousers or Jeans/ any kind of merino mid-layer.
See the Hooded Rain Jacket »
Definition: With a clean-lined style applied to advanced fabrics, the Rain Bomber is a perfect day-to-day outer layer.
Conditions: For riding, working and travelling in cool or wet conditions.
Rider: This is an essential jacket for any rider.
Wear with: Women’s Jeans, Women’s Printed Bomber.
See the Women’s Rain Bomber »
Definition: A reversible jacket in complimentray colourways, with PrimaLoft® insulation and merino-blend cuffs.
Conditions: Cold days in the city that threaten some rain.
Rider: One who rides into work no matter what the temperature, and may well stop in the pub on the way home.
Wear with: Merino Crew Neck, V-Neck Base Layer.
See the Reversible Jacket »
Definition: A technical sports jacket that functions admirably on a bike with a deconstructed, minimal aesthetic.
Conditions: Cool to mild to warm. Depending on what you wear with it.
Rider: For the dapper gent who likes his clothes functional as well as stylish.
Wear with: Merino V Neck Base layer, Rapha Shirts, Polos, or T’s.
See the Lapelled Jacket »
As warm-blooded mammals, we’re losing heat constantly and need to burn calories to keep our fires stoked. It’s surprising how delicate this internal thermostat is: if our body temperature drops below 35C we’re on the verge of mild hypothermia, manifested in a general clumsiness, impaired judgement, slower reaction times and a certain argumentativeness. Simple activities such as zipping up a jacket, let alone changing an inner tube, become more difficult. We shiver violently because heat is a byproduct of muscle activity. But with a core temperature below 32C we no longer have the fuel to shiver. Below 30C and consciousness ebbs away. By 20C – the temperature of a late-summer afternoon – the heart has stopped.
So, why is keeping our hands warm so important? “We rely on electrical impulses to send signals to and from our brains,” says Dr Davis. The hand is a hotbed of nerve activity, befitting such a complex piece of engineering and at a temperature below 20C those impulses are inhibited. The 30 muscles in our hands prefer to operate at above 28C, while the synovial fluid around the hand’s 30 or so joints acts like lubrication in a car engine – it’s sluggish when cold. And there’s an interesting third factor, notes Dr Davis: the pain of cold hands distracts you from the task of achieving your goal, which for cyclists translates as a psychological hindrance on overall riding performance.
Hands get cold because we have evolved a life-over-limb survival strategy: when air temperatures fall, blood vessels in the body’s extremities (the hands, the feet, the ears and nose) constrict, keeping warm blood away from the surface of the skin where body heat will be lost through conduction. But it’s a balancing act – to stop skin freezing it has to be supplied with blood, so when the temperature of the hands falls below 10C capillaries suddenly reopen in a warm rush, then continue opening and closing to manage the core body temperature against the loss of feeling in the fingers. With a high surface area, a low volume and lots of blood vessels close to the surface, our hands are especially susceptible to heat loss.
Our worst enemy, however, isn’t just the cold and the air temperature doesn’t have to be below 0C for trouble to strike. The crucial relationship is between the cold, the wind, the effects of which are more pronounced when riding, and being wet. Graeme Raeburn is the designer behind the Rapha Winter Glove System, which comprises the Winter Glove, the Deep Winter Glove, a Merino Liner and Overmitt. “There’s more than one type of cooling,” he explains. “Even in non-freezing conditions, moisture – whether that’s rain or sweat – combined with wind can mean experiencing greater heat loss than you would in cold but dry weather.” Bearing in mind that air temperatures typically fall by 1C for every 100m of ascent, cyclists in hilly country will want to protect their hands from the wind and the rain. Wind chill charts show that a temperature of 1C will feel like -5C in a 25mph breeze. Dr Davis concurs: “Wet hands are especially risky – water is a far more efficient conductor so the exchange of heat takes place fast [up to 25 times faster – which is why swimming in cold water is more dangerous than treading water].”
