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Company founder Nick Hussey talks about all the things that go into a quality cycling garment, and the value they add

Nick Hussey is the founder of Vulpine cycling apparel, who launched in March 2012. They are about to launch their women’s range and support Matrix Fitness Racing Academy as well as creating free cycling events, the Vulpine Cycling Fetes, which raise money for cycling charities. Their stuff is quite pricey. www.vulpine.cc

I run a cycling apparel company. Our gear is on the higher price side. I’ll say expensive if it helps. I’m going to try to demonstrate that we provide huge value, not just to you the cyclist, but to cycling itself, which all comes back to help us all.

I’ve spent years researching manufacturing, and putting that research into practice. I got to create a company from scratch. I like quality. And quality costs. According to the little panel of sliding scales that are your personal wants, needs, finances, aims and funny little peccadilloes, we all make a decision to tip the scales in one direction or another towards a cheap or pricey purchase. Here are some of the things we consider at Vulpine. Every day.

1. Fit & comfort
Fitting takes time. Bad fit makes you look, and feel, pants. Fit is tied directly to quality and consistency of construction and use of materials. Scrimp on these and you lose. Comfort is a blend of many things. The fit, whether you sweat to much, are hot, cold or clammy, the zip chafes, the labels itch... there's a lot to consider

2. Fabric
Fabric makes a garment. Its what we as a company spend most of our money on (apart from taxes). Great fabrics cost £12 a yard and more. Epic Cotton, which I decided we’d use extensively after testing many fabrics, takes months simply to produce, before it even reaches our factory. It is made from cotton woven from fibres that are individually extruded through silicon at a microscopic level. So it looks and feels like Cotton, but is waterproof. And breathable. It is tested many times before being released to us. And all that perfection costs.

Lots of talk about merino wool on forums and in reviews. Its awesome stuff. I had the opportunity to build clothing from the ground up, with whatever I wanted. And I chose merino where possible for skin-contact tops. We use the best. The thinnest finest possible fibres, woven to a very high quality, that won’t bobble, or smell, or stretch, or shrink. Cheap merino isn’t the same as expensive merino.

Great fabrics hang well. And get you admiring winks. Even half way up Alpe d’huez. Maybe.

3. Performance
Performance is many things: Resistance to odour, breathability, aerodynamics, even looks. But lets say its the racey stuff. Cheap gear loses you time, and stops you winning. And gives you bottom boils. Laurent Fignon lost the Tour that way. So cheap gear loses you the biggest race in cycling. Fact. Sort of.

4. Innovation
Nothing moves forward if you’re making cheap gear. And if there is anything new put in, it has to go through proper research and development, and that's really costly. If you want us to do the testing – not you – it costs us many samples and prototypes, experiments, buying lengths of techy fabrics, trying new methods, riding lots, going to meetings with boffins and wind tunnels (we don’t use wind tunnels).

Nobody makes cheap gear and develops a spanking new fabric. They buy stock fabric and add a cool tech name to it. Then it sounds like it’s had loads of white-coated boffins slaving for years in a vault over a turbo trainer. Actually, its just nice bloke in a t-shirt and jeans hunched over a PC with an underused English Lit degree. Xenoz Odour Control System. RSX Tiltmatrix Aeroporous Shield. Boron Flight Control with Plastination Mark IV HydroControl.

5. Care
Washing can wreck a garment. Glues can dissolve, bobbles appear, stitching comes loose, treatments wash off, etc. Great fabrics benefit from washing and will last the course of their life without re-treatment.

Cheap fabrics are a nightmare to iron and remove creases from. And can even degrade. Ironing is a hateful task. Make it easier.

Cheap things fall apart. We all know that. Buy one jacket for £50 and it lasts 6 months. Another for £200 that lasts 5 years. That makes the pricey jacket better value in my book.

6. Trim
Fabric is key, but what about the zips, labels, buttons, fasteners, linings, thread? Zips should last years, not weeks. Buttons shouldn’t pop off. Labels should be soft and malleable. If the bottom line is very tight, trims get churned out as cheap as physically possible. Those extra little bits make you smile and go mmmmmm. Like V-stitched buttons or magnet closures (blatant plug).

7. Badness
Making things really really cheaply will always mean something (world) or somebody (workers) has to suffer. Cheap synthetic materials create waste. And emerging third World economies may not govern all their factory standards, age limits and wages very well. Or at all. Like I say, somebody has to suffer somewhere.

