Friday, October 17, 2008

Rapha-BKW Knee Warmers

I have a significant level of respect for the gang at Rapha. For me, their forays into the cycling world have felt like a breath of fresh air. Be it the class and style of Rouleur magazine, the aesthetic qualities of their ads, or the supple fabrics used in their clothing; undoubtedly, Rapha has made some strong contributions to the bike world.

In February, while at the Tour of California, Rapha and BKW crossed paths. Somewhere between the prologue and the final stage into Pasadena, and fueled by a strong caffeine haze, the concept of a BKW-Rapha venture was concocted. The notion felt like a dare at first, but from that point on, the idea gradually came to fruition, and now (proudly), has become a reality.

One of the most hilarious aspects of the brainstorming session back in February was the idea of a Belgium Knee Warmer knee warmer. I mean, this is not only redundant, but contrary to one's notion of the very title of this blog, namely, Belgium "knee warmers," as in to "embrocate". Embrocating on race day is PRO, but let's face it, because the knees are delicate instruments and vital in carrying you through your journey as a cyclist, wearing knee warmers is essential when training in temps below 70º and, on race day, during pre-race warm-up and sign-in.

The Rapha-BKW knee warmer comes in white only and proudly displays the Belgian national colors on the front. On the back, you'll find reflective BKW and Rapha logos.

The Rapha-BKW knee warmer is available in the U.S. at Competitive Cyclist and worldwide through our friends at Rapha.

25 comments:

velomonkey said...

I fully agree Rapha is a great brand - one the cycling community needed. Especially aficionados. I was delighted when the ever-cool rapha country jersey went on sale at competitive cyclist. I ordered one in large right away. A cool jersey with a subtle country stripe and no sponsors. That's cool. I received the jersey and it fit me in the chest, shoulders, arms and length. The waist, though, horrible. There was hardly any elastic and it fit almost like a t shirt. It was as straight in the waist as it was in the chest. I felt like the old guy that wears the jersey loose in the waist and flopping all over the place. Decidedly not cool and certainly, as you would say, not pro. I'm 6'3" 185 - no large jersey should be loose with my 36" broad waist. I sent it back for a medium and that certainly didn't work (at my size I knew it wouldn't, but thought I'd try).

Even an adjustable elastic would help, but until Rapha addresses the issue their jersey line, in my mind, will suffer.

I like the knee warmers, but at $30 my five year old pearl knee warmers as as good as the day I bought them. I hope Rapha addresses the issue as their stuff is awesome, classic and totally cool.

Robert H said...

I've had a different experience with my "classic" large jersey. I am roughly the same build as velomonkey and my large fits me quite well. Possibly try on another large? Maybe it was some kind of defect.

hoon said...

i'm a large and my large fits fine (team jersey). i have a 40" chest, 185lbs at 5'8" (large torso, stubby legs....)

i just wish the middle jersey pocket was bigger. i need more space than just a spot for my pump as i usually stick the jacket/vest in there as well as a tube and a few other misc. items.

velomonkey said...

I do know the "team" jersey, as in the rapha team - the black and pink jersey - does have an elastic. I got that in medium and it was just way too small. Had they had it in large I would have gotten that, but they were sold out. The classic jersey may be fitted differently than the country jersey, but looking at the pics on rapha's page it looks the same. That elastic seems to only go out, not constrict. It wasn't a horrible fit, it just wasn't a fit worthy of a jersey that cost more than $100. The way it fit me at least, I did not feel cool walking around, especially with anything in the pockets, it just was too roomy.

Anonymous said...

the other issue with rapha - $70 for knee warmers?

nadapro said...

"wearing knee warmers is essential when training in temps below 70º"

You've got to be kidding. Where are you from, Jamaica? I don't use knee warmers or knickers until it's 55-60 out.

Anonymous said...

That's why you're "nadapro". As in notta pro.

Colin P. said...

I wear knee warmers all the time. I find them to be indispensable in my wardrobe. However, what on earth would justify spending 70 dollars on a 12 inch-long tube of fabric (even if its extremely nice fabric)? I certainly respect a company making i high quality, cruelty-free, and world-saving product, but what's so PRO about selling "Belgian" knee warmers that no normal Belgian cyclist could afford?

Anonymous said...

overpriced and over marketed. good gear doesn't become great by just doubling the price.

Anonymous said...

...hmm...interesting rumblings from the blog-oton...too expensive you say? I would place the BKW-Rapha knee warmers under the "recession-proof" category...meaning they're classic and won't soon go out of style. Although they may be spendy up-front, Rapha makes a good product that should last a few seasons, and the BKW logo is a subtle announcement that you are a member of the "club"...and isn't it all about the subtle nuances anyway? I say "Cheers" BKW! (This from an old man who still wears wool "arm warmers"!)