For mountaineers, Dr Davis advises shaking the hands out every now and then, getting rid of wet gloves and warming the hands in your (or someone else’s) armpits. Then put on the spare pair of gloves he recommends climbers carry. Cyclists don’t have the luxury of being able to carry several sets of winter gloves. Which is precisely why Graeme spent two years designing the Rapha Glove System. Given the variable conditions on long rides – warm valleys, cold summits, squalls of wind and rain – Graeme devised a versatile layering system which can be adapted depending on conditions. The Winter Glove uses breathable, lightweight resistance against wind, water and cold and can be supplemented with the Overmitt in very wet conditions. “The Deep Winter Glove,” Graeme explains, “is extremely technical, with sealed seams and a patented waterproofing technology. It’s insulated with PrimaLoft®, which is very fine and has a very low moisture absorbency. The body and shell is stretched nylon coated with a durable water repellent.”
A key objective of the Glove System was to retain the hands’ natural dexterity.
“A lot of work went into the fit and ergonomics, matching the curve of the hands on the handlebars,” says Graeme. The lining of the Deep Winter Glove is fully bonded to the outer glove, so there’s no shifting or slipping, and the fingertips feature a touch-screen-friendly finish for smartphones and GPS units. The result is that riders in wintry weather avoid having to take their gloves off and exposing their hands to the cold.
It seems that most of the northern hemisphere has been blessed with a warm and dry end to the summer, but sadly our good fortune is about to come to an end. When the seasons change, so do the demands on your kit – when you head out of the door in October and November, you never quite know what weather you’re going to encounter. This unpredictability calls for versatile outfits with layers and warmers. Our first port of call is always a merino-blend fabric. At once breathable, insulating, naturally anti-bacterial and supremely comfortable against the skin even after hours in the saddle, merino wool is a mainstay of the Rapha range.
As we enter the autumn, Rapha is offering a Merino or Merino Mesh Base Layer for £20 with the purchase of a long sleeve jersey.
See the Rapha base layers »
When temperatures dip in early mornings and late evenings, we reach for warmers and accessories. A merino hat or knee warmers can easily be folded and packed into pockets, and can be called into service for both cool commutes and day-long excursions.
See Rapha’s riding accessories »
For some, the autumn brings with it thoughts of the next year’s successes. If you’re hitting the road to accumulate base miles before spring or honing legspeed for this weekend’s cross race, the new Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat hs been developed for you. Constructed form a lightweight softshell fabric with a resilient DWR coating, the Pro Team Winter Hat has been tailored for riding in the drops – the high rear hem prevents bunching when you hold your head up, and the sidepanels are pared-back to protect peripheral vision. The Pro Team collection will be launching soon.
See the Pro Team Winter Hat »
A beautiful autumn day attracted over 2000 spectators to Germany’s biggest cross event with a beer tent, brass band, tequila short cut, wall of foam, three ‘cross clinics’ (for those addicted to cross and those about to become addicted), an expo with Focus test bikes, Enve wheels, Muc Off service station, Rapha booth, more beer, sausages, frites. Oh, and cowbells.
Almost 170 kids raced, with 40 licensed riders (Masters & Women elite) stepping up later, 170 hobby racers got involved across 11 different races. There were seven nationalities represented from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, USA, Hungary, and Spain. And only one collarbone was broken…
View the Results »
“An incredible day of Cyclocross out in the Olympic Park in Munich today. Rapha put on a great event, the course was near perfect, the categories were well filled and there were lots of spectators. This shows that the amateur sector of the sport in Germany is healthy and growing and should be a call out to the sanctioning bodies and promoters out there to look after and foster the growth of the sport by looking after these riders – not catering only to the elite level riders. Thanks to all who helped to put on this event and for everyone who came out. See you next year!”