Which leads to a common misconception. The Far East is not universally cheap. Its certainly not why I make Vulpine clothing there. Vulpine is only made in the factories that give me the high quality, low return rates and solid assurances that I (and indeed our customers) need.  For better or worse, the best facilities most manufacturers find are in China and the Far East. These countries are not backwaters. Hugely impressive technology is in use in these factories. And wages are far better, because great factories need to attract great staff.

8. Customer service
Companies have to employ enough good people who really care to make sure you’re treated well. And nobody cares that much on minimum wage. If a manufacturer is working on very tight margins, service is out the window. And what value do you and I place on getting a polite, helpful reply that gets you where you want to be? What if you need to send your garment back? What if there's a problem? You’re not going to get an easy ride with poor customer service and low prices.

9. Love
Great garments are made with love. We really love cycling and what we do here at Vulpine. You’re buying something that huge passion was poured into. You might care. You might not. We think it shows.

10. Style
A continuation of blend of so many of the above. Style does not come cheaply. It doesn’t have to be stupidly expensive either. We’re not going to be making £3000 handbags. But we do really think about every detail and we have experience to share.

11. Brand
What? Why pay for a brand? Because brands take huge care to create. They represent values. The brand you wear makes a statement about you. Cheap or expensive, it's your choice. Brands don’t just appear one day, they are nurtured. Suits you sir. Or madam.

12. We're small, and British
Cheap garments are made in mind-bogglingly huge numbers to get economies of scale. Being different means lower runs, greater care and higher prices. Especially for new businesses. We get the thin end of the wedge, as we have little power to wield and have no economies of scale. We haven’t passed on those difficulties to our pricing, because it’ll put you off. So we take the hit.

Often, not always, there is a small premium to pay for buying from a fledgling British company. Its not easy to create things here.

13. Women’s ranges
A counter-intuitive one this. It is very expensive to create each new line, so it’d be easier for a large company with major resources. But large companies are driven by results. Their attitude is often that women’s clothing is a dangerous experiment. People in corporate hierarchies hate risk. Small entrepreneurial companies are more exposed to failure by taking risks, but will take them anyway because we often care more about cycling as a whole, rather than just the quarterly results.

14. Supporting cycling
Companies that have some room to breathe can give something back. Sponsorship, charity, mentoring and other nice things.

15. Nice coffee
Nice people need fuel. Sorry. Bit selfish that one. Mmm, coffee.

We also have to pay wages, rent, National Insurance, Import Duty, Corporation Tax, shipping, storage, rent, utilities, computers & tech, website coding, server, etc etc...It doesn’t FEEL like we’re poor value for money!

Hopefully I’ve given an interesting and fair window into our, and many other great manufacturers’ products and thinking.

So now, please, pretty please, can road.cc stop marking us down on value?

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

57 comments

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nug8321 [22 posts] 3 years ago
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Excellent, excellent, excellent!
Finally... someone getting it and being ballsy enough to SHOW that they get it and trying to help people really see what value is.

These sentiments can easily be applied to more than just clothing in the cycling industry... It's about time people started to understand!

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cowspassage [43 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Nick,

Nice article (as always). I think most people would acknowledge most of your points. I think perhaps that the "brand" issue is the one that's most likely to cause people some angst.

It's a bit like saying, a jacket is worth £250 because it's been produced by a £250-jacket-company. That company have invested their R&D in creating a lifestyle vision and that justifies the price. The wearer exudes "£250 worthness" just by wearing the jacket.

While we're talking about Rapha (we were, weren't we), their Classic Softshell on original release was £140. I bought one. It's now sold at £240. Now, there's no doubt it's a good jacket - mine is still going - and those guys have done huge work building their brand. But £140 -> £240. Undermines the other fine points that you've made.

Jim.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks Jim. In Rapha's defence, that was 9 years ago, fabric and production costs have increased a great deal and they may have taken a hit to get a foothold. But I'm not privy to their reasoning and merely guessing.
Out of interest nug8321, why are you so happy?!
Keep the thoughts coming, happy to reply when free!

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babybat [27 posts] 3 years ago
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Value can be hard to articulate, but I think you've done a good job here. I'd love to be able to only have top-quality cycling gear, but unfortunately my budget doesn't always stretch that far. So my choices are generally either go without, buy the cheaper product, save up for the good quality one, or hope it goes on sale. So far I've been lucky and got some really nice kit from great British companies like Howies and Vulpine in the sales. I'd rather wait a bit longer and buy something that's made to last by a company that shares my values and pays their taxes! But in the meantime there are still going to be the odd bits of Decathlon and Lidl kit in there while I save up. Live and let live - I wouldn't be rude about someone's pricey Rapha if they won't be rude about my Lidl stuff!

