Pedal Mafia Vs. Rapha: Comparison Of Cycling Apparel Brands

Cycling apparel has come a long way in recent years. What used to be basic jerseys and bibs has evolved into high-tech, high-performance gear designed to optimize comfort, aerodynamics, and style. Two of the most popular cycling apparel brands today are Pedal Mafia and Rapha.

Both offer stylish, well-made cycling kits, but they differ in their target markets and pricing. Here is an in-depth comparison of Pedal Mafia and Rapha to help you decide which brand is best for your cycling needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturesPedal MafiaRapha
Target CustomerYounger cyclists looking for styleOlder enthusiasts focused on performance
Design AestheticBold, disruptive graphicsUnderstated, classic styling
Construction QualityDurable, high-qualityUnsurpassed craftsmanship
SizingTrue to sizeForm fitting for aerodynamics
Technical FeaturesMoisture-wicking, reflectivityAdvanced ergonomics and ventilation
ProsAttention-grabbing style, lower costTimeless elegance, top materials and quality
ConsLimited high-end performance featuresVery expensive, less flashy designs

Overview Of Pedal Mafia

Pedal Mafia
Pedal Mafia

Founded in 2012 in Melbourne, Australia, Pedal Mafia aims to inspire riders through its bold, disruptive designs. The company sponsors several professional cycling teams to promote its brand. Pedal Mafia’s cycling kits feature provocative names and graphics to help customers stand out. The edgy style attracts younger cyclists and those looking for attention-grabbing gear.

Pedal Mafia manufactures its cycling apparel in an ethical, environmentally-friendly factory in Europe. The technical fabrics come from Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland. Pedal Mafia focuses on high quality rather than low costs. It uses premium materials to create robust, comfortable cycling kits designed to last many miles.

Overview Of Rapha


Rapha started in 2004 in London, England with a goal to create the best-quality cycling apparel and revolutionize the bloated, neon styles that dominated at the time. Rapha’s founders wanted to return to the classic, simple designs of vintage cycling kits from the 1950s-1970s.

All Rapha gear is designed for performance and comfort over long distances. The understated style features muted colors and minimalist graphics. High-end fabrics and construction ensure durability and functionality. Rapha aims to inspire riders to go farther and faster while looking stylish.

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Target Markets

One of the biggest differences between Pedal Mafia and Rapha lies in their target customer demographics.

  • Pedal Mafia

Pedal Mafia appeals primarily to younger cyclists in their 20s-30s looking for eye-catching gear. The bold graphics and provocative slogans help these riders stand out. Pedal Mafia also attracts beginners and recreational cyclists inspired by the company’s grassroots origins and anti-establishment ethos. Most customers are price-conscious and value style over high-end performance.

  • Rapha

Rapha targets older, more serious cyclists focused on quality and understated elegance. The typical Rapha customer has high disposable income and obsesses over details that enhance speed and comfort over long rides. Enthusiasts training for century rides and multi-day tours appreciate Rapha’s durability and minimalist aesthetics. The premium pricing attracts affluent cyclists who view Rapha’s heritage as worth the investment.

Product Comparison

Both companies offer a full range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, outerwear, baselayers, socks, and accessories. Here is how Pedal Mafia and Rapha products stack up in terms of materials, construction quality, and pricing.

  • Materials

Pedal Mafia uses high-end fabrics from renowned Italian mills. Materials include lightweight polyesters, breathable meshes, and compressive lycras. The fabrics wick moisture and allow ventilation on hot climates.

Rapha also sources premium fabrics from Italy and Switzerland. Materials consist of merino wool, technical synthetic fibers, and natural cotton. Rapha chooses each fabric to optimize performance and comfort for the garment design and use.

  • Construction Quality

Every Pedal Mafia kit is ethically manufactured in Europe to exacting standards. The construction quality is on par with far more expensive brands. Seams are durable, flatlock stitching prevents chafing, and hems hold up well over time.

Rapha’s reputation relies on flawless construction and detailing. All apparel is highly technical and assembled to perfection. Rapha tests gear in rigorous environments like the Alps to ensure quality. The superb craftsmanship matches the premium prices.

