We've gotten accustomed to seeing the Rapha logo adorned on premium road cycling apparel over the years. However, the iconic racing brand has derailed and diversified into off-road territory with its latest collection of performance trail wear.
Now, this isn't something totally new and out of the blue as Rapha has tentatively dipped its toe into dirt awash waters of mountain biking previously. Still, this launch is their biggest yet with a whole new range of "performance-engineered, style-driven trail wear", accessories and ambassadors to help pave their new direction. With Olympic medallist Jill Kintner, EWS racer Ella Conolly and XC legend Adam Craig as well as Bryn Atkinson, Eliot Jackson and Joey Schusler on board, Rapha has dug deep to not only deliver a full range of trail wear, but they've ensured it's constructed with sustainable eco-friendly materials and offer repair kits to help your kit lasts even longer.
Rapha Trail Accessories
The Pro Team Full Frame Glasses is constructed from a lightweight, injection-moulded Grilamid that holds that lens securely in place and helps to protect it from the elements. Megol arm grippers provide grip in all conditions, while the nose piece, made with the same material, comes in two sizes for an adjustable fit. For improved ventilation, subtle vents are positioned along the edges of the hydrophobic, anti-fog lens, which is interchangeable with a wide range of spare lenses for clear vision in any light conditions. The Rapha Pro Team Full Frame Sunglasses are available in two colourways on the market for £120.
Rapha has partnered up with Smith Optics, the creators of the excellent Mainline enduro helmet. The Rapha x Smith Forefront 2 provides Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) to help reduce rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head whilst complete Koroyd® coverage provides further impact protection without compromising ventilation. Adapted to work seamlessly with goggles or sunglasses, this helmet features an adjustable visor, twenty air vents and Smith's VaporFitTM dial adjustment system. The Rapha x Smith Forefront 2 mountain bike helmet retails for £175.
Rapha Women's Trail Wear
Rapha's modern take on a 3⁄4 sleeve trail jersey is constructed from a 100% recycled, light and breathable fabric with snag-resistant properties. Of course, rogue branches and the occasional involuntary lie-down are inevitable in mountain biking, which is why Rapha includes repair patches with every jersey, a handy at-home repair option. Both the men's and women's 3⁄4 sleeve trail jersey is available in various colour options for £75.
The Rapha Women's Trail Tank is light and breathable, designed to keep you cool in warm weather. Also featuring durable and snag-resistant properties, the honeycomb weave fabric structure, made of recycled materials, wicks sweat away from the skin and disperses the moisture over a greater area.
Constructed from a durable yet forgiving plain weave stretch nylon, which is tough enough to handle the abuse of daily mountain biking, Rapha's Trail Shorts for women prioritise flexibility and breathability. A low profile stretch waist creates locked-in comfort on and off the bike, while the fit of the shorts has been sized to accommodate a liner and tailored to fit with or without modern trail knee pads. There are two zippered side pockets for the essentials, and for the inevitable crash that causes more damage than you can ignore, included are a set of repair patches in the same colour and fabric as the shorts. These trail shorts are on offer in two colours for £110 apiece.
Packable and lightweight, this trail jacket for men and women is treated with durable water repellency, offering adverse weather protection in a small package. The hood compartment accommodates the helmet neatly with a cinch cord offering a locked-in fit. Further still, the Lightweight Trail Jacket comes with an added strap that allows you to cinch your jacket down to your frame for a clean, off-body storage solution for £130.
Rapha Men's Trail Wear
Another same-gender garment from Rapha's Trail Wear is the Technical T-Shirt. Once again, constructed from recycled materials, the technical shirt is durable, snag-resistant and super breathable. At £55, this t-shirt also comes with a handy DIY patch repair kit of the same material and colour.
Rapha's Trail Shorts for men are durable and contoured with a variable width belt for locked-in comfort on the bike. Constructed from a durable yet forgiving plain weave stretch nylon, these shorts prioritise flexibility and breathability. The ergonomic pattern allows the shorts to move with you, with seams and panels placed strategically to allow for freedom of movement– whether you're grinding up a climb or going for it on the descent.
Most products include a repair patch kit made with excess fabric from the same garment that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill. The repair kit enables you to fix your garment at home, adding more miles to your clothing. Rapha even uses environmentally preferred materials across the collection. In 2021, 43% of Rapha Performance Trailwear, by volume, is made using environmentally preferred materials, with a brand commitment of reaching 90% by 2025.
With additional padded liners available, socks and accessories within the new Performance Trail collection, Rapha has clearly given a lot of care and consideration to this line of apparel. With samples already in the office, the Off-Road.cc team are keen to get testing so check back soon for the full review.
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