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nug8321 [22 posts] 3 years ago
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Just a sunny disposition...

I work in the cycling industry and I spend so many hours trying to drill in to people that 'expensive' and 'value' can, and so often do in the world of cycling, go hand-in-hand.

https://twitter.com/NiallRussell

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 3 years ago
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Great article.

In a similar way, Islabikes are 'Expensive'. Certainly for a child's bike, when you can get one for £99 from Halfords why spend nearly four times that on something that they grow out of so quickly?

Because, as our family is living proof of, the resale value is very high - so the actual cost of ownership for an Islabike is about £30 a year. As opposed to buying a £99 Halfords soft steel sea-anchor every 2 years that is only good for scrap shortly afterward, that your kid finds hard to pedal and needs endless tinkering if ridden hard.

Exactly the same with clothes, except resale value is normally not an issue but longevity and happiness is. I purchased a £150 Ground Effect Storm Trooper jacket over a decade ago. I'll be wearing it tomorrow for 6+hrs of running, kayaking and MTB. It will perform flawlessly.

As I'm sure a Vulpine one would.

Mike

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finbar [127 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Cheap synthetic materials create waste.

Tell us about the energy expenditure and chemicals involved in cleaning, washing and scouring merino wool compared to making synthetics please.

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dafyddp [362 posts] 3 years ago
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I think that the challenge for brands is maintaining the balance of values - many customers are often happy to pay a bit more when they wear or use an innovative product; experience first class customer care; or empathise with a company's ethical values. The challenge is to maintain those values as the company grows and develops.

There was a time when The North Face was a relatively small outdoor company specialising in first class, innovative products and clothing. As they have grown to become the huge global entity, innovation, customer care and quality have deteriorated, and they have needed to switch investment into huge brand marketing campaign so they can continue to charge a premium. Great for investors, not so great for customers.

Interestingly, Apple have developed into one of the world's highest valued companies by consistently innovating and providing a level of customer care (in-store at least) that consistently exceeds expectations. Whether they can keep this up of course, will be interesting to see.

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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That didn't take long Nick! Good article that, although I would have been happy to see a bit more detail about your processes. I worked in a software startup and we burnt many hours 'failing'; trying stuff out that didn't work, so never saw the light of day. The CEO simply told us to 'fail faster', so we weren't afraid of taking risks with RnD.

@cowspassage (what an unusual userid!) I see what you're getting at re the Rapha jacket, but we just don't know what the reasons were. Increased manufacturing costs, pressure from beancounters, or a simple 'that's what the target market will pay'-type stance. Could be anything. Maybe they ran an awful lot of loss leaders when they were first starting out.

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cowspassage [43 posts] 3 years ago
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I can well imagine that Rapha did 'loss lead' at the start, or at very least had still to undergo the exercise of finding out how much they could charge and who they were selling to.

They had a 'tested by messengers' type strapline when they started. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that bike messenging raise the types of money to buy £140 jackets.

But the brand pitch certainly wasn't aimed at the well heeled city type, like some of their stuff today.

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 3 years ago
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dafyddp wrote:

Interestingly, Apple have developed into one of the world's highest valued companies by consistently innovating and providing a level of customer care (in-store at least) that consistently exceeds expectations. Whether they can keep this up of course, will be interesting to see.

Interestingly one of the issues with Apple is that they so rapidly antiquate their products. My girlfriend's Ipad 1 is no longer supported by their IOS operating system. It means I can't download the electronic version of the Cyclist as a result. Thanks Apple.

I agree on most of the points above. Value is a bit of a subjective thing. Someone who regularly cycles many wet weather miles will value top quality waterproofing over someone who doesn't (and so they may have similar incomes/lifestyles, but different price points for wet weather items). I do feel though that in the high technical world of cycling you cannot easily get away with poor quality products. People soon put the quality of the item to the test and people with bad experiences will soon post their findings on the websites. Very often more expensive items come back with few bad comments, and many positives - whereas a poor one may have many satisfied customers, but you quite often get reviews saying items have fallen apart.

Having had a reasonable disposable income I usually choose more expensive options, but always do my homework. Choosing the right item and for the right reasons. I dislike having to pay 'twice' if I subsequently realise that the item I have purchased is not what it could be. My GF experienced this when by her road bike (I decided to take a big step back to allow her to feel comfortable about her purchase). She bought an inexpensive bike and then less than a year later ungraded to a more suitable option. She lost half the price of the original bike in that time.

