I think the supreme authenticity Rapha's marketing aims for winds some people up who see a relatively new brand laying the marketing on with trowel as anything but authentic.
They dont go to China for the cost savings (as virtually every other manufacturer that's being honest with themselves and their customers), They go to China for better quality than can be found elsewhere... It's the new Italy.
"KTC, manufacturers of several key Rapha products, see the Made in China label standing as a mark of quality in performance wear, just as Made in Italy might indicate quality in the fashion world."
Rapha make a good product.
But the compliments earned are a lot more about how they fabricated an image through photography and exeptionally high prices than they are about China as the pinnacle of quality manufacturing.
What they've created is the perfect three headed profit monster -cheaper labor and materials, Very High prices, a substantial focus on selling customers direct.
I'm all for new companies making better products and growing the sport and advancing tech. I'm also a big fan of companies that have a strong history and earned a long standing reputation the hard way by surviving from the old school to the new.
What I really dont like is Rapha putting an old school, hard scrabble, well earned euro-premium facade and price tag on an upper mid level Chinese knock off of genuine old school, Hard scrabble, well earned Euro Premium Rapha...
Love them hate them or indifferent , they are a clothing company , I understand that there are passionate people as this is a very passionate sport .... but at the end of the day ... it is only clothing guys
Vote with your wallet is always the best policy
That's damn well put.
My vote goes to companies making flat out better products than Rapha. Gore Bikewear, Assos, Giordana, Mavic (yes Mavic...), a host of products from TexMarket heck, even Bellwether have products I prefer to Rapha and it's sure as hell not because I wont pay a premium for high quality...