In reply to Antigua: They occasionally have online price reductions, but only normally when they are selling off seasonal stock (i.e tights at the end of winter) or are updating an item. unfortunately jackets rarely seem to come up in these.
From what I've seen 99% of Rapha kit isn't worth the money - style/marketing over substance. That said I have heard excellent reports of their hardshell jackets. Compared to 'mountain' jackets £220 aint to bad esp if your going to get a lot of use out of it.
You cann't go wrong with well established cycling brands tried and tested over years in crap weather - Assos, BioRacer, Adidas etc.
Remember 'Happiness is the new Misery - suffering was so 2012'
> (In reply to Antigua)
> From what I've seen 99% of Rapha kit isn't worth the money - style/marketing over substance.
Have to disagree. It's expensive, but it's extremely well designed and well made - a bit like Assos, actually. I prefer my Rapha shorts to Assos and their "super lightweight" jerseys are the best thing I've ever worn in hot weather.
In reply to Antigua: They have a "clearance" section on the website - I got a rain jacket off there for about £100 but they only had cream, which is a bugger for getting dirty.
The best thing used to be to join Ilkley CC for a tenner and then get the Rapha 20% discount code. I suspect that had something to do with them going from zero to 1500 members in a year! Code's gone now though unfortunately.
OK thanks all! Have read a number of times people talking about a Rapha sale or I 'only buy it in the sales' Have looked on the website and have now seen the 'Clearance' page. Will be keeping an eye on it.
Looking at prices Rapha don't seem that out of kilter with comparable items from other brands.
In reply to Antigua: They used to run sample sales in London, I think they have had one in Manchester too but the last one was in Berlin I think. Now they have opened the shop in London I don't think they plan to have any further sales there.
That was where the real discounts were, everything was at least 50% off, people came with suitcases to buy stuff to flog on Ebay!
In reply to Antigua: the best you can expect is 15 %. They sometime give a discount if you complet there survey try googling it because I think they recently send out a survey. To be honest the had shel jacket is the only thing that I paid full price for and think is good.
I'll never forget the 2006 Etape. Just at the right time after some massive Rapha marketing.
It was about 38 degrees on the Col d'Izoard and I kept passing lots of Brits with thick Merino wool jerseys hanging down over their arses almost touching the back tyre ;-)
> (In reply to andy)
> Well designed maybe but numerous people have commented to me on the lack of durability over a period of time.
Well i could provide you with numerous people (me included) who've used Rapha clobber over thousands of miles (and washes) and it looks as good as new. Which items have failed? I have jerseys, shorts, socks, caps and jackets, which do c200 miles a week and therefore get washed to death - nothing's worn out yet.
> Plus they sell a lot of nonsense. Maybe I'm old school and not a fashionista.
Perhaps you are. Or perhaps you're simply part of a different school of fashion that likes to slag off Rapha clobber because they have a particular "style" of advertising and you think all their customers are urban ponces in skinny jeans - it's a remarkably large school, and i suspect Rapha quite like the fact they seem to cause debate. I can't see anyone bothering to write a post on an internet forum that dHB bibtights wear out quickly.
> (In reply to andy)
> Well designed maybe but numerous people have commented to me on the lack of durability over a period of time. As I said - certain items ( particularly the bad weather jackets ) get good feedback.
I have to agree with Andy below, there's no contest in durability between my Rapha jerseys and other brands I have purchased. The Rapha ones all still look good after many miles and washed where as most of the others are stretched, worn and misshapen.
Design is a secondary aspect, but I'd rather spend my money on clothes I like the look of rather than looking like a spacemen (Assos) or a walking advert (most other companies).
Rapha is very well marketed - thats why people buy it - just like numerous other consumer products that meld together everything thats in vogue. In that sense good luck to them. It's based on some notion of 50's cycling heritage and elitism.
I'm off to slip into some brogues and listen to the Jam. Single estate organic Espresso anyone?
In reply to Henry Iddon: d'you think it's just possible that it might be well marketed AND good quality, and that people (repeat) buy their stuff because it's good quality?
You (and a lot of other folks) seem to have a bit of a problem with Rapha clobber in particular because their marketing is a bit up itself - but everyone I know who uses their kit talks about the durability, fit and function, not the fact they saw a black and white photo of a bloke with stubble in the rain.
You specifically mentioned Assos in an earlier post - i've got several pairs of Assos shorts - top bits of kit. But more expensive and in my experience no more (or less) durable than Rapha - i bought them on recommendation of people who'd used them - same reason i bought my first Rapha kit. Nowt to do with marketing.
In Ned's latest book Mottram does not come across as being that loveable.
Her seems to hate testers and is singlehandedly claiming Rapha saved the UK cycling scene.
I would suggest what has sustained and saved the UK cycling scene is the like of Big Doug, randoms holding stopwatches in the pissing rain at 7am on the A5 and all those parents who fetched and carried their kids to races and BC/BCF training sessions the country over.
