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Why is Rapha so divisive?

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Why is Rapha so divisive?

Old 07-28-20, 07:49 AM
  #201  
noimagination
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Some of us "of a certain age" remember the J. Peterman catalog. Same kind of thing. It it a cycling jersey? Is it a lifestyle choice? Is it a personal statement? Is it a philosophical statement? Some find this amusing, some ignore it completely, some buy into it - an American phenomenon (no longer uniquely American - see "Crazy Rich Asians"), substituting "things" for a personality and an ethical system. Some are able to look past all of that and un-ironically wear their stuff because it works for them.

I remember bikesnob was on an "artisanal" tear a few years ago (remember the artisanal hatchet?). Rahpa's adverts are part of that "artisanal" trend, which seems to mostly(?) have died out.

(Disclaimer: I have zero experience with Rapha's products, I've only seen a couple of their ads long ago, I don't know if they've changed in the past couple of years.)
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Old 07-28-20, 10:52 AM
  #202  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Some of us "of a certain age" remember the J. Peterman catalog. Same kind of thing. It it a cycling jersey? Is it a lifestyle choice? Is it a personal statement? Is it a philosophical statement? Some find this amusing, some ignore it completely, some buy into it - an American phenomenon (no longer uniquely American - see "Crazy Rich Asians"), substituting "things" for a personality and an ethical system. Some are able to look past all of that and un-ironically wear their stuff because it works for them.

I remember bikesnob was on an "artisanal" tear a few years ago (remember the artisanal hatchet?). Rahpa's adverts are part of that "artisanal" trend, which seems to mostly(?) have died out.

(Disclaimer: I have zero experience with Rapha's products, I've only seen a couple of their ads long ago, I don't know if they've changed in the past couple of years.)

What do bikesnobs wear? Now, that is the question.
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Old 07-28-20, 11:58 AM
  #203  
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I have a few of there jerseys and some bib shorts. The shorts don't fit me well so I don't wear them much. I have 2 of their brevet jerseys. I really like them but don't wear them much either. I do wear my core jersey quite often. Fits well and the branding is subtle enough that I don't feel like a moving billboard.

I lost interest in the brand when they started pushing their off-bike lifestyle clothes. I'll pass on any further purchases.
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Old 07-28-20, 03:37 PM
  #204  
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I don't know why Rapha is divisive. Probably because people think it's a hipster brand. Personally, I prefer their somewhat understated style over wearing team kit or other loud designs. As for quality, I bought my first few Rapha pieces this year and have been impressed with the quality so far. I especially like the pro team training jersey and bibs. The prices are in line with other high quality brands -- cheaper than Assos and top of the line Giordana/Castelli. I find the Rapha bibs comparable in quality and feel (so far) to my more expensive Giordanos. Initially I tried their stuff because they have a store right near my house. I've been happy with it so far.
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Old 07-28-20, 03:50 PM
  #205  
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Last summer met a Rapha club ride while sitting at a coffee stop. I was riding the 1950 Bates, which looks like a prop out of their advertorials. The bike got just a lot of attention. Always happy to answer any number of queries about the old bikes. Then someone asked what such a ride costs. The answer was $200. Quickly volunteered that another $600 had been spent to get it in the condition they were looking at. They were stunned and crestfallen. Then I pointed to the wife’s ‘73 Colnago Super and informed them that it had been free. They couldn’t process that and all walked away.
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Old 07-28-20, 04:05 PM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Last summer met a Rapha club ride while sitting at a coffee stop. I was riding the 1950 Bates, which looks like a prop out of their advertorials. The bike got just a lot of attention. Always happy to answer any number of queries about the old bikes. Then someone asked what such a ride costs. The answer was $200. Quickly volunteered that another $600 had been spent to get it in the condition they were looking at. They were stunned and crestfallen. Then I pointed to the wife’s ‘73 Colnago Super and informed them that it had been free. They couldn’t process that and all walked away.
you had to answer minimum 2000$ and 6000$ to be even considered
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Old 07-28-20, 04:37 PM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Last summer met a Rapha club ride while sitting at a coffee stop. I was riding the 1950 Bates, which looks like a prop out of their advertorials. The bike got just a lot of attention. Always happy to answer any number of queries about the old bikes. Then someone asked what such a ride costs. The answer was $200. Quickly volunteered that another $600 had been spent to get it in the condition they were looking at. They were stunned and crestfallen. Then I pointed to the wife’s ‘73 Colnago Super and informed them that it had been free. They couldn’t process that and all walked away.
They probably went off to discuss starting a gofundme page to buy you some new bikes.
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Old 07-29-20, 08:43 AM
  #208  
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So what is an alternative to Rapha if you wanted quality cycling gear, without loud branding/design?
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Old 07-29-20, 08:58 AM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
So what is an alternative to Rapha if you wanted quality cycling gear, without loud branding/design?
I referenced Isadore previously. 7mesh is another one I've heard.
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Old 07-29-20, 02:42 PM
  #210  
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Thanks Sy Reene I googled Isadore after your post. And yeah, 7mesh is good stuff. I have some of their jerseys and bibs..
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Old 07-29-20, 04:08 PM
  #211  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
They probably went off to discuss starting a gofundme page to buy you some new bikes.
One of the Rapha group told me I should ride my old bike down to the ‘clubhouse’ and be sure to bring along my giant canvas and leather saddlebag. Also antique of course, purchased new in 1965. Because they would fill that saddlebag with free stuff. Asked him what hours he would be there. He said it wouldn’t matter, it was policy to do whatever it takes to get guys like me on the team. Thought about that one a while. Never did go. Even for free doubt they have anything I would want. And definitely do not want to be on the team for a business owned by a Walton.
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Old 07-29-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Thanks Sy Reene I googled Isadore after your post. And yeah, 7mesh is good stuff. I have some of their jerseys and bibs..
Random impulse, decided to get an Isadore Woolight2 in this green color. $78 at Wiggle

