The new Rapha City Riding range for Autumn/Winter 2012 features striking new colours and hi-vis details across the range to ensure you stay seen when riding around town. There are also updated specifications to existing Rapha classics, so scroll through the photography and text to discover the products and watch our exclusive new city riding film, shot on location in St. Petersburg.
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Rapha has been creating the world’s finest cycling clothing and accessories since 2004. Created for all-day city riding and intended to be worn both on and off the bike, the Rapha City Riding collection has been meticulously designed and rigorously tested to deliver unrivalled levels of performance, comfort and style. Rapha’s online emporium also includes accessories, publications and events, all celebrating the glory and suffering of road riding.
Lucid, the new city riding film from Rapha, was shot on location in the former Russian capital of St. Petersburg. At the film’s centre is Jonathan McGuinness, a long-time Rapha collaborator both as a model and fellow rider. Conceived with the idea of showcasing the Rapha City Riding collection for autumn and winter 2012, Lucid plays out in a city that, down the centuries, has become a melting pot of both European and Russian influences.
When not modelling for Rapha, Jonny’s day job is that of a professional actor and the story of Lucid sees him in town for an audition. Unable to sleep, he decides to go for a ride. On St. Petersburg’s unfamiliar streets, it is a ride that takes the form of a waking, or lucid, dream.
Modern St. Petersburg, as the Rapha crew discovered, is a city cast adrift. No longer able to rely on the state-sponsored discipline of the Soviet era, its inhabitants have been forced to confront some of the uglier realities of a free-market economy; the help of a local fixer proved invaluable in making the film, not least because said fixer carried both a baseball bat and gun in the boot of his car.
The film opens with Jonny reading from The Tempest. Earlier this year, Jonny made his debut with the Royal Shakespeare Company and as our two-wheeled Ariel builds momentum on the wide boulevard of St. Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospekt, Prospero’s lament is hauntingly apposite for a city whose role as one of the great theatres of history has become much diminished in recent years.
St. Petersburg: Part 1
St. Petersburg, Russia’s most westerly city, was built by the tsars according to grand plans drawn up by the greatest European architects. They were supervised by Jean-Baptiste Le Blond, an architect and garden designer who landscaped the buildings and roads as he would have done avenues of trees in a formal garden at a French chateau. A city seemingly built for giants, the revolution saw St. Petersburg’s cloud-capped towers, gorgeous palaces and solemn temples ceded to the communists, who found its wide processional avenues suited their designs, too.
Yet all those giants have now departed the stage, and in the 21st century its grandeur seems to dwarf the city’s modern inhabitants. Stare down Nevsky Prospekt to its vanishing point, on the horizon at the monolithic Winter Palace, and the scale seems to defy the eye. Only the swaggering, post-glasnost gangsters, whose vulgar suits are accessorised with glitzy molls, seem to have its measure.
These days, in Russia's wild west, there's a rough and tumble to life, an acceptance of sharp corners and jagged edges amid the imposing elegance of the past; it’s a town where taxi drivers carry baseball bats in the boot and pellet guns in the glove compartment, and show them off with an unconcerned shrug. Its cyclists, too, seem nonchalant: about the speed of the traffic pouring down the eight-lane highways; and the occasional crater-like potholes. And in reality, it’s a city best traversed by bicycle.
Continued in Part 2...
Made from a pioneering denim created specifically for all-day city riding, these jeans are durable, fast drying and have great stretch for ease of movement.Key features:
- Abrasion-resistant seat
- Offset inseams to prevent chafing
- Reflective Rapha logo
- Cut for comfort when riding
Colour: BlueBuy now
Warm, insulating jacket designed for comfort pre- and post-ride and when travelling.Key features:
- Lightweight PrimaLoft® ONE insulation
- Thermoroubaix side panels and cuffs
- Two front pockets
- Packs into back pocket
Colours: Black, NavyBuy now
St. Petersburg: Part 2
Like Berlin, it's a flat city stretched over a great area – Palace Square is a ten-minute stroll from one corner to the other – and the straight, wide boulevards make a good road bike the best way of swallowing up the distances.
Next to the traffic-filled bridges linking the city’s islands, in the brightness of the autumn sunlight glinting off golden domes, swimmers take to the Neva. And just as the swimmers will continue into winter until they must break the ice for their daily dip, so the city's cyclists brave the -20C cold to keep going through the dark months.
