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Rapha launches Custom - a design-your-own kit program

Sam Challis
6 Mar 2019

Rapha promises an easy-to-use design tool, low minimum orders, delivery within eight weeks and discounts of up to 40% on large orders

Stylistically questionable club kit may soon become a thing of the past as Rapha, the British brand with a reputation for tasteful design, rolls out its Custom kit program from today.

For the last year, Rapha has been working with a select few clubs to develop and refine the process, which is based around applying your own take on a choice of several garments from Rapha’s Pro Team and Classic collections.

The Pro Team collection is aimed at racier cyclists but the Classic collection features a more relaxed cut, so club cyclists of all shapes and sizes should be catered for.

Rapha says the minimum order will be just five, so the Custom program could work for one-off events as well as larger club orders, and the pricing structure will be tiered, so bigger orders will receive more of a discount. The brand explains that this means depending on order size, jerseys could be bought for as little as £50 each.

To cater for those unsure of kit size pre-purchase, select Clubhouses are now equipped with Custom ‘toolboxes’. They are a dedicated ‘Custom’ area within each store that consists of inspirational design books, fabric swatches and samples of each product.

Once the piece of kit is chosen, users are given the option to design on a blank template with Rapha’s proprietary design tool. Several preset layouts can be chosen for each garment, then each segment of the garment can be customised with a wider range of colours and patterns.

Logos and additional details can be designed and applied too, providing the user with limitless options to personalise each item.

was one of a few select media outlets to be given early access to the design tool and after an extended play on it we can say that it the tool is intuitive and easy-to-use. Rapha has structured it cleverly to provide just enough guidance for the vast scope of options not to be overwhelming while leaving the user free enough for their imagination to be uninhibited.

Previews can be viewed on-model which is an unusual benefit compared to usual custom design systems and helps give context to a given design. Once a design has been confirmed Rapha says the user can expect delivery within 8 weeks.

For more info, visit the Rapha website here 

In use, it becomes apparent that Rapha is offering an accurate and polished tool, but the brand claims there is a good reason that Rapha Custom comes to market so seamlessly - apparently it has been thoroughly road-tested for the past year with several amateur teams and clubs.

Rapha Custom has already produced kit for Richard Sachs Cyclocross, DRAPAC, FAST Amsterdam, Kibosh, and Team Yacht Club, amongst several others who have all reported positively on the experience, so the new program could be considered a genuine option the next time it comes to refreshing your local club’s colours.

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