Reasonably priced Rapha? Core Collection may be the answer

Rapha's new Core kit is up to $170 less expensive than its classic kit but offers the same muted aesthetic and many similar features.

Rapha released its new Core Collection of cycling apparel Tuesday and besides muting the signature arm band (the band is still there, just less obvious than before), the collection also strays from Rapha’s typically high prices. Men’s and women’s jerseys are available for $115 while bibs and shorts range from $120-$150 (compared to $170 and $235 for Rapha’s Classic jersey and bibs, respectively). With these lower prices, Rapha is going head to head with companies like Pactimo, Panache, and Louis Garneau, but the premium company isn’t abandoning its luxury apparel roots.

Jerseys have 5mm ribbed cuffs on the sleeves, collar, and zipper guard, a deep-cut silicon gripper on the rear, three pockets, and an extra zipper compartment on the rear. The new bibs and shorts use the same chamois found in Rapha’s Classic bibs but have wider silicon grippers on the leg hems.

From the company that helped bridge the gap between fashion and cycling, the Core Collection now delivers Rapha’s selective style to a whole new range of cyclists.

Here’s what Rapha’s head of design, Alex Valdman said about the Core Collection’s inspiration:

“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.”