The beauty of owning a bespoke piece of high-quality cycling kit is a thought that is often associated with a high price tag and a messy design process, making it too troublesome and even out of reach to many riders. It is uncommon to find riders wearing customised pieces of kit unless they are from a club or racing team, both of which would entail some form of team identification and logo along with the common consensus on the colour scheme and patterns. ‘Fess up if you have any thought that your team’s jersey could have been designed better, or of better quality!
Creating a piece of custom kit is also often a bit of a hassle. Conceptualising a design and trying to visualise how the final piece will look takes time; countless email exchanges and phone calls between rider and manufacturer, the use of a photo editing software, and finally waiting for a sample piece. Minimum quantities also apply, limiting the whole process even more. Sounds like too much trouble for an individual who wants something uniquely his/hers?
Oh, and what if you wanted a full range of customised kit from head to toe? A cycling cap, musette, essentials pouch, and socks to match your jersey and bibs?
Cue Rapha’s new custom program. After more than a decade of producing one of the finest cycling clothing, Rapha has stepped into the realm of custom cycling wear for riders all over the world, enabling any rider to personalise their style and identity with the assurance that the same high-quality wear and stylish fit will be preserved.
What’s so different about Rapha’s brand-new custom wear?
1. The answer lies in the process.
Rapha has managed to do away with the hassle that comes with designing your kit through its online custom UI. The online tool that is available on custom.rapha.cc enables riders to pick and choose from a mind-dazzling array of layouts, colours, and patterns.
Uploading of your choice of logo or personalised text is also done easily, and you can even go right down to the fine details to choose different colours for the reflective logo, zips, and grippers!
2. Say goodbye to flat 2D images!
The online tool also makes it easy for you to view the kit in different angles throughout this 4-step process, with the jersey/bibs contoured to a human’s body so that you know how it will look like when you wear it.
You can then see your design on a real-life shot of a rider, at the end of the process, share with your friends and teammates, before placing the order. No fuss no muss, quick and easy.
3. Premium Quality
Rapha so kindly sent a set of their custom kit with a cool play on traditional labelling of specifications. High-quality material is present throughout the entire kit, and for those who have never owned a piece of Rapha kit, my most favourite feature of the whole kit would be the nifty hidden zip pocket located at the right side of the jersey.
Store your money and keys in there without the fear of it ever dropping out when you attempt a bunny-hop or get tangled up on the road (touch wood)! The entire kit felt premium as always, although the essentials pouch is only large enough to store an iPhone X or similar-sized phone.
The musette features a useful clip to prevent stuff from falling out, and the ability to even customise such accessories so easily gives Rapha’s custom program the edge over the rest. Overall, it made me feel excited about the possibility of designing my own kit while yet knowing that there is no detriment to quality and cost.
4. Low Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
Orders start from as low as 5 pieces and can go up to more than 100 pieces, with prices tiered to a discount of up to 40% off according to the quantity that you order.
Delivery happens within 8 weeks from the time you submit your order and prices are locked for 13 months from the date of your order, which means that if you took a fall on the roads or have a new teammate joining, the price stays the same and your new kit will only take 7 weeks to arrive.
5. Great customer service interface
The strength of any good online service these days lies in a good customer user interface, and Rapha has managed to hit the nail on its head.
The tool provides many options for customisation without being too overwhelming while enabling the rider to visualise how the actual product will be without the need for a sample (if you insist, Rapha will send one to you).
For now, only these models are available for customisation in both Men’s and Women’s fit, with the rest of Rapha’s range to follow in the course of this year:
– Pro Team Midweight Jersey
– Pro Team Long Sleeve Aero Jersey
– Pro Team Bib Shorts
– Pro Team Lightweight Gilet
– Pro Team Sleeveless Base Layer
– Classic Flyweight Jersey
– Lightweight Arm Warmers
With the consistency of Rapha’s high-quality products combined with your touch of personalisation at roughly the same price (or even cheaper), it is bound to be a popular choice among many riders. Time to find your buddies and get creative!
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