What increasingly concerns me is that we are not building our manufacturing base in this country. We are selling off our expertise bit by bit to China and elsewhere. There will come a point where there is little or no competitive advantage in getting the products created elsewhere and there simply won't be the quality workforce here to pick up the business. We will effectively have to start from scratch, if we ever do.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Finbar, I'm no expert and can't give you figures (I had a ferret about and it seems pretty hard to find a comparison) but Merino is of course made by natural means and is biodegradeable. It need treating and cleaning, but at least its not plastic made from petroleum. The merino trade is heavily regulated, also.
This may help though certainly not detailed enough:
http://www.woolrevolution.com/virtues.html

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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"What increasingly concerns me is that we are not building our manufacturing base in this country. We are selling off our expertise bit by bit to China and elsewhere. There will come a point where there is little or no competitive advantage in getting the products created elsewhere and there simply won't be the quality workforce here to pick up the business. We will effectively have to start from scratch, if we ever do."

This is essentially already the case Colin. The workforce is still here, but losing it's skills. The investment definitely isn't here. And factories are immensely expensive operations to create and maintain. I met an investor and told him if he created a UK factory that could work with the materials we use, we'd be there in a shot. But it takes a lot of brands to do that. There are bits and bobs, but not much. We are, generalising, a manufacturing country of artisans. I'd love to see us return to something close to where we were 100 years ago (without the soot).

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thereandbackagain [172 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm genuinely puzzled by one thing.

You guys, and to some extent both Assos and Velobici get a pretty easy ride on the cost vs value front, whereas people constantly complain about Rapha being "too expensive."

Or, at least it feel that way when reviewing social media, forums and sites. Why is that?

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babybat [27 posts] 3 years ago
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thereandbackagain wrote:

I'm genuinely puzzled by one thing.

You guys, and to some extent both Assos and Velobici get a pretty easy ride on the cost vs value front, whereas people constantly complain about Rapha being "too expensive."

Or, at least it feel that way when reviewing social media, forums and sites. Why is that?

To me, it seems like Rapha go in a bit more for pricey accessories than some other brands. I can understand paying for well designed clothing that uses technical materials, but what purpose does a £40 espresso cup or £50 silk scarf serve, if not to reinforce the idea of the brand being 'reassuringly expensive'?

I don't really have an opinion on the relative cost of Assos, but the way they market to women is pretty rubbish, so thankfully that's one that doesn't tug on my purse-strings.

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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thereandbackagain wrote:

I'm genuinely puzzled by one thing.

You guys, and to some extent both Assos and Velobici get a pretty easy ride on the cost vs value front, whereas people constantly complain about Rapha being "too expensive."

Or, at least it feel that way when reviewing social media, forums and sites. Why is that?

I think there is a large degree of reverse snobbery. I liken it to Apple. Apple get slated hugely on value, yet if you take another brand's equivalent offering (not just headline comparables like CPU, memory, screen res etc, but the aluminium unibody, good keyboard/parts and so on), the prices are usually very close. Rapha, Apple, and others like Audi, for example, have a style that is quite distinctive and attracts flak that they value form over function.

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finbar [127 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Hi Finbar, I'm no expert and can't give you figures (I had a ferret about and it seems pretty hard to find a comparison) but Merino is of course made by natural means and is biodegradeable. It need treating and cleaning, but at least its not plastic made from petroleum.

Thanks. It is hard to find a comparison - pesky lack of environmental auditing - but the energy expenditure of wool vs synthetics production (which you can consider in terms of barrels of oil equivalent if you like) is by no means definitely in favour of the natural fibre.

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a cyclist who comes from a racing background and although I can empathise to a certain degree with the above, I can also see through a certain amount of the smoke and mirrors.

I would love to be able to buy up to date, innovative kit from a UK manufacturer, but so far I'm not seeing much.

I am seeing very expensive, not very technical clothing that I wouldn't buy because it doesn't fit with my type of cycling.

I'm also very, very wary of anyone who promotes merino to any extent; in my experience it's not as good as synthetics at doing the job of a base layer to keep you warm and dry.

It's a global marketplace, for better or for worse, and selling stuff that seems to be aimed at London commuters isn't for me.

As for the 'Oh if only we could make it all here' stuff, again, I know people who have worked in cycle clothing manufacture in this country, and I don't see too many parents pushing their children into being sewing machinists; they'd much rather go into advertising or graphic design.....

