This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Rapha's collection of cycle wear is growing ever broader in 2015 with the addition of new Pro Team jersey, bib and base layer options, 80s-inspired prints and new City Collection pieces.
The women's range is also growing rapidly across both race and city ranges with a fusion of French-inspired fashion and function.
We'll update with full prices once we receive them.
Pro Team Softshell Base Layer
Brand new for 2015 and touted by Rapha as a unique product on the market, the new Pro Team Softshell Base Layer (£80 / US$120 / AU$135) is a windproof and water-repellent top designed to be worn under regular race jerseys in cooler conditions.
The front and back are constructed from a three-ply membrane that keeps the elements out, but remains comfortable, thin and highly stretchy, something Rapha says wouldn't have been possible with the fabric technology available just a couple of years ago. A lighter fabric is used under the arms for added comfort and breathability and the arms themselves reach to the elbows for maximum coverage and protection. There's also a high collar to keep your neck warm and taped seams to keep the elements out.
The base layer was tested over the British Elite Road Racing Series last year, and sports a new stripe motif that can be seen across the 2015 Pro Team range. Used for detailing and reflectives, the design was inspired by journalist Albert Londres' description of the 1924 Tour de France peloton as the 'convicts of the road'.
The new base layer range also includes arm warmers (£50 / US$80 / AU$85) and knee warmers (£55 / US$85 / AU$95), both with the same weatherproof protection on the leading edge, but with thinner, more breathable material on the back. New softshell, waterproof overshoes join the range (£65 / US$95 / AU$105) while the thin but protective material is also deployed in a new pair of gloves (£70 / US$100 / AU$110), which are designed to maintain control (thicker gloves can mean a loss of dexterity). The gloves also have a different material for the terry pads on each thumb – one for sweat, one for snot – helping riders keep the two separate.
Pro Team jerseys, bibs and aero suit
Rapha's elite level Pro Team kit, created in tandem with the company's work with Team Sky, gets another two jerseys, a new pair of bibs and an aero race suit for 2015.
New Pro Team Light Weight Bibs are paired with the Climber's Jersey for Rapha's ultimate hot weather, uphill combo. The new bibs offer a lighter weight mesh upper and straps and a perforated pad that's designed to reduce sweat saturation and drop a few more grams.
Rapha's new Pro Team Aero Suit is derived from a design used by Team Sky for the last couple of seasons. Like Castelli's San Remo gear, the Aero Suit combines jersey and bibs into a single piece to avoid the discomfort and drag associated with kit bunching up. In this case, the new Light Weight Bibs are paired with Rapha's Aero Jersey to create a racing onesie. The zip is three-quarter length rather than fully opening, which Rapha says further avoids bunching. The sides and rear of the jersey are connected directly to the shorts, but the front isn't sewn together, which facilitates convenient convenience breaks.
For 2015, Rapha's City Collection takes inspiration from the Parisian newspaper couriers of the 1930s, who used to chop the corners off papers to fit them in their bike baskets. Rapha has used these triangular off-cuts as a design detail throughout the range, which includes the relaxed and stylish Porteur's Jacket and a selection of shirts.
Women's range updates
Five years since it began creating women's collections, Rapha is rapidly expanding its female-specific range to meet the demands of roadies and city riders alike who want more than slim-fitting men's gear. Themes for spring-summer 2015 include French-inspired pinstripes and hues that evoke the fiery sunsets, and various flora and fauna surrounding Mont Ventoux.
The 2015 Souplesse bibs have new straps designed to be comfy on the bust. At the back there's a wide, thin and strong central strap that's been designed to allow comfortable layering with sports bras, jerseys and jackets; keeping the overall look flat and free from bunching. The bibs are made from the same fabric as the men's Pro Team gear, including the coldblack and antibacterial treatments.
New women's mitts have less padding, which Rapha says is more comfortable for those with smaller hands.
In the City Collection, a new blazer features hidden tech details such as a half mesh back for ventilation and antibacterial properties while flap-free lapels and white-lined roll-up sleeves keep function and fashion in harmony. Rapha is limiting the blazer to just 100, so get your enquiries in quick if you're interested.
Also new is a sleeveless shirt with a merino wool back, dropped tail and perspiration catching panel at the nape of the neck. Rapha's new turn-up shorts use the same material as the men's touring shorts and feature refective detailing on the rear that can be hidden away in the back pocket. A selection of silk scarves with illustrations from renowned designer Barbara Agnes finishes the sophisticated look.
See more images from Rapha's spring-summer 2015 range in the gallery above.