Transitioning from making stuff that is specifically for wearing when you’re riding a bike to stuff that you can wear off it is obviously the only way Rapha could expand. Most of us have enough money for the deposit on a house invested in Rapha cycling gear, so this is the best way to leverage a bit more out of us. Remember when there was that whole backlash against Rapha? You know when people were pointing out that it was just for posers and that new influx of road cyclists that came along with Wiggo’s Tour De France win? Actually that backlash is probably still going on amongst a small minority but the rest of us have realised that although Rapha stuff costs a packet, it looks great and more importantly it works better than most other brands. Case in point, the Rapha Winter jersey thing that I’ve got is about the only thing I’ve worn between October and March for the past 3 years. It’s bloody amazing. Oh and their rain jacket is one of the few out there that actually makes a significant effort in keeping rain out.
With that in mind I invested a small fortune in the hooded rain jacket. I’ve just looked at it on the Rapha site and it’s £230. I can’t remember forking out that much so I must have had a good week or have been incredibly flushed with cash after Christmas. Either way I’ve got one and I definitely bought it.
Now I don’t need much convincing to wear a cycling brand when not cycling, I’ve done a whole day at work in bib shorts before. Admittedly I had forgotten my trousers and even more admittedly I did apologise to literally everyone I had to work with. Now that was actual cycling specific gear, this jacket is kind of a hybrid of casual and cycling wear. I’m normally well suspicious of that sort of stuff, you know like a shirt designed for commuting in, or a blazer that is at home on Alpe D’Huez as it is on a cycle superhighway. If you’re going to commit to something then go all in. Either you’re wearing a suit or you’re head to toe in lycra, let’s not try and combine the two as the outcome is almost always ungodly and impractical. Saying that most of this stuff looks great in photos.
In spite of my reservations the Rapha Hooded Rain Jacket is actually amazing. I’ve not ridden much in it and I really don’t want it to ever see any rain as it looks far too great for that. I’ve worn mine for a short trip to Tesco in a bit of drizzle and it worked just fine. That’s about as hardcore as I really want to get with it. Would I recommend this for the serious rider? Only one who can afford two of them, one for outdoors and one for in. I’ll keep wearing mine when it’s safe to do so like when I’m doing things for instagram on my fixie. I hate myself but I look great. Big up yourselves Rapha.