Rapha launches piano factory-inspired Imperial Works collection

New Italian-styled collection celebrates the origins of the Rapha Cycling Club

Rapha Imperial Works
(Image credit: Rapha)

The Rapha Cycling Club was founded in 2015 “to connect cyclists around the world and bring them closer to Rapha,” in the British brand’s words. But, says Rapha, the community at its heart has much deeper roots.

According to Rapha, long before the signature stripes of the RCC were to be seen in cities around the world there was another club based in London but with an Italian soul. Taking its name from Rapha’s original offices inside an old piano factory, Imperial Works was an invitation-only members’ club. What’s more, “Their luxurious livery was the envy of other cyclists.”

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.