Rapha - Limited Edition Oakleys

by davecochrane   October 9, 2011  

Hi all - firstly, this isn't a poke at the quality of Rapha's kit. I've got a few pieces of it and I love it. However....they're presently offering the chance to bid privately on some limited edition Oakleys featuring Rapha branding....with the winning bids DIRECTLY FINANCING THEIR PRO CX TEAM. They're not matching these bids with a charity donation or anything.

This strikes me as distinctly cynical and has genuinely made me question whether I want to buy more of their gear. Anyone got any thoughts on it?

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Personally i can't stand Rapha one bit, their kit is just sold on the brand name, the could sell total tat and people would pay a fortune to be seen in Rapha

I don't really mind them doing their selling of the Oakleys, because they have made it clear right from the start where the money is going, Why should they give it to or match it and give to charity?

If they were to match the bids and give to charity, that defeats the purpose of selling them in the first place Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9030 posts]
9th October 2011 - 17:26


Rather than utterly destroy your atrocious written English, I'm going to address the points you make:

1. Most of the products seen and reviewed on this and every other cycling site are "sold on the brand name". A large number of carbon road bike frames are made from moulds shared among many manufacturers. As for sunglasses and paying for a brand name, don't even get me started.

2. If a brand is going to sponsor a team, then sponsor it fully. Don't go out cap in hand to the public expecting them to pay wildly over the odds for some Jawbones with graphics and a screen printed bag. Again, I say this as someone who really likes Rapha's products (especially the 3/4 bib shorts). I just don't understand why you'd do this.

davecochrane's picture

posted by davecochrane [105 posts]
10th October 2011 - 23:12


Well Rapha are only one of a long list of sponsors that team has all presumably putting a little bit of cash/support in. The reason they are auctioning off the glasses is that they think they will raise more money that way - there are only 10 sets and there are people out there that collect Oakley one-offs.

Would we even be having this conversation if Rapha had simply sold them at a stonking price, used the money to help fund the team and not said anything about it?

Gkam84's written English is neither here nor there, his basic point is spot on it's not like Rapha are trying to con anyone here. Whatever you think of over-priced Oakleys Rapha are being straight about what they are doing and why.

I'm guessing the reason they are doing this is because sponsoring two teams is expensive, and in terms of return on investment sponsoring a US cyclocross team is probably very expensive – even if you are one of a list of sponsors, but especially if you are one of the title sponsors. Presumably the alternative is they don't support the cross team and there is no cross team?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
10th October 2011 - 23:49


davecochrane wrote:
Most of the products seen and reviewed on this and every other cycling site are "sold on the brand name". A large number of carbon road bike frames are made from moulds shared among many manufacturers. As for sunglasses and paying for a brand name, don't even get me started.

And don't even get ME started on this old canard about goods being sold on brand name. OF COURSE THEY'RE SOLD ON BRAND NAME. If you were an engineer, let's call him James Dyson to illustrate the point that this isn't just about bicycles, if you'd put considerable thought, investment and effort into building your superior vacuum cleaner, you'd darned well want everyone to know what your brand name is. Later on when other manufacturers copy your designs and say they're 'as good' it's up to bodies like 'Which' and 'word-of-mouth' and customers' own experience to work out what brand names are actually worth paying a premium for. For what it's worth I've worn the same pair of Oakley sunglasses for every single bike ride since I bought them in 2000. They have given me a lot of pleasure in the sense that they have performed a perfect job for 11 years but the only tiny regret I have about them is that the prominent logo has attracted the odd comment from probably perfectly literate but actually quite rude people who take it upon themselves to point out my apparent idiocy.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
11th October 2011 - 7:50


I made that comment with my tongue firmly in cheek; my apologies for any offence caused or taken. I am myself an Oakley wearer (and Kaenon, the spinoff company too) and as I already stated, I love Rapha kit. I'm also a designer (educated in Scotland, working in NZ) and fully agree that something I had worked hard on should be readily identified as mine.

I still find the auction a puzzler - and thanks to those who have replied. Big Grin

davecochrane's picture

posted by davecochrane [105 posts]
11th October 2011 - 8:45


I still find the auction a puzzler

it seems pretty straightforward to me: they're trying to drum up some extra funds for the CX team, and they're cashing in on the fact that rapha and oakley have a lot of (moneyed) fans. They're being up front about what the auction is for and if you don't want to bid, no-one's forcing you to.

fair play to rapha for being the title sponsor of a CX team at all, i say.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7492 posts]
11th October 2011 - 9:02