UK-based cycling retailer Evans Cycles has partnered with premium cycling clothing brand Rapha, with the Rapha Core range and accessories now available to buy in Evans' 65 retail stores and online. With Rapha's premium reputation and Evans now part of the Frasers Group - which includes Sports Direct - if you're thinking this is an unlikely coming together then that's not so, says Evans, as it aims to become "home of the world’s best bike brands."
Rapha was founded in 2004 and was well-known as a direct-to-consumer business, but over the years it has switched between this model and selling through retailers. Just some of the places you can buy Rapha kit other than rapha.cc or its retail stores at the time of writing are John Lewis, Mr Porter, Wheelbase and the online sportswear discounter SportPursuit.
While this is the first time an extensive Rapha collection has been available at Evans Cycles countrywide, it isn't the first time Rapha gear has been stocked at Evans. In 2013, Rapha launched its Team Sky range which was available to buy at all Evans Cycles locations and on its website.
Rapha has gained a global following in cycling and is well-regarded for producing premium cycling clothing and accessories. The brand is also well-known for collaborations with iconic designers as well as WorldTour team EF Education-EasyPost, producing eye-catching jerseys that are often well received by fans and cyclists.
Evans Cycles was taken over by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International plc - now Frasers Group - in 2018, rescuing it from administration. Rapha underwent a refinancing operation to write off debt in February of this year, but despite this the brand insisted it “far outperformed” rivals in 2022.
Despite the less premium reputation of some other Frasers Group brands, Evans' managing director Russell Merry says the partnership with Rapha is part of the retailer's "continued drive to be the home of the world's best bike brands whilst making the brand accessible to all."
Caroline Crosswell, COO at Rapha, stated:
“We seek to work with partners who share our obsession with cycling and actively promote the many benefits that a life lived by bike brings.
"Collaborating with Evans Cycles allows Rapha to bring our distinctive designs and World Tour tested technologies to a broader audience, supporting even more cyclists who are looking for the best in performance wear to reach their riding goals."
The collection features items from Rapha's Core range, including the lightweight, long sleeve and short sleeve jerseys, gilets, commuter and rain jackets, padded shorts, bib shorts and bib tights, as well as bottles, socks and mitts.
The products were listed online earlier this week and are now available to purchase on Evans Cycles' website, with everything priced the same as on rapha.cc. The collection is also being introduced across the country in Evans' 65 UK stores.
See the full collection and prices here.
What do you think about Rapha's decision to sell through Evans Cycles? Let us know in the comments section below...
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…