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Has anyone else been in touch with Torm clothing ? i noticed their website showing"o ut of stock" on all items so i did some snooping. I believe Rapha are squeezing them legally so to speak.
i think this is disgraceful. However you look at it Torm is less than half the price for very similiar quality jerseys. I know some rapha fans dont agree with Torm but thats only because feel foolish spending so much more on identical jerseys. I have owned both brands and i wouldnt buy rapha again over torm BUT now I certainly will not buy rapha if this is how they act to competitors.
are they trademarking the stripe across the arm / front.
Its effectively bullying and more importantly its stopping people like me buying reasonably priced jerseys. What are Rapha saying " you pay our prices or take a hike" outrageous.
I wouldnt mind but by nature Rapha is retro through and through. their designs hark back to previous decades designs.
Anyone else feel the same way ? any Torm owners out there feel Rapha are dictating prices here ?

121 comments

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Tony Farrelly [2869 posts] 5 years ago
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Hmm… I'm not taking sides either way on this, it might just be that Torm are sold out. If Rapha has resorted to the law it'll be because they think they've got a strong case.

Straight copying of someone else's product isn't allowed. I think Rapha would bridle at the "retro" tag too, think it's more a "classic" look they are going for and their angle is that their garments are packed with lots of modern details which they were the first to devise° and they work in modern fabrics too - Sportwool is pretty techy stuff.

°Although I've got a couple of Endura jerseys with ring pull zips on the rear pockets that surely pre-date Rapha, but that's only one of their trademark details.

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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Hi tony
for legal reasons i cannot say how i know but they are not sold out.and BTW i am not associated with Torm, just a satisfied customer.
in response to your reply- OK classic and retro are similiar meaning. No ones putting pressure on Columba or shutt. not that different in technical design. I'm sure if Torm removed the band around the arm / front (and redesigned their website) Rapha still wont be happy because its down to price. bear in mind Torm do plain jerseys - how can that be copying ?
the pricing shows up Rapha for being way way overpriced on their jerseys. some of the rapha items are unique to them so its hard to to do a comparison ie the softshell, but what Torm have done is made that comparison.
Shutt as far as i'm aware manufacture in the UK so don't get the benefit of cheaper far east labour costs and still retail far cheaper than Rapha.
I'm not anti rapha - i own the classic softshell which is fantastic - but i'm led to believe competition is good and this kind of behaviour is only going to lose custom. there is already a cyclists against rapha contingent and this is not gonna help.
Rapha fans say their jerseys are superior but really Tony you've tested both brands and its negligible.
Rapha are just pi**ed off
torm - 2 x sportswool jerseys + sportswool base layer =£115
Rapha - 1 jersey =£115
Also while i'm having a rant- anyone know why Rapha s race team dont wear the sportswool jerseys ? beacuse they are too hot for most "hard" riding". why i never see club riders wearing them in the summer (unless you use their lighteight jersey which is 3/4 polyester)....
Discuss.....

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm with you Tone... I'm out !

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VecchioJo [397 posts] 5 years ago
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i'm no legal expert but i guess, if true, that the issue is with the "identical jerseys" bit in terms of looks, the cost isn't relevant, no matter how much people want it to be

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james-o [235 posts] 5 years ago
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"are they trademarking the stripe across the arm / front"

potentially you could have done easily a long time ago, but it may be difficult after 40-odd years of cycling jerseys using this style.. someone may be able to TM an element of the classic panel jersey design in the way that Addidas have the 3-stripe iodentity, but you'd need to show that it was a look that was central to your company's identity rather than cycling style in general.

out and out duplication of a brand's look / product layout etc is considered to be 'passing off' and there is a right to take issue if that happens. if 2 brands have identical looking items, the originator isn't bullying anyone if they force them to stop - stopping as in change the look to be less similar.

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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I have a friend who is a skunk. he is currently seeking legal advice over Rapha s black & white Gilet.
check out rapha s Campionissimo shirt ? similiar anyone ?
rapha hampsten gavia "tribute" shirt - maybe they paid 7-Eleven for the right to use logos - maybe not.
as i say - Torm do plain shirts - that cannot be copying. as for ring zip pulls - for christ sake - no one owns the right to that do they ?
A good while back someone ( i dont know who) moved the pockets on jerseys from front to the rear. Are all jersey manufacturers ripping them off. silicon at the hem ? locking zip pulls ?/ zipped pockets. Its progress / fashionable - whatever.
as far as i'm aware rapha were one of the 1st -if not the 1st to have off centre zips on their jackets - good idea - I have a Endura Helium rain cape thing with offset zip. Is this a legal case ?