Indeed. And lets here it for ProVision - run by the pocket rocket I think !
Phil Leigh did a huge amount to reignite the UK pro scene as well. Before 'Life Repair' and MG-X Power / Litespeed which became MG-X Power Recycling there were no UK Pro Teams operating at a decent level. Ironically it then ended up as Rapha Condor.
It baffles me when people think the only good quality cycle wear is Rapha. If you want to be 'different' there are numerous other non mainstream brands such as Vulpine and Solo. The irony is that a large number of people on UKC are happy to poke fun at Patagucci and arc'teryx for being expensive yet to criticise Rapha is seen as heresy.
> (In reply to Arms Cliff)
> That's what I meant.
May I suggest you add - 'because people aspire to its brand values / marketing aesthetic ' as well.
Theres nothing wrong with saying you buy a product because you have an affinity with its branding or market positioning. If Rapha looked good and was superb quality but only available from Sports Direct or TK Max would it still be as popular?
In reply to Henry Iddon: i've not noticed anyone suggest that Rapha is the only good quality kit, nor that "poking fun" at it is heresy. I personally think that the 1000 yard stare photos and snippets of cycling esoterica stitched into pockets is daft.
You started by saying it's poor quality. Which it's not. At all.
In reply to Henry Iddon: Vulpine don't do any technical stuff. If I still lived in London and cycled to work I'd probably own a lot of their range, but it doesn't have a place in my cycling wardrobe at the moment.
The solo stuff looks interesting, but is barely cheaper than Rapha which I know fits me and is quality, so why would I potentially waste money? For the record I also own Prendas bits (socks and gloves) which are good quality without massive logos.
You won't find me criticising Patagonia or Arc'teryx as I own bits from both companies, but that's probably just because I was taken in by their branding...
For what it's worth I agree that Rapha do make some ridiculous items (like the grand tour gloves) but I don't really see a problem with this. If people want to buy them, that's great, I'd rather that money went to a company actively researching cycling products and supporting teams rather than to Gucci or Prada!
> (In reply to John Rushby)
> It baffles me when people think the only good quality cycle wear is Rapha. If you want to be 'different' there are numerous other non mainstream brands such as Vulpine and Solo. The irony is that a large number of people on UKC are happy to poke fun at Patagucci and arc'teryx for being expensive yet to criticise Rapha is seen as heresy.
I think you are projecting Henry, or perhaps we could just call it a strawman.
Funny - I just looked in the cupboard to see what my first cycling jersey is, and it's Lusso. I bought it I think in 1994 and for a long time it was my only cycling jersey. Still wear it now. Got it when I was the saturday boy/token-Englishman-to-be-mocked-and-laughed-at in Glasgow's finest climbing emporium - the Glasgow Scout Shop. Assistant manager Jamie and me were following a secret plan to turn it into a bike shop as well - mainly so we could get all our bike bits at trade price too like the climbing gear - and I guess it was Lusso that we started stocking. Got my first pair of bike shorts too from them - they lasted a decade before the lycra started popping venting my bum crack very well but simultaneously probably contravening any number of public decency laws.
I just googled them and Lusso is still around. I wonder if their stuff still lasts as well as that vintage did?
These days my cycling wardrobe is mainly sourced from the Decathlon sale rail, although Wiggle sent me some dhb stuff to review and I thought that was rather swish already. Are €150 shorts really that much better? I hadn't really heard much about Rapha before - is it a very UK thing? On my first visit to the Tour de France a few weeks back, I did see a lot of British gentlemen of a certain age and shape who I must say did look rather amusing in their Team Sky Rapha strips, but if they were having fun and doing some exercise who am I to judge! I just saw a Finnish gentleman of a similar age and build in one piece sleeveless tri suit cruise past my house, and bulges or not - he was out on the road and giving it some welly. Chapeau!
In my experience (which if truth be told is mainly comparing various club bibs with Assos and Rapha) - absolutely.
I have various Ilkley CC shorts that they tried to tell me are "the same pad as Assos" and unless they meant "the same pad Assos put in shorts when they want to wear out someone's bumcrack" then they're's no comparison. They feel ok when they're new, but give it three or four washes and they're bloody useless.
> They feel ok when they're new, but give it three or four washes and they're bloody useless.
Perhaps I don't have a delicate posterior, but I must say I've not had problems with my various decathlon and other cheaper shorts I've bought - including for 100 to 200 km rides or multi day bikepack trips. One pair of decathlon one did drop the stitching on the leg grippers though, and that's really annoying as its hard to fix yourself.
> Surely Scott Thwaites could have got us discount Endura kit!
They've changed kit suppliers twice in the last couple of years - they've now got a posh one and a cheaper one. Skipton use Giordana but I've still not dared do a big ride in anything other than Assos!