Continued in Part 3...
Long Sleeve Polo
Made from 100% New Zealand merino, the natural fibre means the shirt can cope with a range of conditions, keeping you cool on warmer days or insulating against the cold.Key features:
- High-wicking, breathable fabric
- Itch free and odour resistant
- Side-panel construction
- Gingham trim
Colours: Fig, GreyBuy now
James also wears the Long Sleeve City Riding Jersey in Navy.
Made from luxury merino wool and offering much needed comfort in cold riding conditions. The natural fibre wicks sweat from the head to keep you warm and dry and the hat is fully reversible. Can be worn under a helmet.Key features:
- High wicking
- Quick drying
- Can be worn with a helmet
- Fully reversible
- Rapha logo tab
Colours: Orange (NEW), Black, NavyBuy now
Jonny also wears the City Rain Jacket in Orange.
City Rain Jacket
Designed for very wet conditions, this durable city cycling jacket combines high performance with clever functional details and clean, urban styling.Key features:
- Waterproof fabric
- Fully-taped waterproof seams
- Highly-breathable membrane
- Zip-away, high-visibility storm tail
- Neoprene cuffs for warmth
Colours: Orange (NEW), NavyBuy now
Designed for the worst conditions the city can throw at you, the Softshell Trousers are cut from a breathable and water-resistant material and constructed to last.Key features:
- Breathable, water-resistant membrane
- Durable seat panel
- Reflective trim
- Brushed tricot lining
Colour: BlackBuy now
Long Sleeve City Riding Jersey
Featuring high performance and clean, pared down styling, the Long Sleeve City Riding Jersey uses a heavier weight yarn than the short-sleeve edition, offering extra insulation in cold conditions.Key features:
- Classic chest pockets
- Laser-cut buttonholes
- Single rear pocket
Colours: Navy/black, Black/navyBuy now
Woven cycling belt made by Anderson’s of Parma. A durable, high-stretch fabric with calfskin trim.Key features:
- Durable woven construction
- High-grade calfskin trim
- Solid brass buckle with brushed metal finish
- Hand finished
Due in stock mid-November
St. Petersburg: Part 3
Every Friday, at 11pm, a group of riders gather in front of the Hermitage to ride a magical mystery tour of St. Petersburg’s streets. In the summer, they ride through the endless sunset until dawn; when winter comes with deep snows, they still ride, propelled by beer and vodka, and though the ride lasts only a few hours, they’re still a hundred strong.
In the quiet of the night, St. Petersburg’s classical buildings seem timeless and unmoving, silently held in a thrall that has seen kingdoms fade and dynasties come and go. In this nocturnal stillness, it’s a place to ride hard, to banish your demons, knowing that when you have passed, when you have moved on, the buildings will remain and the river and traffic still flow. Your passage through the night, that insubstantial pageant, will have faded, but it has been such stuff as dreams are made on.
Merino Roll Neck
A Rapha interpretation of the woollen cycling jerseys once de rigueur in the pro peloton. A perfect mid-layer, its fully-fashioned construction is a hallmark of luxury knitwear.Key features:
- 100% merino wool
- Fully-fashioned construction
- Reverse-knit chest and armband
- Rear pocket
- Detachable high-vis tab
Colour: NavyBuy now
Jonny also wears the Long Sleeve Merino Jersey in Orange.
Slim-cut trousers designed for all-day city riding. Made from a lightweight cotton fabric, tailored for riding and featuring a Cordura® seat panel for durability.Key features:
- Stretch fabric
- Reinforced Cordura® seat panel
- Seams positioned to prevent chafing
- Chain-link print pocket lining
- High-vis pink lining
Colours: Navy, BeigeBuy now
Leather Town Gloves
Classically styled cycling gloves cut from African hair sheep leather. Highly durable and supple, military marksman-grade palm padding ensures maximum control.Key features:
- Highly durable
- Military-grade palm padding
- High-wicking lining
- Single strap with popper
Colours: Brown (NEW), Black, TanBuy now
Jonny also wears the Lapelled Jacket.
A pared down city riding mid-layer with full-length zip. Ideal for warming up (or down) on race day, the fully-fashioned construction and 100% merino fabric provides both insulation and comfort.Key features:
- Full-length zip
- Fine rib collar and cuffs
- Rear pocket
- Detachable high-vis tab
Colour: GreyBuy now