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Old 07-30-20, 12:11 AM
  #213  
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Does my bib shorts make me look fat? Who cares what brand you're wearing but your skin and sack?
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Old 07-31-20, 01:59 PM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
So what is an alternative to Rapha if you wanted quality cycling gear, without loud branding/design?
Most brands offer solid color jerseys:
ORNOT
The Black Bibs - more “good value” than top end
Black Sheep Cycling
Pedla
Void
Velocio
Attaquer

Not subtle by any stretch, but I like to browse Café du Cycliste. Too expensive for me, but fun.
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Old 08-02-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Have you looked at their website? It's pretty obvious why it's so divisive. They seem to want it that way.

They make quality stuff. Buy it if you like the image they are going for.
they want it that way.
they want to be divisive.
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Old 08-02-20, 10:15 AM
  #216  
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Purchase Rapha kit or purchase spare tubes and a new tyre to keep me riding....um... As the old adage goes: You pays your money, you takes your choice.

I'll wear my club kit for club rides (Bioracer because that's the supplier), I wear pretty much anything for commuting as long as it's comfortable and functional and I've a collecting of colour coordinated non-branded kit for solo / rec rides. All fit for purpose, all the right size and fit, it doesn't make me look like a noob and retains my individuality.

Though in a moment of weekness I did pick up a 2019 Trek-Segafredo team replica kit (clearance sale...even though I swore blind I would never wear pro team kit...ever...) to compliment my Emonda S6 frameset. Oh the shame...
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Old 08-02-20, 11:53 AM
  #217  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Have you looked at their website? It's pretty obvious why it's so divisive. They seem to want it that way.

They make quality stuff. Buy it if you like the image they are going for.

How is that different from any other brand in the world? Even if you’re sewing your own jerseys whatever you wear is going to project an image. Even the conscious effort to not project an image is projecting an image. Anything you put on your body projects an image.

I don’t thing Rapha is trying to be divisive as an end corporate goal, they’re trying to differentiate themselves. It’s divisive only in the same way that Louis Vuitton, Armani, or any other high end clothing brand is divisive.
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Old 08-02-20, 02:22 PM
  #218  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
How is that different from any other brand in the world? Even if you’re sewing your own jerseys whatever you wear is going to project an image. Even the conscious effort to not project an image is projecting an image. Anything you put on your body projects an image.

I don’t thing Rapha is trying to be divisive as an end corporate goal, they’re trying to differentiate themselves. It’s divisive only in the same way that Louis Vuitton, Armani, or any other high end clothing brand is divisive.
Or which bike you ride. Like, you show up at a group ride on a Trek, and someone says "ugh, too much Trek".
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Old 08-02-20, 02:24 PM
  #219  
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I may soften my earlier opinion given the recent Pantani watermelon quote showing up on the bidon.

Oh boy.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:04 PM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I may soften my earlier opinion given the recent Pantani watermelon quote showing up on the bidon.

Oh boy.
https://road.cc/content/news/rapha-c...on-text-276127
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Old 08-02-20, 06:26 PM
  #221  
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What a tool.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:29 PM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
What a tool.
Ya might want to clarify that.
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Old 08-02-20, 06:34 PM
  #223  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Ya might want to clarify that.
I'm talking about the guy making the complaint in the article(Dave Standard).
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Old 08-02-20, 08:41 PM
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Love all my Rapha gear. I don’t get why anyone questions the quality. Core jerseys are top drawer quality for $80. What’s not to like?
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Old 08-02-20, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I'm talking about the guy making the complaint in the article(Dave Standard).
Disagree. I think he makes a valid point. You're entitled to your opinion. He's entitled to his. You can disagree with him without calling him a tool.
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