– Ken Bloomer, Crema Cycles, Füssen/Allgäu
“Rapha Super Cross is first and foremost one thing: A lot of fun. Foam on the course and tequila shortcuts are definitly borderline but if you have never shot through a beer tent on a crosser…you missed out. And if you still manage to follow the course after downing a shot with a heartrate of 180 you are ready for the Oktoberfest…you gotta find out yourself, save the date for 2015.”
– Robert Wolf, Rad Core, Vienna
Conditions were sunny, dry and dusty for this year’s proceedings, but the results could not have been better. Jeremy Powers looked resplendent in his Aspire Racing kit and took the race nearly from the gun on both days. His continued dominance over the US racing circuit cemented by a win in his adopted hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts was the icing on a multi-layered cake.
The racing wasn’t without incident, however, as Meredith Miller, a hopeful on the first day in the Elite Women’s category, crashed on the final lap and received eight stitches as her only reward. But foreigners Helen Wyman of the UK and French Citizen Caroline Mani seemed more than eager to pick up where Miller left off, taking the wins on the first and second day, respectively.
Tillie – the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club – was on site to keep the espresso intake coming for the inaugural Rapha Super Cross Gloucester. David Wilcox, the man on the ground, is a native New Englander himself and seemed content to pull shots throughout the entirety of the day; only stopping to don a skinsuit and race the Men’s Elite race himself. Tillie’s pilot/ barista just does not stop.
And as the throngs of people left behind the fishermen and citizens of Gloucester, it is safe to say that they did it with an eye to the future and the promise of a return.
The city’s shape is always shifting. London to me is the centre of an ever-changing universe. I was born here, in Islington, and am still amazed by the place four decades later. It’s a lattice of communities and neighbourhoods all of which are formed by religion, war, immigration, exports, imports, crime, and culture. The whole world is here.
It’s the same with architecture and infrastructure. The combination of new and old buildings side-by-side in such a relatively compact city combined with the wider thoroughfares and narrow winding streets give it that unique pattern, and rhythm. Today the landscape is constantly shifting as more buildings are erected and others pulled down and rebuilt. New inhabitants move in and others move on to other parts of the city, moving through the helix of time and space at an intensity and rate of progression that’s fascinating to watch.
The north/south divide of the city is marked by the snaking River Thames and connected by historic, ornate and more modern bridges that give some of the best views in the centre of the city. Over time I’ve witnessed the enclaves further out get polished and rebranded as ‘villages’, but for me the cornerstones of iconic London and its famous landmarks stay resolute. Peter Ackroyd, in his comprehensive history of the city – ‘London’ – describes the parks of London as the lungs of the city, its streets and byways like veins. And it’s perhaps these parts of the body of London that, as a road rider, I enjoy the most.
Riding and living near Regents Park, a ‘Royal Park’ frequented by road riders, is a privilege. My apartment gives me a sweeping view over the West End with the hum and holler of street bustle. The park, blueprinted by architect John Nash, has a circular design, made up of a 1km (inner) and 4.3km (outer) road loops. Having clocked countless miles round here; each straight, corner, camber and ripple in the road is etched in my mind and legs, and I naturally follow the same line on every lap (give or take who I’m riding with).
To me it’s like a theme park. The American Ambassador’s house with its armed police guards, the huge golden dome of the Mosque, and giraffes swaying around in the grounds of Regent’s Zoo. It has its own unique motion, and the park itself is magical with rose gardens, boulevards, cafes and waterways. If you live here it’s easy to forget how amazing London is for parks and green spaces. In recent years the volume of traffic, in particular cyclists, has increased, all jockeying for a slot on the road and locked into the virtual race in their minds. Groups, clubs and teams have all adopted the outer circle as their playground, utilising every inch of road to train, simulate racing or just simply roll and talk.
Speed is the badge of honour in the park right now, which is represented by every tribe wanting a foot in the game – tricked up track bikes, vintage racers, hybrid dredges, the carbon brigade, and ‘Boris bike’ folk all vying for that slice of tarmac. Whether it’s the peacefulness of laps at dawn to running the gauntlet in amongst these tribes at rush hour, the park always offers a nice distraction.
