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Casual but technical cycling clothing - Rapha and who else?

caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm looking for cycling clothing that looks like normal casual wear but is also (a) made of material suitable for physical pursuits and (b) has features for cycling (e.g. a good fit, the odd rear pocket, etc).

The only brand I can see who is serious about this is Rapha with their Fixed line, especially the Fixed Shirt and Fixed T-Shirt.

My only piece of rapha kit is a pair of their Touring Shorts which are superb: a snug-fitting, long-ish short in a tech fabric with the pockets in the right place. I've never seen anything else remotely like them, the principal alternative seems to be MTB baggies.

If I could stand their eye-watering prices I'd be sorted but I'd be interested to know if anybody else is making smart/casual clothing for the urban cyclist.

Posts

  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Assos have a casual wear range - super expensive of course, very euro styling.

    Howies of Wales do great casual cycling clothes with a bit of an mtb vibe, but quite expensive for what you get IMO. (www.howies.co.uk)

    Bionicon is a German company that does very high tech casual styled clothes, mainly for mountain bikers. www.bionicon.com (seach through their for their clothing catalogue).

    Patagonia do some very nice outdoors kit which is casual styled but very high technical quality. They don't do bike specific stuff but some of their outer shells are perfect for cycling. www.patagonia. com

    Some Gore Bikewear kit has quite 'casual' styling - I have a pair of their touring shorts which are superb on the bike, but good for general use.

    Some North American brands go for a more casual styling for their bike kit - Pearl Izumi and Sugoi, for example. Cannondale also have some very nice casual jackets made of technical material, with subtle little bike friendly touches.

    In the US there are a few companies that aim for the urban rider / fixie vibe - Swobo, for example.

    I can't think of any that are cheap! Maybe some Endura kit, especially the shorts (they usually have good prices on chainreactioncycles.com).
  • dinosaurdinosaur Posts: 86
    Also, check out swrve: http://swrve.co.uk/

    From memory, I think that www.alwaysriding.co.uk usually has a decent range too.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Don't disregard Assos. They have the most technically advanced kit out there. Rapha do casual very well, but don't have the slightest inclination about producing something technical imo.
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Rapha has its detractors (and stuff like the £3k cycling suit deserves it) and is not cheap but fits and wears well IMHO. If technical means comfortable to ride in, does what it says and doesn't fall apart then I'm a satisfied customer.

    Otherwise, have a look at hill-walking or running gear. Berghaus, Mountain Equipment, etc, etc all do non-sweaty t-shirts, soft windproof fleeces, that kind of thing. Perfectly good for leisure cycling and generally not that pricey.
  • barbejbarbej Posts: 23
    You could look at Bspoke clothing. Evans sell it.

    http://www.fisherexpo.co.uk/bspoke/default.html
  • agnelloagnello Posts: 239
    dinosaur wrote:
    Also, check out swrve: http://swrve.co.uk/

    From memory, I think that www.alwaysriding.co.uk usually has a decent range too.

    swrve are great. i lived in their hoodie jacket over the winter. not bought the troosers but the quality of the jacket was absolutely top notch....

    very helpful guy on the blower too
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp
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    Canyon CF CLX / Record
    Charge Plug 3
    Kinesis GF Ti disc - WIP...
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    Thanks for the replies, there's some good stuff in there. A few comments:

    1. What I'm looking for is cycling gear that looks like ordinary clothing that is made from good fabric for cycling. I.e. something I can conceivably have a business meeting in. Think polo shirt not Z-Peugot team jersey! The Rapha stuff fits the bill (at a price). Some of the not-100%-cotton Patagonia gear looks promising as do some of the other outdoor suppliers (who seem to be creeping into the business travel market).

    AFAIK Rapha is still the only one making cycling jerseys (with rear pockets, dropped rears, etc) that look like everyday wear.

    2. I tried Howies a while ago but found their sizing to be very small. We took some funny photos of me in a supposedly XL jumper (more like a M or even an S). It made us laugh before I returned it. Has anybody else noticed that? Have they changed?

    3. swrv looks good - love the belts!

    Thanks again for the input!
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    I've just taken delivery of a Rapha red club jersey. The detailing and fit is fantastic. As yet I haven't worn it on the bike but can't wait til tomorrow.

    I'm hoping that the £95 price tag will mean it should last at least until the beer finally takes over.

