When getting kitted out for a ride, most cyclists focus on the clothes they’ll wear on the bike. But British cycling outfitter Rapha’s latest apparel release centers on a different aspect of cycling: what happens before and after the ride, whether that’s snoozing on the bus between stages or knocking back a beer after a long haul with friends. However you define “recovery,” the new Rapha Transfer Collection, designed in partnership with the Dutch textile studio Byborre, is built to help you rest and recharge. The collection combines Byborre’s unique fabric expertise with Rapha’s years of experience in designing clothing for cyclists.

“Both brands have admired each other’s commitment to innovation for some time,” said Alex Valdman, Creative Director at Rapha, in a press release. “We worked very closely with Pro Team riders to develop a range of products that would aid them in their recovery between stage races.”


The Transfer Collection includes a hoodie, sweatpants, shorts, long sleeve T-shirt, and scarf, all designed to keep riders comfortable in a variety of conditions. According to Valdman, creating high-performance recovery wear like this has long been a dream for Rapha.

“For years we’ve been chasing the holy grail of max comfort,” he told Men’s Journal in an email.

To do it, the team needed to find a way to create apparel that could cool on one side and trap warmth on the other, Valdman said. But its existing design software wasn’t up to the task. That’s where Byborre stepped in—using the studio’s Santoni knitting machine, they were able to develop the innovative reversible knit pattern used in the Transfer Collection.

Each item is fully reversible and made with a mix of merino wool, cotton, and nylon. That means you’ll get apparel that’s soft and antimicrobial as well as breathable and durable enough to stand up to the hustle of traveling. The items also feature graphics inspired by Monte Carpegna, which was Italian cyclist Marco Pantani’s favorite climb.

The hoodie is designed to nail the balance between insulation and breathability with fabric panels that have a cotton/nylon outer layer and a merino inner layer, with a lightweight polyester yarn in between. The yarn provides the insulation, while the outer layer makes the hoodie durable and the inner layer provides a soft feel against the skin (of course, you can also wear it inside-out). Side panels without insulation help vent hot air and increase flexibility, and the hood comes with a knit pattern that adds extra padding—helpful when you’re trying to get a quick nap on the ride to or from a race.

Like the hoodie, the sweatpants and shorts use the same polyester filling sandwiched between merino wool and nylon layers. They’re cut for a slim fit and feature hand pockets on the front and a rear zippered pocket, so you won’t have to worry about your valuables getting loose.

The long sleeve T-shirt is constructed from a double-sided cotton knit (the green fabric) that’s reinforced with nylon, and it’s combined with a merino layer (blue fabric) for softness and comfort. It doesn’t have the polyester filling like the hoodie does, so it should work well in warmer conditions where heat retention isn’t a concern. The scarf, on the other hand, does use the sandwiched polyester insulation found in the hoodie, so you’ll get plenty of warmth around your neck while wearing it.

The collection is available now exclusively for Rapha Cycling Club members, and the items will go on sale to the general public on Oct. 2.

[Hoodie: $540; Sweatpants: $410; Shorts: $345; Long sleeve T-shirt: $265; Scarf: 135; rapha.cc]

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