What the heck happened to Rapha?
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  1. #1
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    What the heck happened to Rapha?

    I know Rapha has more than its share of haters, but some of us really liked their simple, classic designs, race fit, and materials. Or used to like anyway. Looking at their site now I have to ask myself, what the heck happened? Was it the Walmart acquisition? They used to have a nice selection of jerseys in several attractive, solid colors or simple patterns and multiple jersey weights in their "pro team" collection. Now the only thing in "pro team" is their EF and Canyon SRAM jerseys which are ugly AF. "Classic" and "Brevet" all are wool or wool blend (which few folks I know like) and their "Core" line fits like a potato sack and IME and IMO are of lesser quality materials and construction. Really sad to see the brand fall so far.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    I know Rapha has more than its share of haters, but some of us really liked their simple, classic designs, race fit, and materials. Or used to like anyway. Looking at their site now I have to ask myself, what the heck happened? Was it the Walmart acquisition? They used to have a nice selection of jerseys in several attractive, solid colors or simple patterns and multiple jersey weights in their "pro team" collection. Now the only thing in "pro team" is their EF and Canyon SRAM jerseys which are ugly AF. "Classic" and "Brevet" all are wool or wool blend (which few folks I know like) and their "Core" line fits like a potato sack and IME and IMO are of lesser quality materials and construction. Really sad to see the brand fall so far.
    Rapha promoted rides a while back in a series of impressionistic, largely fact free videos, touting them as quasi-religious woke to fitness and the spiritual rewards of riding a bike and looking cool. Their designs have high fashion pretensions. I have a pair of their winter bib tights with a thin fleece inner layer and a zippered i-phone pocket. They're like Assos minus the technical refinements, more like Pearl Izumi quality.

    Always thought their jerseys were plain Jane for riders who didn't want to advertise a team, name brand, or beer. I'm also itchy in wool, so have to pass up those styles that hark back before polypropylene, lycra, and click shifting.

    My money goes for shoes first, then shorts and tights, the moving parts that wear out. Jerseys, gloves and helmet are after thoughts. A couple of 3 pocket lycra blend jerseys for longer rides, and when commuting short distances, cotton t shirts and backpack do the trick. For some reason, I always crashed ripping up my best jerseys. So I don't spend much on jerseys. Primal is as good as it gets for me. They look "sporty" rather than "dressy," like the Rapha's I've seen.

    Heck, get what makes you look good! Different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Pack Fodder.
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    I have a bunch of their wool base layers, cycling caps, socks, and a soft shell jacket. All of them are pretty much in steady rotation during the season. The bibs I got from them unraveled after a couple years of light use, and were never replaced since I mostly wear team kit. The vast majority of the stuff I got was on sale.

    For the most part, I liked their style. However, I found their construction didn't always match the aesthetics, and at that price point I don't play around just for looks. Other manufacturers gave me a better bang for the buck, and a lot of them have adopted similar styling cues.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Rapha promoted rides a while back in a series of impressionistic, largely fact free videos, touting them as quasi-religious woke to fitness and the spiritual rewards of riding a bike and looking cool. Their designs have high fashion pretensions. I have a pair of their winter bib tights with a thin fleece inner layer and a zippered i-phone pocket. They're like Assos minus the technical refinements, more like Pearl Izumi quality.

    Always thought their jerseys were plain Jane for riders who didn't want to advertise a team, name brand, or beer. I'm also itchy in wool, so have to pass up those styles that hark back before polypropylene, lycra, and click shifting.

    My money goes for shoes first, then shorts and tights, the moving parts that wear out. Jerseys, gloves and helmet are after thoughts. A couple of 3 pocket lycra blend jerseys for longer rides, and when commuting short distances, cotton t shirts and backpack do the trick. For some reason, I always crashed ripping up my best jerseys. So I don't spend much on jerseys. Primal is as good as it gets for me. They look "sporty" rather than "dressy," like the Rapha's I've seen.

    Heck, get what makes you look good! Different strokes for different folks.
    Oh yeah, I'm not telling anyone what to wear, just lamenting the decline of a brand that I used to like. No question, they definitely had a fashionista vibe, but I did like their classic style and generally found their quality to be good. Their stuff is spendy, but in line with other brands like Assos (which I also like).

    But I agree, wear what you like.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  5. #5
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    there are a bunch of other pro team jerseys in their collection and there's a new EF pro tour training jersey that's fairly neutral in color. Personally, I've switched to Le Col as I find their quality better and with the Strava codes you can usually find good prices.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    there are a bunch of other pro team jerseys in their collection and there's a new EF pro tour training jersey that's fairly neutral in color. Personally, I've switched to Le Col as I find their quality better and with the Strava codes you can usually find good prices.
    Not currently there's not a good selection in the pro team collection. Maybe once Spring rolls around. Overall I see nothing by negatives from the Walmart acquisition. Just learned that they folded Rapha Travel as well which is a bummer those looked like some cool trips.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  7. #7
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    If they were truly bought by WalMart, then that is your answer. sounds like the 'life-arc' of a thousand corporations before:
    Corporation makes a name for themselves, improves their image, gains more market percentage, gets bought by large corporation, new owners milk it for all they can until the brand is nothing more than a hollow shell of it's former self, then brand is discontinued.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  8. #8
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    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

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