After adding just a splash of colour to the 2016 Team Sky kit, Rapha has cut loose with its kit design for the newly-formed Canyon-SRAM women’s team, revealing a truly striking ensemble that will certainly stand out in the bunch.
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Aside from the mostly black shorts and leg warmers, the design of the new kit features a rainbow of colours dashed against a black background, a look that has been design to evoke speed and movement. And the design continues to the team’s Canyon Ultimate CF SLX bikes, which also feature the red, pink and blue colour scheme.
It’s certainly an unusual design the often dull world of modern cycling kits, but then, according to Rapha designer Ultan Coyle, the design has very unusual origins.
“I’ve long been drawn to the warning tape you see used on building sites and along the street; specifically when there are multiple layers wrapped around scaffolding poles or broken lamp posts to highlight potential dangers. I liked the idea of wrapping the body in the tape to suggest an athletic threat or danger to add attitude and which would come in handy when racing”.
Watch: Cycling Weekly Bike of the Year 2016
Make of that what you will, but the team’s riders certainly seem to like the design. “I love the brightness”, said young British sensation Hannah Barnes. “The way the colours fade and almost look like you’re going fast when you’re standing still.”
But perhaps the best news from the consumer’s point of view is that Rapha is looking to learn from the development of this new kit.
“With the introduction of this team kit, Rapha has given over a significant section of its R&D to the design of women’s high-level racing gear. Going forward, we are excited to see how the team will be able to teach us more about designing race kit for women.”
The Canyon-SRAM team will compete in the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour in 2016, which will begin with a women’s version of Strade Bianche in March, although we’d imagine that the first chance to see the new team (and kit) in action will be at the Tour Feminino de San Luis in January, a race that Hannah Barnes has fond memories of from last year.