For a number of years now Premiership football fans have had to be careful when purchasing replica kit online.
A number of websites offering superb deals exist and you can snap up the current shirts of Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona et al for as little as £8. (no Weymouth ones surprisingly...)
They are of course fakes, but I dont neccessarily have a problem with the concept per se. Most Premiership clubs are happy to biring out three shirts per season and most fans cannot afford £40 x 3 every year.
To keep up with trends, why not pay a fraction of that price for something with such a limited shelf life? It doesnt matter if it only lasts a year, thats all it is meant too?
I will let you google "replica soccer jersey" for yourself to avoid posting links that could get road.cc into trouble. Most sites are identifiable by only stocking sizes M and XL.
There was a series of articles doing the rounds though exposing a seedier side to this trade. Child labour (although a number of the genuine brands have no room to talk on that subject), money for drug cartels and even funding for terrorism have been alleged as results from fake football shirt trading.
The practice has been compared to buying a fake Gucci handbag or something from a market whilst on holiday abroad... (see picture of stall I saw on honeymoon!)
Well, now it looks as though cycling is being targeted as the next sport in vogue.
A popular internet bidding site has had a number of bits of cycling kit that have looked slightly different to those in shops, so I have been off to do some research.
On one of these sites (and again I will let you google it for yourself) you can get a full Team Sky kit (jersey and bibs) delivered from the far east for a good £10 less than any UK retailer ( Evans, Wiggle, Rutland Cycling) has the jersey alone.
So please be careful people! I know someone who bought some kit for a price that seemed "too good to be true". And it was, the jersey was ill fitting and had a poor zip. It clearly wasn't the real deal.
Having said that, if you are just keen to ride in your favourite teams colours and are not willing to pay full price for the authentic stuff then you might be in luck. You just have to rationalise with the moral paragraph above.
£21 for this seasons HTC/Columbia jersey might be within your budget whereas £55 for the real deal might not.
What does everyone think?