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi Crikey,
I'm not one for grand statements (actually, rubbish, yes I am) but I'd say Vulpine is one of the most technical brands out there. There is more tech involved in making sure something gets to work or the pub odourless and comfortable than in a race (and I raced a great deal). Racing is essentially based around aerodynamics, which tight lycra is ideal for, but I have seem little innovation in the pure racing market for 3 decades.

I think the merino debate will always rage. But synthetic fibres stink very quickly, which is not allowable for us! I consider merino highly technical and the best controller of temperature, wet, cold or hot, there is. And bloody gorgeous to wear.

You could say I'm biased, but I chose everything from a raft of fabrics of every kin, because they performed better than anything else. Its a faaaairrrlyyy good recommendation!

I don't think that great photography and design is a 'London' thing. I just think its still unusual and stands out in cycling. I'm from Nottingham, so can we call it a Notts thing?  3

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raleigh853 [7 posts] 3 years ago
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15 reasons to justify your prices tell me this Nick what are the standard costs of your products?If your customers knew them they could decide if your cloths are value for money
Why do you assume if a jackets cost £50 it will not last, your "brand" has not been going 5 years so you don't know if your £250 jacket will last 5 years. You're a brand because it is easy to start a brand pay for some marketing who then pedal it to websites like this then go to the far east to manufacture. Why do it the hard way, build and run a factory in the UK with UK costs which you probably could not do. Go to China with low wages,long hours, no employment rights and with the soot just like the UK a 100 years ago. While all the staff at "brand" HQ have all the benefits and good wages paid for by exploiting people in the far east and with your high margins.
I would not pay £250 for a cycling jacket no matter who made it , that's why I don't buy Assos anymore.I spend on things like Exposure lights instead now there is value made in the UK. Just consider what is the average wage in the UK? So if I accept your 15 points how does it help cycling if it costs hundreds if not thousands of pounds to get dressed just to ride a bike. Cycling is the new golf and just before everybody start saying its just because I can't afford it why should we all pay the high prices in cycling now? I just don't fall for the emperors new cloths mentality that all websites like this promote.So the sooner all the MAMIL'S move on to the next craze the better.

This so get all retro wool loving single speed urban warriors going, I've just described your customer base.

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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I am impressed and heartened by the way you are prepared to stand up and interact with regard to your product; I think it is the way that companies will have to be to succeed.

That being said, you do have to put up with curmudgeonly old feckers like me...

In countries where cycling is already accepted as a form of transport, I'm thinking the Netherlands, Belgium, and in cities like Copenhagen, there doesn't seem to be the same need to differentiate between clothing and cycle clothing when we are thinking of general 'going to the pub' transport.

Why wouldn't I buy a raincoat rather than one of your cycling specific coats?

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thereandbackagain [172 posts] 3 years ago
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@Raleigh853

Although I risk feeding a troll (seeing as you're a first poster and all), there are some pretty well understood figures around cycling retail.

Most retailers have a 40% markup on gross prices from the designer/distributor or thereabouts. If you think about the same margin again on actual raw production costs from the factory then you can get to an idea of where things are. I know the fashion rag trade has much greater markups, but I suspect that's a different market to this niche.

Now, direct to consumer retailers can make either a bigger margin or lower their prices, as there's no middleman.

Or, use the money to provide better service and support like free repair, free returns, longer warranties, grass-roots cycling activity etc etc etc.

Or service their debt, you know, if they've risked their life savings on starting a business they believe in. That sort of thing.

You seem to have a very very negative outlook both on the behaviour of companies making the products, and the people who buy them. And also, where do you think the skills are at the moment? Did you stop to think about where your laptop or PC or smartphone were made when you posted? Why do you think this trade would be any different in terms of its geographic distribution?

You seem to want to attack "retro" yet you fail to recognise the industrial realities of the times we live in. If you want UK then buy from Shutt or Velobici. The options are there. Only they are SportWool, therefore not suitable in your somewhat blinkered eyes.

MAMILS seem to be the tightest of the lot. That's why they're dressed in Lycra, not Merino. Made to the lowest price possible with little thought to quality, service or design.

The sooner you crawl back into the hole you came from, the better. Unless you have something more articulate to contribute.

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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"there are some pretty well understood figures around cycling retail."

I think there are very, very few 'well understood figures' around cycling retail. Look at the cycling gear sold by Aldi and/or Lidl compared to Rapha or ShuttVR.

