The Devil bikes in Rapha

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

Simon Mottram, the chief executive of the cyclewear brand Rapha, is the cycling world’s equivalent of the fashion police, and a rush hour ride across London last week only reinforced his belief in the need for his upmarket gear. “The amount of people on bikes was amazing because it was a sunny morning but actually nine out of 10 looked absolutely appalling,” he says. “Not only did they look terrible but the stuff they were wearing …” He tails off muttering about sweaty high-vis jackets and the probable chafe caused by baggy shorts

I found the above comment by Simon arrogant. What's great about cycling is it is not a fashion contest and how egalitarian the activity is. All are and should be welcome.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... -lifestyle
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alastairb
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by alastairb

Wouldn't buy it...pretentious and nasty.

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Shrike
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by Shrike

Nothing wrong with what he's saying. He's saying cyclists can be more stylish, and why shouldn't they be. If you're going to buy something, and you have a choice between something nice and something goofy looking, personally, I'd go for the thing that was nice.

It's not about competition, it's a personal choice. There's no fashion police, just people making a personal choice to not buy something goofy looking.

Also if cycling becomes more fashionable, more people may be inclined to take it up. Namely trendy young people who would typically have avoided the activity, and we need those trendy young people to take it up and promote it among themselves.

It's not pretentious either. Rapha is a stylish clothes brand. It doesn't pretend to be otherwise. It's aspirational. It doesn't pretend otherwise. Where is the pretentiousness? People throw that word around and I really don't think they understand it.

As for Rapha being nasty? That's a shitty thing to say. When you've done as much more cycling as Rapha and Simon have, then you get to talk nonsense like that. Actually, no, then you still don't because it wouldn't make any sense.

By the way, the daftest part of that was dropping egalitarianism into it - cycling has always had a low and high end, like basically everything else on the planet. Rapha isn't even the most expensive on the market. Only on the internet.. :lol: He's on weightweenies, a site for people who take cycling kit to the most expensive extremes imaginable, for the saving of a handful of grams. But yah, cycling's so egalitarian umm. Yes, you can always go to Tesco and buy a bike for 100 quid, doesn't mean you can go and buy an F10 for the same price.

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Frankie - B
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by Frankie - B

Moved to chat, where it belongs. please do not post in the Weight weenies top forum. Thanks.
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Rondje
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by Rondje

But people who are commuting aren't racing. So why go for stylish race clothing? He should ride in The Netherlands on rush hour, people ride in normal day/work clothes on normal bikes. Not gonna put on racing clothes or a helmet for a daily commute of a few km lol.

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

what about purely recreational riding (which I believe refers to the vast majority of bicycle riders)? is full lycra kit required not to look "goofy" or "appaling"?

personally I despise the notion you oughta look that way or this way, with accordance to what clothing brands tell you. it's their business to sell their stuff, but not necessarily ours to buy and wear them. for instance I almost never wear any bike kit when I ride with my daughter - except for the SIDIs that is, but that's a different case. I also dont have any running kit, I just use whatever, because I can't justify wearing something 'special' for activities that don't really require it.
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JackRussellRacing
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by JackRussellRacing

I'll take the contrarian point: I have multiple pieces from Rapha and love them for their performance. The bibs fit like a second skin, and on an untold number of century rides, huge 10k climbing days, hot days, and whatever else, they continue to be fantastic. I don't really care what they cost, as long as they perform as advertised : Rapha meets and exceeds my expectations. (I love Assos too, despite some styling issues, it is equally comfortable).

I have a pair of Rapha headphones (Bang and Olfsun I think) that I won from Sufferfest a few years ago. At first, I shrugged them off as a silly indulgence that happily was free to me. Let me tell you... they are absolutely the most fantastic headphones to wear on the rollers I've ever had. Seriously. Incredible sound quality, comfortable fit, washable ears, etc. Who knew? I do believe they are serious about cycling and serious about the quality of their products.

Considering the obscene investment I've made in frames, electric groupsets, power meters, and everything else, I sure as heck am not going to worry about price when it comes to my comfort on the bike.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Rondje wrote:But people who are commuting aren't racing. So why go for stylish race clothing? He should ride in The Netherlands on rush hour, people ride in normal day/work clothes on normal bikes. Not gonna put on racing clothes or a helmet for a daily commute of a few km lol.


Not sure what you're talking about here.