The cutting edge of tailoring is right here where I live. The city is unmatched when it comes to having a suit made, with a huge number of tailors and designers plying their trade. Savile Row is the bespoke tailoring mecca, with its vaults of patterns and fabrics established over more than 200 years. But it’s not just here you’ll find artisan cutters. London boasts ‘men of the cloth’ all over the city.
The suit is the ultimate prize in style. Just look at Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck, JFK. Today London continues to preserve this artform and I personally admire the sporting heritage of Norton & Sons, Tom Baker the purveyor of the ‘London Cut’ and Nick (Spencer) Hart for his modern aesthetic and contemporary flair. Tommy Nutter is perhaps the man responsible for reinventing the craft in the 1960s, but classic lines will always stay on trend. Walking along the narrow paving of Jermyn Street, where you can find yourself both brogues and bowler hats, you’ll find traditional emporiums with a wide-ranging clientele that reflects the desire for heritage and quality.
I love the community vibe of Lambs Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. It’s a street full of independent traders who uphold the ‘artisan’ approach to retailing their wares and services despite the ever increasing invasion of the corporate chains on our high streets. From small coffee outlets, the delicious Basque and Andalusia dishes of Cigala, to the cool independents like Folk and Darkroom. It’s a place I feel at home in and continues to keep the London spirit alive.
Early morning and late at night is best for riding. The lure of traffic free roads and the quietness of the city is worth the alarm call and associated sleep deprivation later in the day. Heading north up the eerily quiet outer circle, the only movement is wildlife, a fox lurking on the pavement or chirping birds overhead. Primrose Hill beckons and is the first of a sequence of ramps that lift me up and out of the city. You rise up to the top of Hampstead Heath, a short downhill burst and I’m heading north through the suburbs, delivery drivers passing me the other way, neighborhoods stirring as the sunlight emerges. The destination varies – whether travelling north and east to Hertfordshire and Essex tundra or south and west to the hills of Kent and Surrey, the network of roads, lanes and pathways provide a peaceful gateway at this time of day.
London has endless landmarks and iconic sites, but it’s the less prominent and often hidden places that seem to stimulate my imagination. Uncovering small roads, back paths and footpaths is the best aspect of riding through this great metropolis. One example is a road I’ve found up through the grounds of Kenwood House in Hampstead: the road sweeps left, you find a gravel footpath, rise up and look right and on a clear day you’re met with a spectacular sight of London below. I would perhaps never see this without the bike. It’s made me closer to London somehow, giving me the opportunity to explore and escape the regular bustle whilst remaining rooted to the city.
Paul Boudreau, race director, Super Cross Gloucester :
New England is regarded as at the forefront of the American cyclocross scene, with huge fields of amateur racers, large prize purses for the professionals, and an atmosphere of bonhomie and jollity that’s supported by food trucks, fire pits, and fans tempting riders off the racing line with fistfuls of dollar bills.
This is the remoulding of cyclocross’s cliché – that of the dour Northern Europeans in raincoats – into something with high productions values, something more American. On the racecourse, New England’s race directors have made minor but noticeable changes to their races, making for a style of racing that differs from its European cousin.
Gloucester’s race director, Paul Boudreau, has been a part of the race organisation since its inception in 1999, and has come to be the race’s public face. Over fish and chips, he explains the nature of the Gloucester course.
“Gloucester’s mud is thin and quite gritty, mostly because the sand does such a good job of absorbing the rainfall. This means it never gets too sloppy out there, and the average racing speed is pretty high – we never get the attritional, low cadence racing of Belgium. The other big difference is in the corners: American racing tends to favour sweeping corners that require the riders to lean their bikes way over, which is quite rare in European races.
