It feels like only a few years ago that the majority of lycra we could buy was either black, primary colours or club kit plastered in logos and probably advertising the local plumbing suppliers. Times change, in no small part thanks to companies like Rapha, pushing tasteful (and some not so tasteful) designs out to the masses.
In 2019, you can probably find a jersey and shorts in pretty much any colour combination you choose, no matter how wild your preferred colour palette. One things for sure though, there’s no guarantee that you won’t turn up at the next gravel event to find someone else wearing exactly the same garb. Plenty of companies do custom offerings, usually with a focus on race teams and clubs, but Rapha clearly thinks there’s room for one more.
Rapha clearly isn’t new to the lycra game. On top of its retail kit, it has produced custom clothing for Team Sky and others in the past. For the first time, it’s decided to make a wide range of Rapha kit available for full customisation by everyone.
You don’t need a full pro-team size roster to be able to order. Quantities start from as low as five, but the larger the order, the cheaper it becomes. Discounts of up to 40% apply on large orders. Rapha Custom is designed to be accessible for everyone – from cycling clubs to businesses, or just a bunch of mates.
Apparently, “Rapha Custom is designed to improve the existing consumer experience of ordering custom kit, with a revolutionary user-friendly platform and a scaled pricing structure. Save time and money by using the simple design tool to create fully customised Rapha product in minutes.”
Rapha reckons that there are limitless possibilities for designs. You can choose from Rapha’s most popular pieces and make custom versions with hundreds of colour ways and options to upload team and sponsor logos.
We’ve had a play around with the web tool, and it is really user-friendly and quick and easy to create some good looking kit. There’s plenty of templates with suggest colour combinations and patterns, presumably to help the terminally “aesthetically challenged” to achieve something not completely hideous (we’re looking at you, Chipps). If you fancy a play yourself, the tool is at rapha.cc/custom. Rapha claims that you’ll receive the kit within eight weeks of ordering.
Rapha Custom launches with the company’s two signature ranges: Pro Team and Classic. As it sounds, Pro Team is the leading edge of Rapha’s performance technology. At the other end of the spectrum, Classic is intended to cater for a more relaxed rider.
Rapha has already confirmed its intention to expand the Custom range over the course of this year, Rapha. In the future the offering will include the Core range as well as extended Classic styles.