Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Why is Rapha so divisive?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Why is Rapha so divisive?

Old 07-22-20, 08:28 AM
  #1  
NoWhammies
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
NoWhammies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,401

Bikes: Argon 18 Gallium, BH G7, Rocky Mountain Instinct C70

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 605 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 129 Posts
Why is Rapha so divisive?

After a ride last night I was at a craft brewery with some riding colleagues. I casually mentioned I was looking for a new cycling kit and asked if anyone had experience with Rapha. Wow. What a grenade that turned out to be.

Comments went from "Meh, their gear is more style based than function" to "great kit, super comfortable" to "super expensive, there's cheaper and better stuff out there" to "only hipsters and wanna-bees ride their gear". I did a quick google around the interwebs afterward and it seems as though the comments from last night are echoed around the web.

Why the dislike for Rapha? Isn't their gear good quality? And should I let these comments/thought influence my decision on purchasing Rapha?
NoWhammies is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 08:37 AM
  #2  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,431
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4377 Post(s)
Liked 1,437 Times in 798 Posts
Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post

Why the dislike for Rapha? Isn't their gear good quality? And should I let these comments/thought influence my decision on purchasing Rapha?
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.
noodle soup is online now  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 07-22-20, 08:52 AM
  #3  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,053
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1548 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 312 Posts
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.
This. It's up to you to decide if it's the gear for you.
seypat is online now  
Old 07-22-20, 09:17 AM
  #4  
billridesbikes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 220
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 134 Times in 78 Posts
I bought my Rapha jersey at the London Soho store when I was visiting England a couple years ago because the price in pounds seems lower than dollars... ahaha

I never knew how good jerseys and under layers could be until I tried Rapha. My jersey is a ‘classic’ one and is very comfortable and very functional.

People who disparage brands generally say things like: “it’s stuff no one needs”, “it’s overpriced”, and “soulless” but if you dig deeper they have no experience with the product from the brand or even been to the brand’s stores. My guess is they say these things because their friends say it and they think it’s what they’re supposed to say, but have little actual knowledge to back it up.

Some people are just looking for any reason to be angry. I know an Aldi hater who refuses to shop there because she has to bring her own bags.
billridesbikes is offline  
Likes For billridesbikes:
Old 07-22-20, 09:25 AM
  #5  
prj71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,918
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1074 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 62 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post

Comments went from "Meh, their gear is more style based than function" to "great kit, super comfortable" to "super expensive, there's cheaper and better stuff out there" to "only hipsters and wanna-bees ride their gear". I did a quick google around the interwebs afterward and it seems as though the comments from last night are echoed around the web.
Your buddies were right. It is overpriced.

And why do we have to say "cycling kit". Hate that. How about just saying jersey and shorts?

Do you get up in the morning and get dressed for work and say that you are putting on your work kit?
prj71 is offline  
Likes For prj71:
Old 07-22-20, 09:29 AM
  #6  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 6,245

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4241 Post(s)
Liked 1,550 Times in 857 Posts
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
And why do we have to say "cycling kit". Hate that. How about just saying jersey and shorts?
God, I hate that too. I like "cycling costume."

Cheers, mate.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 09:31 AM
  #7  
InvertedMP 
Senior Member
 
InvertedMP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 224

Bikes: Cervelo R3, Specalized Allez Elite, 2019 Scott Metrix 10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 110 Post(s)
Liked 190 Times in 77 Posts
I absolutely love my Rapha gear. I have several jerseys and shorts, and it is really all I wear. The stuff is quality and I honestly don't understand the divisive nature people take with Rapha. Is Rapha any different than Assos? You know from a mile away If somebody is wearing Assos or Rapha, but at least their designs are original. To me, it beats seeing people dressing as giant green highlighters, and it beats seeing USPS team jerseys (which I still see daily).
__________________
www.mp-aviation.com
InvertedMP is offline  
Likes For InvertedMP:
Old 07-22-20, 09:35 AM
  #8  
phrantic09
Road Newb
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 734