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step-hent [723 posts] 5 years ago
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Interesting stuff. A few observations:

- it is only 'passing off' if there is a likelihood of confusion on the part of the consumer. For various reasons (the low prices, the references to other higher priced brands and the press coverage of Torm), confusion is unlikely. Making something which looks quite a lot like something else is not enough to prove passing off.

- although none of Rapha's design elements are unique/original, they might have a claim that the combination of them is protected/protectable using design rights.

- regardless of the above, it is unsurprising that Rapha is trying to protect the value of its product by challenging the competition when they bring out similar designs. Although it might seem like Rapha are 'bullying' Torm, this is a normal tactic for a company that bases its value on its design and brand, and Torm should have anticipated that (and they might have done). Failing to challenge similar products can result in an erosion of the brand and reduction in the value of the business. Rapha has built a very nice business - why would they let a competitor take part of it without a challenge?

With all that said, speaking as a consumer, I like both companies' products and would like to see them both doing what they do well (making nice cycling jerseys) rather than litigating. My suggestion to Torm would be that they try and be just a touch more creative in their design - like the twin stripe jersey they do - to avoid any allegations of copying and to allow them to focus on building a business rather than defending themselves.

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 5 years ago
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reminds me (a little bit) of this - maybe we need a bit of humour in the situation?  1

Guess I should add that I'm not on anyone's side either  22

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 5 years ago
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Didn't Rapha recently unveil a tube of material which goes around your neck to keep it warm ?

I've always bought Rapha stuff despite it being Rapha. Love the product, hate the producer you might say. I have a hat, arm-warmers, lightweight jersey and softshell.

If true though this may be enough to make me stop.

As Howie's said, nobody likes a bully.

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simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago
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I'd love to see it finally tested in court. Then we will only have their prices to complain about.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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I like the design of the Torm T1 Jersey, but to me their T6 Jersey with its pointless bands of material in the same colour on the sleeves, plus the rear pockets with ring pull zips and inset reflective panel, shouts "Rapha knock-off" to me. The only thing different about the T6 is that it is symmetrical, as opposed to Rapha's asymmetry.

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aloadofpants [17 posts] 5 years ago
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I want to buy some Torm. Does anyone know if I can actually order via phone instead?

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Simon E [2778 posts] 5 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

Didn't Rapha recently unveil a tube of material which goes around your neck to keep it warm ?

The Winter Collar? The folks at Buff must be apoplectic!  14

If Torm are under pressure from Rapha's lawyers (or just a loud bloke hassling them by 'phone) over copying a design that was less than original itself we'll find out soon enough. Otherwise I'd not lose any sleep over it.

If you like Rapha and can afford it (lucky you) then buy it. If you can't or won't then buy Torm, or any of the other perfectly acceptable clothing brands. The market is awash with decent clothing of many hues and styles and at varied prices - we've never had such choice!

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Ramott [3 posts] 5 years ago
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Regarding ripping off and passing off. In October 2009, Rapha was selling rip off Barbour gentleman's caps. Green wax cotton, cord under peak, Barbour tartan lining. The Barbour logo font, was parodied, and the Royal warrants faked. Blatantly illegal; should Barbour want to pursue the matter they would win. In this case, it is not 'inspired by,' it is copyright theft, and counterfeiting. In June 2009 they were also selling legend T-shirts. These involved rip off designs from licensed branding, including; Santai, Mapei and Renault elf. They are not a 'cheeky homage,' as stated on bike radar, they are cases of unlicensed copyright infringement. If Tørm were being legally pressured, they could counter by informing Barbour and Santini. Also, as a final point, under trademark and apparel laws, Rapha of course, cannot own rights to that stripe, colourways, or the asymmetrical zip of the garment . *Nobody likes a bully*.

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Tony Farrelly [2869 posts] 5 years ago
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Not to start things all off again, but re one of 11speedaddict's points above, I've been very reliably informed that the Rapha Condor team's jerseys ARE Sportwool and that they certainly wear them.

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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Sorry Tony about the team kit inaccuracy - i stand corrected.
a few years back they were lycra and i was going on that.
its official - i'm an idiot.
I have heard that Torm have had to slightly redesign the rear of their jerseys. hopefully rapha will be happy and torm can start selling again.
imitation is the best form of flattery.  4

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 5 years ago
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Ed Clancy et al certainly weren't wearing Sportwool at Revolution so presumably they have both wool and lycra kits that they can select depending on the race?