  • Pricing

Pedal Mafia positions itself as value-focused cycling apparel. Its prices compete with mid-range brands versus high-end companies. Pedal Mafia jerseys cost $60-120, bibs $140-180, jackets $180-220. Limited edition kits priced higher.

Given its luxury branding, Rapha commands premium pricing across its collections. Jerseys run $120-180, bibs $260-300, outerwear $250-500. Rapha also releases exclusive capsules with Italian merino wool selling for $450-550 per kit. The pricing reflects Rapha’s first-class materials and construction.

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Design And Performance Comparison

Cycling kit design directly impacts comfort and performance. Here is how Pedal Mafia and Rapha apparel compare in terms of design aesthetics and functional features.

  • Design Aesthetic

Pedal Mafia aims for bold, disruptive graphics and colors that grab attention. Kits feature provocative names and themes related to counterculture, partying, and irreverence. Pedal Mafia eschews mainstream cycling traditions for fresh streetwear style.

Rapha favors traditional, understated cycling kit design calling back to the sport’s early days. All gear features restrained colors and minimalist logos. Items are elegant, stylish, and timeless versus flashy. Rapha creates collections inspired by famous races like the Tour de France.

  • Technical Features

Pedal Mafia incorporates high-tech fabrics and functional features optimized for performance. Jerseys have moisture-wickingmesh panels, reflective logos for visibility, and silicone gripper hems. Bib shorts offer complex pad designs, power mesh, and compression leg bands.

Rapha pioneered many innovations that enhance comfort over long distances. Jerseys feature 13 panels shaped for aerodynamics, as well as mesh ventilation zones. Bib straps are wide and soft for extra support. Chamois foam is sculpted for all-day riding comfort. Rapha tests gear in real-world conditions.

  • Sizing

Pedal Mafia apparel runs true to size based on standard European sizing. The size chart provides detailed measurements for each item. Pedal Mafia designs its kits to balance aero, loose-fit, and compression fit as needed.

Rapha dials in fits through extensive wear testing. The size guides provide precise garment measurements and matching body measurements. Rapha cuts gear for leaning-forward road cycling positions. Items are snug to enhance aerodynamics without restricting mobility.

Also watch this video about Pedal Mafia!

Pros and Cons of Pedal Mafia And Rapha

Here is a high-level summary of the key benefits and drawbacks of Pedal Mafia and Rapha cycling apparel:

Pedal Mafia


  • Bold, eye-catching designs stand out
  • High quality and performance at lower prices
  • Appeals to younger cyclists and newcomers


  • Graphics and style not for everyone
  • Less heritage than old-school brands
  • Limited high-end technical features



  • Timeless, elegant styles preferred by purists
  • Unsurpassed quality and craftsmanship
  • Serious performance features for road racing


  • Very expensive, premium pricing
  • Understated designs lack flair
  • Mostly attracts older, affluent riders

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Maap or Rapha better?

This depends on your priorities. Maap focuses more on bold graphics and affordable prices. Rapha prioritizes premium materials, construction quality, and understated heritage styling. Serious road cyclists often prefer Rapha for performance, while the fashion-conscious may like Maap’s looks.

Where is Pedal Mafia made?

Pedal Mafia manufactures its cycling apparel in an ethical, eco-friendly factory located in Europe. The exact location is proprietary as Pedal Mafia keeps its supply chain details private.

Is Rapha better than Castelli?

It’s hard to claim one is better overall. Rapha and Castelli both make excellent performance cycling gear. Rapha has more fashion heritage appeal. Castelli focuses more on high-tech fabrics and pro team sponsorships. For racing, Castelli may have an edge, but Rapha excels in all-around road cycling apparel.

Is Pedal Mafia true to size?

Yes, Pedal Mafia cycling kits generally fit true to size. The sizing is based on standard European measurements for each type of garment. It’s best to reference the detailed size charts for your specific body measurements.


In the end, choosing between Pedal Mafia and Rapha comes down to your budget and style preferences. Pedal Mafia offers bold, stylish designs at more affordable pricing. Rapha provides second-to-none quality and technical features for high-performance cycling.

While the brands differ in their aesthetics and pricing, both Pedal Mafia and Rapha produce excellent cycling kits. Assess your needs and riding style, and you can confidently choose the cycling apparel that best fits your goals.

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