Rapha to launch custom business

British company tight-lipped on anything but the intention

Cycling clothing company Rapha announced its plans to enter the custom market, but has declined to expand on those intentions. 

A mid-October email to Rapha customers said that the company will launch custom roadwear in spring 2018, but questions to a company spokesman weren't met with any answers.

After launching in 2004, Rapha has risen in prominence in the road cycling market with premium-priced clothing, and has expanded into sunglasses, headphones, bags and streetwear. 

The company has also been expanding its cycling clubs, which are retail shops in cities around the world that also host cafes, group rides and, for club members, high-end Canyon bikes for rent.

In the custom clothing business, Rapha's entrance could be disruptive. While there are a few big players like Castelli or Alé, much of the market is catered to by smaller companies.

BikeRadar will follow this story as it develops.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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