"I know the fashion rag trade has much greater markups, but I suspect that's a different market to this niche."

I suspect not. I think we are seeing the introduction of rag trade market values to the world of cycling kit, hence the new season stuff, hence the Giro D'Italia stuff, hence the latest excuse for anything stuff.

"Or service their debt, you know, if they've risked their life savings on starting a business they believe in. That sort of thing."

Will they pay me back when they've made enough? No? Then do give over.

"That's why they're dressed in Lycra, not Merino. Made to the lowest price possible with little thought to quality, service or design."

I dress in lycra because it works for the cycling I do. I think you'll find that a lot of thought goes into the quality, the service and the design. That's why people wear it rather than 100% cotton designer jackets.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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I know quality when I feel it - especially on my arse.

I get most of what I like from Rapha in their sale but the classic shorts are never going to come my way for less than £150 unless I find a fellow cyclist of my size dead at the side of a lonely road - or Road.CC supply a test pair for me...?......?

A tumble weed blows past.

I'm not proud. For a laugh I suggest Road.CC delegate testing a pair to the most anti Rapha commentator on Road.CC and see if they actually get the shorts back... If they do I'll have them.

Yours - whose just had to spend his entire 2013 cycle clothing budget on new wheels for the summer bike and ain't happy about it.  2

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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....and ( in another advert for Rapha) I'm very glad The Cheshire Cat has been cancelled. Because:

A. I'm not fit enough.

B. It should be in summer anyway and will be this year.

C. My 2008 Rapha Bernard Hinhault 'Badger in the Snow' winter jersey in finally getting thin after 140 washes and 5 winters of continual use.

My wife last week with cold suspicion in her voice... 'I see you have a new top...?!'

Oh contraire my little wolverine... : >

Sometimes you do actually get what you pay for.

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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Has Mr Vulpine 'I'll engage with the public because that's what us trendy media savvy companies do' gone home for his tea then?

No stamina, these young fellas...

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 3 years ago
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finbar wrote:
Quote:

Cheap synthetic materials create waste.

Tell us about the energy expenditure and chemicals involved in cleaning, washing and scouring merino wool compared to making synthetics please.

The end user certainly doesn't have to wash merino as much, I wear a merino base and a roadcc merino to commute in. The jersey goes weeks before it needs washing… as does my 100 per cent Howies base layer - not as long as the jersey though, the wool mix bases don't last as long mebbe a week, but certainly longer than an all polyester one. And believe me there are plenty of people in my life who'd waste no time in telling me if the wool was honking.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 3 years ago
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crikey wrote:

Has Mr Vulpine 'I'll engage with the public because that's what us trendy media savvy companies do' gone home for his tea then?

No stamina, these young fellas...

Just finished bath time for the wee fella, then dinner, then hopefully back to you tonight. Is 39 3/4 young?

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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Here's the thing that people who moan about Rapha, and Vulpine, and Assos, and all the rest don't quite get.
If you can't afford things, it's ok. I can't afford the latest 11 speed Di2 groupset, and I can't afford the delicious new top of the line Cervelo frame.
And that's ok.
I can't afford a mansion on the edge of Hampstead Heath, and I can't afford to drive around town in a big car, and that's ok too.
I can't, sadly, justify spending £250 on a rain jacket right now either, but that's ok, I can make do with what I have for now.

I've got a lovely bike that I bought second hand and lavished yet more time and money on, and I've picked up some lovely bits of Rapha in the sample sale, and at some point when I've got more disposable income I'll probably pick up a little bit more. I've got a lovely little house on a great little road and most sundays I get out with a few friends and go as fast as I can up a load of hills and that, my friends, is ok.

If you can't afford things, it doesn't matter. If you don't want to spend lots on your clothes, that doesn't matter either. Just enjoy the fact that stuff like this exists - that there's stuff at every price point - and enjoy a great hobby without moaning that some people are happy to spend more money on it.

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BBB [409 posts] 3 years ago
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Please let's stop this marketing brainwash.

Vulpine is just another premium quality brand for "cool" urban folks and certainly doesn't represent anything what most of people would consider as "value".
Many "common" brands offer good looking and fitting kit that will do exactly the same job for much less and will not "fall apart after 6 months".

For anyone who actually cycles a lot, value of the kit apart from a satisfactory fit and functionality is determined mainly by initial outlay (time value of money!) and cost per mile until destruction/deterioration. It really is as simple as that.

This is not a criticism of Vulpine as a brand but the attempts of portraying it as something it is not.

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