Cycling Style Watch: Rapha’s New Lines Collection Is Awesome

Rapha, the luxe British cycling brand, has a new Lines Collection for summer. The clothing combines a striking design with lightweight technical fabrics for hot-weather riding. It's bound to be the most sought-after bike gear this season.

The Lines Collection is an eye-catching departure from Rapha’s characteristically understated colors and patterns. It includes a jersey, gilet, jacket, merino T-shirt, and a lightweight base layer. Each piece features a striped pattern that flows around the body. When worn together, the lightweight fabrics give the look a distinctive layered effect.

The Lines Collection design is inspired by the work of British artist Bridget Riley, who rose to prominence in the 1960’s on the strength of her abstract black-and-white paintings. Using repetition and semi-symmetry, Riley created optical illusions that seemed to shift and move on the canvas. To create the Lines Collection, Rapha drew on the idea of movement and speed that Riley's work conveys.

The essential piece from the new collection is Lines Flyweight Pro Team Jersey. With the goal of creating the ideal jersey for hot-weather riding, Rapha sourced a smooth, silk-weight fabric. Perforations under the sleeves provide additional ventilation. The pocket area receives a similar treatment, and a unique waffle-textured fabric serves as the inner layer of the jersey’s three pockets. It all adds up to an airy, comfortable piece for a long ride on a hot summer day. Price: $180

The Lines collection also includes a lightweight gilet — that’s Rapha-speak for wind vest — and the Lightweight Pack Jacket. Both continue the striped theme of the jersey. Stash the Pro Team Lightweight Gilet in your pocket for chilly descents. The gilet includes a two-way zipper for both temperature control and easy access to rear jersey pockets. Stretch fabric keeps the gilet close to the body and helps avoid the dreaded flapping that plagues some wind vests. Price: $140

The Lightweight Pack Jacket, meanwhile, provides some protection from light rain and acts as a high-tech version of a windbreaker. Like the other elements of the Lines collection, the Pack Jacket features translucent fabric that allows the design of your underlying layers to show. Price: $175

The Pack Jacket is designed to be worn with the Printed Merino T-shirt, but can also slide in a jersey pocket for road riding in shifty weather. Perforations down the spine add breathability to the jacket, though it’s not a piece we’d choose for a hard climb. For most road riding, we’d recommend the gilet paired with Rapha’s Lightweight Arm Warmers. Price: $80 for the merino T-shirt, $55 for the arm warmers