-Ol' Sport

www.sportinglifemag.com

erik k said...

nadapro... ride in the rain when its below 70 and you will know why knee warmers are essential.

I for one think those things are sick, I don't have any white shorts as of yet though. As far as the pricing goes, the only times I've ever regretted buying cycling clothing was when I got stuff that was cheep, because well its sucked. Sucky equipment, that isn't comfortable and you don't want to wear, to me is worthless. I've yet to come across any manufacture that can make top quality, for budget pricing. I do agree that styling or Rapha is top notch, and as a bike comuture I appreciate its understated ness. I may ride to work on a carbon fiber road bike, but that doesn't mean I need to look bike a bike racer. My only hesitation about Rapha is I think Im allergic to wool.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to spend the $70 then don't. Why trash the blog that you enjoy reading everyday? A number of us will pay the $70 for an exclusive piece of BKW kit. Stop typing and go put your cheapo Pearl Izumi knee warmers on and get on your $158 Kent Denali road bike from Walmart and go out and ride!

Michael said...

Since when do we discuss temperature in degrees Fahrenheit?

Anonymous said...

since Germany lost the war...

Anonymous said...

i love this blog. its a daily read for me. i also ride my bike about 20 hours a week and spend the rest of my time in medical school. i value my time and my equipment very highly. i tell you what, though, i'm not spending my 70 bucks in prize money from my last race on a pair of knee warmers. these may be the best damn knee warmers on the planet--they sure look nice, but my roubaix fleece jobbers do the trick just fine. I didn't realize that being PRO meant being elitist about knee warmers. see you at granogue. i'll be in my non-rapha FREE kit.

Justin said...

Germany may have lost the war, but the US has lost their economic empire.. So Metric it is..

I own quite a lot of Rapha, and I'm still paying for it. Their arm warmers and knee warmers are the only set I have ever owned that do not slip down. $70 is steep but figure you'll get twice the use.

But knee warmers under 20c ? Try under 14c.

Congrats on the knee warmers BTW. Very cool idea. They look Fab too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, once you graduate medical school, finish your residency, and finish your fellowship you will be fatter, slower, no longer winning any races, and no longer winning any prize money. However, you will have a nice paying job for a change. You will then go out and buy some PRO BKW leg warmers and rock the Masters 40+ class in style!

Anonymous said...

I'm buying them ASAP! I have a coupon for free shipping from Rapha too!

peter c said...

you know, it's funny but i swear that when i read this a day or so ago the temperature was stated on the world scale, Celsius. why have you reverted to the provincial Fahrenheit?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks pearl knee warmers are on par with a $158 Kent Denali is either a cynic or a naive fool. Anyone who wears $70 knee warmers better be off the front the whole time - or be too slow for their own good cause they have too much money. Being pack fodder with stuff like that is just silly.

Dr. Teegan said...

You people are unreal. If $70 seems reasonable for a pair of knee warmers - have at it. If it doesn't, than buy a less expensive pair. But don't knock BKW for pairing up with Rapha. I have been a loyal reader since the beginning and I can say that I have enjoyed the quality of posts, the diversity of topics and the great photos. For close to two years I have dropped by, sometimes more than once a day and it has never cost a thing. There are no blinking ads, no Paypal buttons for contributions - nothing! So that tells me one thing - BKW is crafted out of love.

The content of this blog is among the best so it only makes sense that BKW would team a top clothing manufacturer.

And whoever said that high quality gear was exclusive to only the fastest of cyclists? The beauty of this sport is that it is open to anyone with the desire to ride a bike. Expensive or not.

Anonymous said...

Rapha does some interesting stuff, including good marketing so not surprising they noticed a good website like BKW. I was bit surprised to see this product though as Rapha is a bit more "Dentist" than "PRO".

brettok said...

I've got some Rapha kit, a lightweight jersey and a few fixed T's. I like their style, but check the labels and see "made in China"... How they can charge so much for their gear is a bit of a anomaly I think.

Rosey said...

Anon, Oct 17:

Fahrenheit WAS German, buddy. And its antiquated. Might as well measure stuff based on the proportions and sizing of the king.

And, yeah, if it's a degree under 20 its knee warmers. Out on the highway, with the wind? You need them on longer rides.

R. Zach Thomas said...

I saw these in person over at Ben Popper's place, and yes, there was lust in my heart. Such simple items, but also, totally ostentatious in all the right ways. White gear is PRO, and because white gear doesn't stay white for very long, it takes a certain amount of dedication to wear it.

But once these BKW BKWs get some road dinge to them, they'll look even more hardcore. While white stuff is pro, dingy gray gear made that way through extensive use in awful conditions is even more hardcore.