Granting cyclists the opportunity to test kit pre-purchase, British brand Rapha has unveiled a climate-controlled room at its second London Cycle Club (flagship), based in Old Spitalfields Market, east London.
The Rapha Vault – located in the basement of the warehouse-style store – allows consumers to test the fit and functionality of the brand’s sports gear on a static bike in wind speeds of up to 50kph, and temperatures ranging from 0-30C. Hourly sessions are free, but must be booked in advance.
The Vault adds another string to Rapha’s hybridised bow. As with its other global flagships, the Spitalfields destination is a major meeting place for cycling fans, and includes a café with multiple screens showing key races and cycle-themed content, plus an exhibition/events space. See also Hybrid Retailing and Hybrid Lifestyle Destinations.
The UK remains a prime destination for Rapha, where its road bikes have seen their strongest growth over the past year (up 4.2% in 2015). One in three Britons are now cyclists – 49% of which are millennials (Mintel, 2015).
For more on innovation in sports retailing, including pre-purchase test spaces, see Seizing the Outdoor Sports Boom, Nike’s VIP Female Gym and Nike Hikes: Urban Culture Adventure. See also Branded Content: Rapha Launches Mondial Mag.