    Oh, and my girlfriend wants me to wear it later :wink:
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    caw35slr wrote:
    Thanks for the replies, there's some good stuff in there. A few comments:

    1. What I'm looking for is cycling gear that looks like ordinary clothing that is made from good fabric for cycling. I.e. something I can conceivably have a business meeting in. Think polo shirt not Z-Peugot team jersey! The Rapha stuff fits the bill (at a price). Some of the not-100%-cotton Patagonia gear looks promising as do some of the other outdoor suppliers (who seem to be creeping into the business travel market).

    AFAIK Rapha is still the only one making cycling jerseys (with rear pockets, dropped rears, etc) that look like everyday wear.

    2. I tried Howies a while ago but found their sizing to be very small. We took some funny photos of me in a supposedly XL jumper (more like a M or even an S). It made us laugh before I returned it. Has anybody else noticed that? Have they changed?

    3. swrv looks good - love the belts!

    Thanks again for the input!

    1. One other I forgot is NZO (www.nzoactive.co.nz) from New Zealand. They do merino bowling type jerseys with subtle back pockets. I ordered one but sent it back as the styling really wasn't 'me', but its still nice and very good value. Their trousers (essentially long legged versions of their mtb shorts) are very good and terrific value if the NZ dollar is still weak.

    2. I think you got a strange Howies - I find them spot on and consistent with sizing, although I'm fairly broad shouldered. I'm an 'M' with most brands, with Howies I'm somewhere between M and L.
  • alp777alp777 Posts: 211
    I have just ordered two of the Fixed T's from Rapha for £67.50.....bargain!

    http://www.rapha.cc/fixed-tshirt-2pack/

    Super cool styling and has an antibacterial treatment, ideal for my summer tour!
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    GyatsoLa wrote:
    2. I think you got a strange Howies - I find them spot on and consistent with sizing, although I'm fairly broad shouldered. I'm an 'M' with most brands, with Howies I'm somewhere between M and L.

    I'm an XL, occasionally XXL. Howie shirts only go to (not quite) XL, so they have nothing for me whatsoever. The jumper I talked about was insanely small, it fitted my wife.
  • paul_orpaul_or Posts: 156
    Have you looked at shutt vr?

    http://www.shuttvr.com/
    visit my blog for more excitement

    http://www.flammerouge.co.uk
    ________________________________________________
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    www.vintagevelos.com

    End of discussion 8)
    ___________________

    Strava is not Zen.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    Oulier from the US are a kind of expensive version of Rapha, some quite nice gear though...

    http://outlier.cc/outlier_garments/
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    calvjones wrote:
    www.vintagevelos.com

    End of discussion 8)

    That's a lot of wool. Some good vintage and repro stuff (including the odd wool original) at Prendas!
    DaSy wrote:
    Oulier from the US are a kind of expensive version of Rapha

    Yes indeed, what the World needs is an expensive version of Rapha! :lol: Some interesting stuff in there...

    Thanks for all the links!
  • blakmanblakman Posts: 1
    edited April 2013
    Two different opinions. What is your opinion?
    Cubavera
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,626
    giant man wrote:
    Don't disregard Assos. They have the most technically advanced kit out there. Rapha do casual very well, but don't have the slightest inclination about producing something technical imo.

    So you've tried the full range of Pro Team kit then? The Softshell jacket too?
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Don't bite TGD.
    "imo" doesn't make it fact. :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    Nobody mentioned Vulpine?

    http://www.vulpine.cc/
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    Also try Italians Pistard

    http://pistard.cc/
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    On a more budget tip, H&M did a tie in with Brick Lane Bikes. I think it sold out pretty quickly. Levis do some commuter jeans/jackets. Surface have a small range and Muxu do some nice stuff.
  • 4 year old thread resurrected lol
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    giant man wrote:
    Don't disregard Assos. They have the most technically advanced kit out there. Rapha do casual very well, but don't have the slightest inclination about producing something technical imo.

    So you've tried the full range of Pro Team kit then? The Softshell jacket too?

    Jeez, give him a rest, he replied in 2009. In 2009 theydidn't have the Pro Team Kit.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
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  • Swrve
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    gabriel959 wrote:
    Jeez, give him a rest, he replied in 2009. In 2009 theydidn't have the Pro Team Kit.
    Hadn't noticed that resurrection. :oops:
    None the less, Rapha was selling the Softshell at that time and it is still regarded as a quality piece of kit.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • RiggedRigged Posts: 214
    Surface have some really nice clothing. https://www.surface-clothing.com/

    I have some of their loose-fit shorts and would gladly wear them when not on the bike.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    LegendLust wrote:
    Nobody mentioned Vulpine?

    http://www.vulpine.cc/

    This. I have a few of their tops and I can't say enough good things about them. Fantastic fit, quality, etc.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
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