“In 2001 we had the reigning World Champion, Erwin Vervecken, come to race. Back then US cross was still very much outside the mainstream, and to have the current World Champion on an American start line was quite a coup. He won the race, but Tim Johnson sure didn’t give the win away. I’m pretty sure Mr Vervecken was a little surprised to see Tim attacking him.
“We’ve changed the course over the years, but the essence of it has remained the same. A few years ago we added a flyover and a beach run – that year was amazing, and I know the racers loved those features. Since then we’ve had some issues with the city council – residents worried that we were damaging the park and beach, although we’re very confident that is not the case. Our relationship with the city is really strong now, but we’ve had to scale back a few of the course features. I think we’ll be able to bring a few of these things back very soon.
Gloucester according to Zac Daab:
It’s 6:30 on the West Coast, and on the eve of the Gran Prix of Gloucester, that means in the East, everybody’s in town. Flights have landed, couches are now being surfed. Miles of travelled tarmac up the eastern seaboard are finally behind, and it’s go time.
It’s hard to describe to people in the West, and in other parts of the country, this energy and feeling around Boston on the eve of Gloucester. That city has been buzzing for weeks, months. Cat 4s with no hope of finishing on the lead lap have been planning vacations, power levels, sick time, and all major purchases around this weekend. Kit orders, pop-up tents, van decal-ing: they’ve all had a pending deadline, and that deadline is Gloucester. Bars have been filled for weeks by single, white males in 28/32 Levi’s, ruminating on whiteout in 2005, who might get the hole shot this year, and how 35th place will feel.
Cyclocross has come a long way in the last 15 years. In every major city, there is now a legitimate cross series. In some cities, there are two. But in a ‘me-too’ world, it’s hard not to see some of this as cliché, as an impersonation of cyclocross being played out in some odd and tragic forms across the country. But the Gran Prix of Gloucester is the real deal.
Gloucester is like thinking you know every present you’re getting for Christmas, and then the last one comes from behind the couch and blows your mind and you go mental, and the first thing you think is, “I have to wait another 365 days for this moment?”
I’ve been fortunate enough to have ridden the scared grounds of Gloucester on and off since 2000. One of my all-time cherished palmarès is a mild 9th place (cracking the top-10 in the 2005 edition, Day 1). I’ve seen placing’s in the 30s way too many times, but I wouldn’t trade it for a win. Just when I thought I had seen it all at Gloucester, there was more.
Though some of the elements I’ve only viewed from afar, I can say with certainty that there will be “a thing” this weekend, a defining feature that leaves its stamp on 2014. My point is this: In nostalgic New England where some things never change, Gloucester is sacred, Gloucester is tradition, but it also evolves, shifts, turns right-side up, and feels dynamic, fresh, and authentic.
I don’t know Paul or the rest of the Essex County Velo crew that well, just from the landscape they’ve manufactured year after year. The coldest I’ve ever been in my life was in the upper parking lot of Stage Fort Park, and I’ll remember that day forever. On the eve of the Gloucester weekend, I’d like to personally thank all those involved with the race (spectators, race promoters, vendors, Canadians named Pascal) for all the fond memories. Gloucester 2014: Make it so.
Gloucester’s first ever poster, courtesy of gpgloucester.com:
Ultra-breathable string vest with a close fit and synthetic fibres.
Designed to keep your body comfortable on hot days, fast-paced race conditions, or climbing mountains. However, works well on mild days or in changeable conditions when you want to layer up.
Tough-guy racer who doesn’t feel the cold but may be allergic to wool.
Short Sleeve Pro Team Jersey (with arm warmers) or Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey. Add a Wind Jacket or Rapha Gilet for a long day out. Pro Team Jacket if it’s cold.
Buy the Short Sleeve Pro Team Base Layer »
Buy the Sleeveless Pro Team Base Layer »
Our original and arguably most versatile, 100% merino under-vest. They work well as T-Shirts too.