Bikes: Felt Z4, Felt F75, Cervelo R3

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 508 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 147 Posts
Their Core line is anything but overpriced. I find the jerseys to be high quality and like the solid color with a white stripe on the arm band. I’m not exactly how something so simple can be divisive. It’s probably more a case of who it is marketed to rather than the look/construction of the clothing.
phrantic09 is offline  
Likes For phrantic09:
Old 07-22-20, 09:36 AM
  #9  
ooga-booga
lead on, macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: san diego (uni/normal heights), california
Posts: 5,334

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 729 Post(s)
Liked 583 Times in 322 Posts
popcorn with butter for this thread
ooga-booga is offline  
Likes For ooga-booga:
Old 07-22-20, 09:39 AM
  #10  
Bah Humbug
runner
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 16,389

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6026 Post(s)
Liked 1,657 Times in 885 Posts
I can’t imagine being so insecure as to worry whether my kit brand offends another cyclist. It’d be like worrying if someone cared I was on a Cervélo instead of a Trek.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 09:40 AM
  #11  
InvertedMP 
Senior Member
 
InvertedMP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 224

Bikes: Cervelo R3, Specalized Allez Elite, 2019 Scott Metrix 10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 110 Post(s)
Liked 190 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Their Core line is anything but overpriced. I find the jerseys to be high quality and like the solid color with a white stripe on the arm band. I’m not exactly how something so simple can be divisive. It’s probably more a case of who it is marketed to rather than the look/construction of the clothing.

Yea I really don't get what is so divisive about the jerseys. They are simple and IMHO, subtle. Maybe because it isn't a team kit and people that love team kits think the jerseys look weird? I really don't get it.
__________________
www.mp-aviation.com
InvertedMP is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 09:41 AM
  #12  
velopig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 274
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 86 Posts
Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
popcorn with butter for this thread
Grab an XL Coke with that order because I advocate for riding in a full US Postal Kit complete with gloves and socks.
velopig is offline  
Likes For velopig:
Old 07-22-20, 09:48 AM
  #13  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 800

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 264 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 73 Posts
It's divisive just like any other divisive product or brand... Canon vs Nikon, full frame vs Micro Four Thirds, Leica vs everyone else, Mac vs PC, Android vs iOS, etc.

Who cares what others think, as long as the product you use fits your needs well.
atwl77 is offline  
Likes For atwl77:
Old 07-22-20, 09:50 AM
  #14  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,431
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4377 Post(s)
Liked 1,437 Times in 798 Posts
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
It’d be like worrying if someone cared I was on a Cervélo instead of a Trek.
Are you a dentist?
noodle soup is online now  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 07-22-20, 09:51 AM
  #15  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 3,681

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2136 Post(s)
Liked 778 Times in 392 Posts
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post

And why do we have to say "cycling kit". Hate that. How about just saying jersey and shorts?
Because we're not playing basketball or soccer?
rubiksoval is offline  
Likes For rubiksoval:
Old 07-22-20, 09:53 AM
  #16  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,973
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
Liked 1,103 Times in 531 Posts
Look at their website: Rapha's marketing is a bit over-the-top, with lots of flowery verbiage about "the glory of suffering" and all that. And it is relatively expensive at full price. All of this encourages the haters.

However, I've bought all of my Rapha gear in their "Archive Sale" section (or with other promotions) -- and at those prices, it has all been very good value: truly excellent gear at very competitive prices.

As a bonus, their customer service is excellent. During the pandemic, I had an issue with a pair of Specialized bibs, and getting it resolved was very challenging - they have practically quit doing CS. And their resolution was only so-so. I also accidentally snagged a Rapha jersey on something in my garage and put a little tear in it, and so subsequently sent in a few photos with their online repair request form. They wrote back very quickly that they could not repair the jersey, but gave me a $95 credit (half the cost of a new identical jersey). Here's the kicker: I had bought the jersey on sale for only $95...And the local seamstress fixed the jersey for $8. So, I still have $95 to spend at Rapha.
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 07-22-20, 09:55 AM
  #17  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 3,681

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2136 Post(s)
Liked 778 Times in 392 Posts
Rapha's speedsuit: $285. Castelli's speedsuit: $400.

