Words & Photos by: Nelson Queralta Jr
On a recent conversation with a close friend about the ever changing fashion style trends in cycling, we came across the topic of why Rapha doesn’t make club jerseys anymore. If you do a Google search for “club Rapha jersey”, you’ll see a style of jersey that Rapha has decided to move away from. It was a style that mainly paid homage to the past. Club jerseys were always made of Rapha’s merino wool synthetic fabric, fit a little looser and put more emphasis on style rather than performance.
After wondering why and admiring Rapha’s old style of jerseys that are no longer made, we came to one conclusion. Classic style in modern times is something that can’t live forever. You can visit the past and pay your respects but you eventually have to move on to the future. Brands like Rapha need to be in the top of their industry in order to compete and remain on top.
But, we both had to admire that stage in Rapha’s brand, when club fit and classic jerseys were the staple of their brand. That’s something that I wanted to capture with these photos, featuring Michael Cedeño’s beautiful 1992 Fillet Silver Brazed Francesco Moser frame mated to a Shimano 7800 Dura-Ace component group.
The first thing I did was come to the realization that this set of photos should be shot on 35mm film. I cleaned and prepared by Canon EOS 1N, stacked up on some Kodak TX400 film and set up a shoot with Mike, my only request is that he dress classy. He turned up with a set of Rapha Classic bibs and Classic II jersey. Chapeau, Mike.
After having Mike looking sharp, I had to turn my attention to the bike. That brought another concern, I can’t just shoot this bike in Black and White. I have to capture it’s color. So I switched my rolls and loaded some Kodak Ultramax 400 speed color film. Not top of the line, but it’s the best last minute color film I could get.
The Kodak Ultramax film gives those unsaturated but period correct tones. Enough to capture the feeling of this bike in the year it was made. When there was no internet, no fancy digital cameras. In order for anyone to come across a photo of this bike it had to be hung on somebody’s wall or inside their bike album.
The only photo of this bike during it’s time would have been a tangible one. A moment in time that would have required you to stop, stare, study and appreciate it’s beauty. The lines, the colors, the geometry of bikes of this time are timeless, just like those Rapha club jerseys that have come and gone. But continue to stay classy and relevant.
As I continued to shoot this bike I couldn’t help but notice the details, like the pantograming on the Moser quill stem.
The full 7800 Dura-Ace components Mike got for his bike even came with matching brakes.
He decided to switch out the original hoods for a set of brown ones to match the gumwall tires and add a further touch of class.
That also included a Selle Italia period correct Flite saddle. If you rode bike during this era, the Flite saddle was probably your saddle of choice.
The small little details were endless, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.