Multiple. If you are layering up for a cold ride, trying to stay lightweight on a mild day or simply cruising to work with a jacket on top, insulation and breathability never felt so comfortable.
Racers, commuters, tourers, paper boys… Everyone needs one or two of these.
Pretty much anything, but for example: Winter Jersey/ Long Sleeve Jersey/ Classic Softshell/ Pro Team Race Cape and so on…
Sleeveless Base Layer »
Short Sleeve Base Layer »
Long Sleeve Base Layer »
More elegant shape and cut for female riders. Has a finer feel and can be worn as a T-shirt/ casually.
Multiple (as above). Excellent for layering up on a cold ride, mild and sunny days or insulation for commuting.
Road riders, commuters, anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
Long Sleeve Jersey/ Wind Jacket/ Long Sleeve Souplesse Jersey.
Buy the short sleeve base layer »
Buy the sleeveless base layer »
Buy the long sleeve base layer »
Designed for City riders wearing button up shirts in a lighter weight merino than the standard Merino Base Layers, but can also be used as an alternative to the Pro Team or Merino Mesh Base Layer.
Layering up for cool rides, commutes or drinking beers at the bar.
He or she who regularly commutes but needs to look good straight off the bike. Those who don’t like synthetic materials or the ‘racier’ fishnet style…
Rapha Merino Polo/ Rapha Long Sleeve Shirt/ City Rain Jacket/ any jersey.
Buy the base layer »
Made with the same merino blend as the merino base layer, and cut long in the back for a better fit on the bike. Perfect for city riding and fast-paced training.
Cool commutes and post-work high-tempo training rides.
Road riders, commuters, anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
Hooded Rain Jacket/ Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey/ Track Jacket
Buy the base layer »
A lighter weight and even more breathable version of the Merino Base Layer. Works exceptionally in both cold and warm weather. Does not work well as a T-shirt, however.
From the heat of summer to cooler conditions where you are layering with heavier weight jersey and/ or outer shell.
Those who heat up quickly but dislike the synthetic feel of Pro Team Base Layers. One who does high-tempo winter training and needs maximum breathability and comfort.
Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey/ Winter Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Pro Team Jacket/ Classic Jersey and Arm Warmers.
Buy the short sleeve base layer »
Buy the long sleeve base layer »
Turtle neck merino long sleeve number that works as a base-, mid-layer or alternative to a jersey under a jacket or gilet.
From cold to freezing temperatures. Perhaps also on a mild day as an outer layer/ pullover.
A keen winter rider, who rides whatever the weather. Also, someone who really feels the cold.
LS Brevet Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Softshell Gilet / Rain Jacket.
Buy the base layer »
Turtle neck merino long sleeve number with women’s specific tailoring. Works as a base- or mid-layer, or as alternative to a jersey under a jacket or gilet.
From cold to freezing temperatures. Perhaps also on a mild day as an outer layer/ pullover.
A rider who feels the cold more than most, or someone who puts in long miles in the winter months.
Women’s Long Sleeve Brevet Jersey & Gilet/ Connie Carpenter Jersey/ Women’s Souplesse Jacket / Women’s Classic Softshell Jacket.
Buy the base layer »
Extremely insulating base layer for extremely foul weather, long-cut sleeves with thumb loops and a close-fitting hood give absolute insulation.
Freezing, Arctic, ‘post-apocalyptic’.
Anyone who knows the true meaning of winter.
(Deep) Winter Collar/ Long Sleeve Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Pro Team Race Cape/ Rain Jacket and Winter Glove System.
Buy the base layer »
The Elite Women’s field was the first of the evening’s main events. The kit selection was generally the same apart from a few changes in teams and sponsors. This race continues to serve as a space for racers and sponsors alike to roll out their new wares. Both Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo) and Meredith Miller (Noosa Yoghurt) — contenders in their own right — sported new clothing to the start line.