Bargain!
rubiksoval is offline  
Likes For rubiksoval:
Old 07-22-20, 09:58 AM
  #18  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,053
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1548 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 312 Posts
I would guess it's some combination of marketing, image and price. It reminds me of the great MEILENSTEIN LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELS debate. If you have the coin, what's the problem? It's your money, do with it what you wish. Same conundrum that is in this clip. Warning, there is some strong language there.

seypat is online now  
Old 07-22-20, 10:00 AM
  #19  
Bah Humbug
runner
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 16,389

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6026 Post(s)
Liked 1,657 Times in 885 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Are you a dentist?
No, and I don’t worry about that, either.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 10:01 AM
  #20  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,949

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Liked 614 Times in 410 Posts
So, what image are they going for exactly? Please provide some screenshots of adverts or product descriptions in which you feel slighted by the wrong image.

To be fair, instead of assuming, I went to the website. I clicked through some products. I read the descriptions and took note of the prices. I watched a few adverts and looked at their pictures.

I saw nothing that would lead me to believe they're trying to intentionally create a culture to exclude people.

Their prices for their basic bib shorts were actually in-line with the entry level Castelli and other good quality bib shorts or jerseys. Just because a person's budget is below that, doesn't mean anything. It is what it is.

I chalk this one up to "hate on the guy driving a Porsche, he must be a horrible person".
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 07-22-20, 10:08 AM
  #21  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,053
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1548 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 312 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
So, what image are they going for exactly? Please provide some screenshots of adverts or product descriptions in which you feel slighted by the wrong image.

To be fair, instead of assuming, I went to the website. I clicked through some products. I read the descriptions and took note of the prices. I watched a few adverts and looked at their pictures.

I saw nothing that would lead me to believe they're trying to intentionally create a culture to exclude people.

Their prices for their basic bib shorts were actually in-line with the entry level Castelli and other good quality bib shorts or jerseys. Just because a person's budget is below that, doesn't mean anything. It is what it is.

I chalk this one up to "hate on the guy driving a Porsche, he must be a horrible person".
seypat is online now  
Likes For seypat:
Old 07-22-20, 10:14 AM
  #22  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,471
Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11712 Post(s)
Liked 3,543 Times in 1,889 Posts
Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post

I saw nothing that would lead me to believe they're trying to intentionally create a culture to exclude people.
Yeah. As far as I know, anyone can visit a Rapha “Club House.”

And I love my Rapha wool base layer.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 10:23 AM
  #23  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,949

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Liked 614 Times in 410 Posts
Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Ok, explain how you don't want to be a part of that group of individuals or find that offensive.

If we go for race or another protected (or even non protected 'class'), be prepared to demonize the rest of the cycling industry.

Be the director, the camera is rolling...........make me an advertisement for quality cycling clothing. Go....
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 07-22-20, 10:28 AM
  #24  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,973
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1079 Post(s)
Liked 1,103 Times in 531 Posts
I'll bet that most of the Rapha haters have never even tried the stuff - but, based solely on the marketing, they hate it. The Rapha fans, on the other hand, have actually worn the stuff before making decisions.

So, who is more susceptible to marketing?
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 07-22-20, 10:31 AM
  #25  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 10,742

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4242 Post(s)
Liked 1,265 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by seypat View Post
What is divisive about that marketing though? A group of guys take a couple days and eat greasy food while burning thousands of calories in search of incredible views. That doesnt seem divisive/elitist.

Ive seen that video before and always chuckle at how seemingly random the helmet wearing is(since they climb both ways), like the bottle spin cuz its cool, and am amazed they only show about 8 seconds of descent compared to a few minutes of climbing and flat riding in a 4 minute advert showing mountain riding.

I dont own Rapha stuff, no interest in paying for it, but if I found what I do wear to be lacking then yeah sure I would consider Rapha because much of it is simple. It is the anti-Primal, really.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.