Rapha (sportswear)

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Traded as Rapha Performance Roadwear
Industry Sporting goods
Founded 2004
Founder Simon Mottram and Luke Scheybeler
Headquarters London, England
Area served
Products Clothing
Skin Care
Cycling Holidays
Website rapha.cc

Rapha Performance Roadwear is a sportswear and lifestyle brand focused on road bicycle racing, clothing and accessories. Rapha headquarters are in London with a United States office in Portland, Oregon.[1]


The company was started in London in early 2004 by Simon Mottram[2] and Luke Scheybeler;[3] the first products were launched in July of that year. The name Rapha was taken from the 1960s cycling team Rapha, which was named after the apéritif drink company Saint Raphaël.[4]

In 2007, Rapha partnered with British designer Paul Smith to create a range of limited-edition cycle clothing and accessories.[5]

Rapha clothing is produced in a number of different locations including the UK, Italy and the Far East. UK production included some early Merino wool pieces and also leather gloves which are made in Somerset, England. Italian production focuses on stretch fabric and stretch garments such as shorts and tights. In China production focuses on the most technical items, such as outerwear.

In recent years, Rapha has developed an international cycling club, in which members have access to exclusive club apparel and high-end bike rentals (currently supplied by Canyon Bicycles). The Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) hosts rides and events at stores known as Clubhouses in 21 international locations throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Each clubhouse consists of a retail space that sells Rapha apparel and accessories, as well as a cafe that serves coffee and food while screening live cycle racing. Clubhouses also play host to a number of cycling-related events and art exhibitions throughout the year.[6]

In August 2017, it was announced that Rapha would be purchased by RZC Investments, a company setup by Steuart Walton, for £200m.[7]


Rapha used to co-own the UK-based cycling team Rapha Condor–JLT with London bike brand Condor Cycles and the cyclocross team Rapha Focus; at the end of 2014 Rapha announced they would end their grassroots sponsorship to focus on Team Sky and WIGGINS.[8] In August 2012, it was announced that as of 2013, Rapha would be producing the clothing for the British cycling team, Team Sky.[9] Australian Cyclocross champion for 2013 and 2014, Lisa Jacobs, chooses to wear Rapha clothing. On November 3, 2015, Rapha announced that their Team Sky sponsorship would end after the 2016 season. In an effort to grow and promote women's cycling, Rapha began supplying clothing to the UCI Women's WorldTour team Canyon-SRAM.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Company". Rapha. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Penn, Rob. "Pedalling fashion: the rise of cycle style". Design Week. 
  3. ^ Green, Lucie. "New sportswear line". Financial Times. 
  4. ^ "The Original Rapha". The Inner Ring. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rapha + Paul Smith collection unveiled". Road Cycling UK. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  6. ^ http://pages.rapha.cc/clubs
  7. ^ "Walmart heirs' fund wins £200m race for cycling brand Rapha". 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  9. ^ Merrill, Jamie (3 September 2012). "Sky's the limit for cult clothing brand Rapha". The Independent. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  10. ^ http://pages.rapha.cc/feature/canyon-sram-2016

External links[edit]