However, once the racing was underway it seemed to be more of the same — the stars and stripes jersey of National Champion Katie Compton were off in their familiar fever pitch. But wait. Could it be? With attacks from fan favorite Katerina Nash and her LUNA teammate — newly crowned Cross Country Mountain Bike World Champion Catherine Pendrel — the sharp end of the race was the excitement that the neon lights of Vegas demanded. Then a crash, a split in the field and Nash, Miller and Compton were away for the remainder of the race.
Surprise came in the final meters when Meredith Miller, a once renowned road sprinter, took advantage of those skills and sprung ahead of Nash and Compton for the win. She was all smiles and thrust her fist in the air for the well deserve win of the evening.
The Elite Men’s race was a thing of patience and beauty. Each nation that was represented took a turn at the front in something akin to a UN Summit. Even the nation of Boulder, Colorado let their promising young racer, Allen Krughoff, light up the action at the front of the race. But when it came down to business, the Euro Pro’s were just too good…
As the lap counter started to dwindle, the speeds at the front of the race started to pick up. The fresh-faced American stars of our favorite sport were removed from the action. Except for one man.
If Jeremy Powers has learned anything in the past few years racing with his European counterparts it is that patience pays off. Well, that, and waiting long enough to be the instigator himself. With three laps to go Powers charged up and over the slight rise in the final straightaway across the finish and eliminated all but former World Champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) and last year’s World Cup overall winner Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano). From there it was up to the two Europeans to put their heads down (presumably to avoid the spraying beer) and make it their race.
In the end Nys would take his second Cross Vegas win while Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) would bring home the bronze medal, wow the fans of cyclocross and at the same time debut his new team livery (designed by guess who) for the season.
If this is to be our indicator for the season to come, it is a going to be a great one. With a new team — Aspire Racing — and a fresh National Championship jersey to get muddy, the time is right for Jeremy Powers to continue his dominance and growth in the sport of cyclocross.
Read more about the 2014 Rapha Cross season »]]>
A brevet is a long distance ride, ranging from around 200km to 1,500km, with riders required to have a brevet card stamped by officials at waypoints. It’s not a race (for most, at least) and the rewards for riding are exactly the same as the rewards for riding any distance – the feeling of accomplishment, the camaraderie, the fitness and the views.
It’s the heightened demands of brevet riding that have informed the Women’s Brevet Jersey and Gilet. The first is the quest for visibility – because of the lengths of the rides, and the volume of riding one undertakes to prepare for a brevet, riders will often find themselves riding on remote roads in relative darkness. This is why two bright stripes adorn the jersey’s chest, and hi-viz details adorn the cuffs. These elements will make the most of ambient light and the light from car headlights, helping other road users to see you.
The jersey’s accompanying gilet is the most eye-catching hi-viz element of the pairing. With it’s own mesh-lined, zippered storage compartment above the jersey’s three cargo pockets, the gilet will always be on hand for when the light and temperatures drop. Made from a very bright, windproof fabric, the gilet has two hi-viz stripes that match the jersey, and a reflective Rapha logo on its tail. As with all Rapha jackets, the zipper is offset for ease of layering.
With a cut-off time of 90 hours, Paris-Brest-Paris forced us to re-learn some basic lessons about bike riding – when to eat, how to stay warm, and how to be comfortable on a bike for that length of time. You might find it necessary to carry slightly more than you’re used to. To this end, the Women’s Brevet Jersey has three spacious rear pockets, a zippered gilet compartment, and a valuables pocket.
For warmth and protection, we turned to an old favourite: merino-blend Sportwool™, which manages to both insulate and be breathable. It also has a gentle finish against the skin, which might not seem like a big deal when you first try the jersey on, but ends up making a monumental difference at the end of a long day.
The stories that came back from Paris-Brest-Paris were breath-taking – including our Head of Brand momentarily hallucinating from sleep deprivation – and have been retold on countless rides since. We hope that you get the chance to create your own stories and share them with us.