Rapha is getting dirty. The UK-based cycling brand made a name for itself with stylish, high-quality gear and apparel for road and gravel cyclists, and now it’s bringing that same approach to mountain bikers as well. The brand just released its all-new Performance Trailwear line, a collection of apparel and accessories designed for MTB riders.
“After 17 years of innovating road and gravel cycling apparel, now is the right time for Rapha to enter the mountain bike market,” Rapha MTB general manager Jake Rosenbloum said in a press release. “We’re confident we can have an equally meaningful impact on the future of the sport.”
With the brand’s signature sleek, muted styling, the pieces in the collection (which includes both men’s and women’s) are unmistakably Rapha, but the company also engineered them to be sustainable and extra durable for the trail, too. To do it, Rapha enlisted the help of elite MTB and XC riders like Jill Kintner, Eliot Jackson, Adam Craig, Bryn Atkinson, and Joey Schusler. They wear-tested each piece to make sure the items meet the unique demands of mountain biking, where wayward branches, dirt, and rough falls can put extra stress on apparel.
Rapha also prioritized using sustainable materials, like the recycled fabric used in the Trail 3⁄4 Sleeve Jersey (see below), and ensured each item is built to last. To that end, many of the pieces come with repair patches made with excess fabric from the manufacturing process. That saves scraps from going to the landfill, and it helps you prolong the life of your garment. And if your shirt or shorts sustain a more serious gash, you can send it in to Rapha for a free repair. The company’s repaired over 34,000 pieces since 2004.
So what’s on offer? Here’s a look at some highlights from the men’s Performance Trailwear line.
1. Trail 3⁄4 Sleeve Jersey
Made from 100-percent recycled fabric, the 3⁄4 Sleeve Jersey is constructed with a textured knit for optimal breathability, while the sleeves are woven to hold up against scrapes and close encounters with brush. If you do rip it, though, the jersey comes with repair patches.
2. Trail Shorts
The Trail Shorts feature a built-in belt with a contoured shape to closely match the curves of your waist and deliver a snug fit. It’s made from woven stretch nylon, so it won’t restrict the movement, and it’s cut to be worn with or without kneepads.
3. Trail Technical T-Shirt
The Technical T-Shirt is built for hotter days in the saddle. Like the jersey above, it’s made with recycled fabric and constructed with a textured knit to increase breathability and wick moisture; its loose fit also promotes good airflow. It comes with a repair kit, and has an anti-microbial treatment to ward off stink when you’re working hard.
4. Trail Lightweight Jacket
Packable, windproof, lightweight, water-resistant: The Trail Lightweight Jackets checks a lot of boxes. When the weather gets dicey, the jacket’s lightweight nylon fabric, helmet-compatible hood, and zippered vents keep you protected without trapping heat, and it features an extra strap to store it on your bike frame when not in use.
5. Rapha + Smith Forefront 2
A collaboration with eyewear/helmet brand Smith, the Forefront 2 is built with MIPS and Koroyd tech for top-notch impact protection. Twenty air vents keep your head cool, while Smith’s VaporFit dial adjustment system ensures a comfortable fit.
Check out the full Performance Trailwear collection here.
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