Rapha goes in search of adventure with latest Explore range

Rapha’s new winter kit is designed for off-road escapades

Rapha Men's Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover
Rapha has just released the latest additions to its Explore range. Leaning further in to the trend of more ‘normal’ clothing for cycling, the range encompasses technical tees, hoodies, pullovers and cargo bib tights, for both men and women.

As the name Explore suggests, the range is designed for off-road adventuring. Using “revolutionary new Gore-Tex fabrics” and tested in the demanding conditions of Iceland – where BikeRadar videographer Felix Smith recently competed in a 200km gravel race Rapha says the new kit is “designed to keep you warm and dry through the most demanding off-road trips”.

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At first glance, it all looks like kit you’d have seen your cool touring cyclist aunt/uncle wearing in pictures from 40 years ago (before gravel was a thing), but the fabrics, designs and prices have obviously come a long way since then.

New season Rapha Explore kit

Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover

Rapha Men's Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover
The Rapha Men’s Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover is “made for adventure not speed”.
Rapha

“Made for adventure not speed,” the new Rapha Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover looks like a standard rain jacket you mind find in any outdoors shop, but it incorporates a number of neat touches that should make it better suited for on the bike use.

Constructed from Gore-Tex Active fabric – which is apparently Gore-Tex’s lightest ever three-layer waterproof fabric – it has a large pocket on the front for storing things, such as maps and food. This pocket also doubles as a handy stuff sack for the jacket, at which point it will also become a handy pillow for overnight stops.

The fit is relaxed, without being baggy, and the hood is also elasticated, meaning it will fit over a helmet. 

There are further details such as a drawcord hem, with an integrated valve core tool (which might come in handy if you have any tubeless trouble) and a microfibre lining on the collar to prevent rubbing.

Colours Available: Dark Navy, Plum and Dark Yellow for men and Dark Navy for women

Price: £250 / $345 / €300 / AU$430 

Explore Technical Pullover

Rapha Women's Explore Technical Pullover
The Rapha Women’s Explore Technical Pullover has a single pocket with a popper on the rear.
Rapha

The Explore Technical Pullover is essentially a Rapha fleece. Rapha claims the gridded construction offers improved insulation without extra weight, while a raised elasticated collar and adjustable hem also help retain heat.

The fit is relaxed, making it suitable for use on and off the bike, and Rapha also says that the fabric is breathable and odour resistant – the latter being of particular importance if you’re adventuring with friends.

The Pullover features a quarter length zip for ventilation and a single, small pocket that is secured with a popper.

Like the Explore Hooded Gore-Tex Pullover, the drawcord at the hem also features an integrated valve core tool, but the Explore Technical Pullover has a hidden label that Rapha says can function as a temporary tyre boot in emergency situations.

Colours Available: Carbon Grey, Grey Blue and Plum for men and Dark Navy and Plum for women

Price: £95 / $130 / €115 / AU$165

Explore Technical Hoodie

Rapha Men's Explore Technical Hoodie
The Rapha Men’s Explore Technical Hoodie.
Rapha

The Explore Technical Hoodie is very similar to the Explore Technical Pullover. It uses the same gridded fleece construction but, as the name suggests, has a hood and a full length zip instead.

It features a small pocket, again with a popper to secure it, and the same integrated valve core on the drawcord hem, and the hidden label that can be used as an emergency tyre boot.

It’s also slightly more expensive.

Colours Available: Carbon Grey, Grey Blue and Plum for men and Dark Navy and Plum for women

Price: £115 / $155 / €140 / AU$200

Women’s Explore Cargo Winter Tights with Pad

Rapha Women’s Explore Cargo Winter Tights With Pad
Rapha

Made from a fleece backed, DWR treated, water-resistant fabric, the Explore Cargo Winter Tights have four added pockets: two of which are zipped for security and two of which are mesh for quick access.

Reflective stripes are incorporated into the calves and lower back for added visibility in low light, and Rapha says its 11mm-thick chamois pad offers all-day riding comfort and is also “fast-drying” for multi-day adventures.

Colours Available: Dark Navy

Price: £240 / $325 / €285 / AU$410

Technical T-Shirt, Long Sleeve

Rapha Technical T-Shirt, Long Sleeve
The Rapha Technical T-Shirt, Long Sleeve is made from a lightweight fabric and features concealable reflective cuffs.
Rapha

Constructed “from the same high-wicking micro-mesh fabric” used in Rapha’s Flyweight jersey, the Technical T-Shirt, Long Sleeve, is said to be the perfect top for “navigating the urban sprawl or picking your way up a mountain track” in hot conditions.

The fit is much looser than a traditional cycling jersey, and there are no pockets, but it promises to be much more versatile thanks to its lightweight fabric, and fit and styling that’s appropriate for both on and off the bike.

There are a reflective logo and back tab, and a concealable hi-vis cuff in the sleeve purportedly helps you to stay seen while signalling.

Colours Available: Dark Navy and Grey Blue for men

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Price: £65 / $90 / €75 / AU$110