Rapha makes a number of lines of clothes for touring, racing, training, commuting, winter specific, wet weather specific etc. With the City commuting range being functional, but normal looking. Sweaters, trousers and the like.

Are sweaters race-wear to you? :roll:

Besides, since when was the Netherlands a leader in style :lol: And even if you were, who cares, times and styles evolve and people learn how to do things better. Thankfully, or else we'd all be cycling around in tweed. Rapha is fresh, massively exportable as it has proven, and appeals to all sorts of cultures in a modern changing world. About time someone pushed the boat out a bit.

So now for the important bit. Netherlands is known for having a strong cycling culture - have you any brands as successful worldwide as the new typically cycling antagonistic UK startup Rapha? Oh.. but but we have some umm bike frames umm.. :P

liam7020
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by liam7020

Rondje wrote:But people who are commuting aren't racing. So why go for stylish race clothing? He should ride in The Netherlands on rush hour, people ride in normal day/work clothes on normal bikes. Not gonna put on racing clothes or a helmet for a daily commute of a few km lol.


Correct

JackRussellRacing wrote:Not sure what you're talking about here.

Rapha makes a number of lines of clothes for touring, racing, training, commuting, winter specific, wet weather specific etc. With the City commuting range being functional, but normal looking. Sweaters, trousers and the like.

Are sweaters race-wear to you? :roll:

Besides, since when was the Netherlands a leader in style :lol: And even if you were, who cares, times and styles evolve and people learn how to do things better. Thankfully, or else we'd all be cycling around in tweed. Rapha is fresh, massively exportable as it has proven, and appeals to all sorts of cultures in a modern changing world. About time someone pushed the boat out a bit.

So now for the important bit. Netherlands is known for having a strong cycling culture - have you any brands as successful worldwide as the new typically cycling antagonistic UK startup Rapha? Oh.. but but we have some umm bike frames umm.. :P


What a load of contrived nationalistic BS! Why did I even answer this - life's much too short!!
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wojchiech
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by wojchiech

I feel like he’s got the wrong end of the stick. Riding rush hour isn't about looking good, it’s about getting to wherever you need to be sound and safe. Death is not fashionable.

Instead of knocking on all those people in ill-fitting fluorescent windbreakers and trying to grow the company with financial backing from luxury brands and wealthy families, he could reach out to bicycle advocacy groups and develop tasteful yet functional commuting apparel. In my armchair expert opinion there's a lot more people here on Earth that ride bikes out of necessity than those who place importance on premium lifestyle brands. Too bad, as that seems like huge potential for growing customer base.

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liam7020
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by liam7020

True, like better informed Western countries, most of China and large tracts of Africa etc etc. Where the bike's actually a way of life rather than a pretentious fashion statement. When you think about the Rapha boys are really in a tiny minority. Think I'll finish on that heart-warming thought!
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Wookski
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by Wookski

Simon's activities around building a fashion/ lifestyle brand often appear too deliberate, fueling the whole inauthentic/ try-hard argument. Probably stems from his time at Interbrand. That being said I agree 100% with his statement- cyclists often look terrible and commuters are some of the worst offenders. All Waffa does is provide options for those who may want something better. What's wrong with wanting to be better? :wink:

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Leviathan
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by Leviathan

Of course the comments are deliberate. Hes tarting the business up for sale:
http://www.cityam.com/263358/former-tea ... a-appoints
Id take anything coming out of Raphas pr machine with a pinch of salt right now, cyclists aren't the intended market for this kind of dross advertorial, unless they also happen to be fund managers.

spud
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by spud

generally, the more people that ride bikes, the better. Calling them appalling or ridiculous etc is just insulting, and makes Rapha look like the brand for insufferable snobs. The guy could have been a lot more diplomatic, saying something along the lines of "it's wonderful to see so many people out on bikes. I'd like to see them more comfortable and stylish wearing my clothing, but not everybody is ready for that commitment". Instead, he chose to be a prick. Whatever.

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

the whole business model is about snobbery and creating the image of an exclusive club. he just went about it poorly in his latest interview. Rapha is not just about clothing, but about clubs, vacations etc, none of which are cheap. If you are selling the life-style you need to convince the user base why they should pay up. The last thing Rapha wants to do is talk technicals. It's an emotional appeal. Like I said, in marketing its an appeal to snobbery(that's the term)
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