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cactuscat [284 posts] 5 years ago
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@11speedaddict - does your insider knowledge extand to knowing when that'll happen?  1

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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The jerseys have been modified (i believe) so that there is now a white stripe on rear pockets. Not sure if this has been ok ed by the mighty Rapha legal eagles.
I suggest emailing Torm (they do reply)- they will give you a better idea.
anyhow this has left me a bad taste my mouth.
I hope torm get it together and go from strength to strength.
David or goliath(with pink accents) - i know who i'll buy

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 5 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

Ed Clancy et al certainly weren't wearing Sportwool at Revolution so presumably they have both wool and lycra kits that they can select depending on the race?

having said that, they may just have been low-wool-mix Sportwool  39

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Tony Farrelly [2869 posts] 5 years ago
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So you're not wrong then 11speedaddict. I'm wondering though whether that might be a special Revolution kit or one where the wool mix is really low?

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VecchioJo [397 posts] 5 years ago
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does this mean that Tørm aren't a 'cheeky homage' to Rapha any more?
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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 5 years ago
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Also, is that a Norwegian ø? Should we be saying 'Turm'? But the fabric is Danish I think, so maybe it's a Danish ø. In which case I won't be able to pronounce it, so my Swedish friends delight in telling me, without putting a potato in my mouth  1

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Cervelo12 [78 posts] 5 years ago
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I think the whole point of Rapha is the price, everyone know's that a jersey made in China doesn't cost alot but it has Rapha on it, so what if Torm can make the same jersey for half the price and still make money. People buy rapha because it's a desirable brand and i doubt if Rapha are worried about torm becuase Rapha customers wouldn't want to wear cheaper imitations, the only people who would buy torm are the people who refused to pay Rapha prices in the first place. If I were Rapha I would put the prices up and make it even more exclusive because if anything they have become a victim of their own sucess and become too popular.

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VecchioJo [397 posts] 5 years ago
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i'm not sure which language they've 'borrowed' the ø from
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James Warrener [1083 posts] 5 years ago
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I feel really sorry for Torm in this instance.

Not having seen both products in close proximity I cannot comment on the similarities but its hardly like they and Rapha are after the same market is it?

If you have £120 to buy a Rapha jersey you aren't going to suddenly spend £50 on a Torm one. Its about the brand as much as the performance.

I would have thought a bit of lower end competition might drive Rapha to design bigger and better products.

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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to jimmythecuckoo
this is the problem - i own rapha jerseys and i own torm jerseys .Honestly the difference between the jerseys is negligable.I actually find the fit better on the torm.
IN FACT if they were both £120 and i needed a new top i'd buy the Torm beacuase of the fit but thats just my preference. The fact that i can buy 2 of the cheaper jerseys for the cost of a rapha is a massive bonus.this is whats worrying rapha.they have probably held a torm jersey in their hands and not been able to dismiss it as a cheap imitation. quality wise nothing in it.
as for Cervelo12 response "Rapha customers wouldn't want to wear cheaper imitations," I am a rapha customer and i wear torm, we / I ride bikes for many reasons but not to pose / show off. i find the riders with the super bikes and "all the expensive gear" hardly ride and are the 1st to be dropped.this is probably a whole new forum topic.
and before people start slagging me off for this observation - i have a £5k super bike and assos £200 shorts so i am one of them dropped riders.we have the 5kg carbon bikes to make up for our lack of fitness...discuss.  19

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm building up an old reynolds 501 frame with a two-speed kickshift at the moment, and intend to do some big rides on it. No carbon super bike for me  1

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 5 years ago
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11speedaddict wrote:

to jimmythecuckoo
this is the problem - i own rapha jerseys and i own torm jerseys .Honestly the difference between the jerseys is negligable.I actually find the fit better on the torm.
IN FACT if they were both £120 and i needed a new top i'd buy the Torm beacuase of the fit but thats just my preference.

As I say I have never directly compared but I will be considering a purchase now  39 39 39

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 5 years ago
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to dave atkinson
actually i have sold my addict R1 uberlight frame for a "steel is real" Enigma Extensor XCR custom frame . effectively changed to a heavier bike. But what a bike .
it'll be fun dropping all the rapha wearing cervelo riding pro wannabe s up all the climbs. heh heh what with me on my steel bike and cheap imitation jersey  19

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