Dressing in cyclist gear doesn't have to mean adding your beans to everyone else's eye-diet, or at least it doesn't at Rapha Concept Shop, now installed in Mellow Johnny's, and dedicated to the high-end London brand so exclusive, the other closest distributor is an 85hr bike ride away in Arizona.
Called "the Brooks Bros of cycling", Rapha eschews the future-tech aesthetic for vintage looks and materials, with merino wool instead of lycra for increased warmth, wicking, breathability, and compressive fit, and added touches including interior patches scrawled with historical notes like golden era racers' penchant for cigarettes before races, a habit that's since been patched up.
Pieces stretch from carbon-sole, yak leather Grand Tour Shoes, to super-lightweight jerseys & jackets, to contour-padded bib shorts, plus they've got casual city riders covered with fast-drying long-sleeve ginghams and durable jeans with pink reflective in-seam tape, ensuring you don't Get The Party Started with an oncoming truck.
If you hate clothes, they've got ephemera including cycling tomes like Great Road Climbs Of The Pyrenees, which Hannibal once dared pass with his elephants -- causing doubters to say what you so often want to tell spandex-wearers: "I can clearly see you're nuts".
Published: September 18, 2012 at 4:00am EDT
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