Rapha launches Team Sky range, with three-tier pricing on kit in shrewd marketing move

Team Sky range goes live, Pro Team, Replica and Supporters ranges available, plus women's and kids

by Simon_MacMichael   January 4, 2013  

Cycle clothing brand Rapha, the new supplier of clothing and other kit to Team Sky, has started launching its range of technical and leisure clothing and accessories on its website, and concerns that it would be priced way beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest fans have been headed off by the smart tactic of introducing three different ranges - one Pro Team spec, and at prices reflecting those of other garments from the brand, another at a lower price point and termed Replica, and a third Supporters range that is cheaper still.

That's not to say that Rapha's looking to fob fans off with the latter - the fact is, it's usually near impossible to get hold of kit identical to what the pros actually wear, so replica jerseys you can buy for other teams, or for Sky itself when it was supplied by Adidas, are replicas rather than the real thing.

And Rapha's replica Sky jerseys cost £75, compared to the Adidas replica which was at £70 (although it could be found for less). But if it's just showing the colours you want to do, rather than a garment specifically for riding any distance, Supporters jerseys are also available - and they are just £40.

Even for a brand that prides itself on its marketing, it's a shrewd move - the higher spec jersey, which costs £140, keeps brand purists happy too, or at least those who might consider wearing kit from a team they don't actually ride for.

Other products range from men's and women's bibshorts at £170 a pop - that's the Pro Team versions - to a "supporters' scarf" for £15

The irony of that female-specific kit won't be lost on some of Britain's top women riders - Lizzie Armitstead is among those who have previously called for Sky to launch a women's team. Besides a dedicated women's range, there is also a kid's range and a full suite of accessories.

Here's a description of the ranges in Rapha's own words:

Creating a total of 60 new Team Sky products for 2013, the Rapha offering will allow riders and supporters of all levels to show their favor for Team Sky, the number one team in the world in 2012:

Pro-Team: At the highest level, riders will be able to wear exactly what the Team Sky riders will wear to race and train in 2013, keeping the same design, fit and performance from the peloton. The Pro-Team offer includes a mix of jerseys, bibs, jackets, merino, and accessories.

Replica: For the rider wanting the look but who doesn’t require the complete pro-performance or price tag. The Replica offer includes women’s and kid’s and “Wiggo” emblazoned jerseys.

City Wear & Supporter: Created to dress the riders and staff of Team Sky, the offering for supporters ranges from new gingham check colors of the Rapha Long Sleeve Shirt, Rapha Jeans, T-shirts, and supporters scarves and flags. A standout new product in this offer is the  ‘Supporters Jersey’, a top that has the look of the team but with a cut meant to pair with jeans for off-the-bike.

The Pro Jersey (£140) is said to be the same as the one the pros will be wearing this year, made from the same technical fabric with race radio cable loops and mesh side panels. It uses what Rapha call 'coldblack' technology, the dyestuff being designed to absorb less heat than usual to stay cool against the skin.

The Pro Bib Shorts come with an EIT (Elastic Interface Technology)/Cytech seatpad, have a permanent wicking treatment, and are priced at £170.

The Replica Bib Shorts - the next level down - are £100. Or you can pay £105 for a version with GB National Champion stripes - won by Ian Stannard in 2012 - or the Norwegian National Champion's version, as worn by Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The Supporter range contains items like a Team Sky Merino Hoody (£140), and a Merino Hat (£35). The Team Sky Jeans are £150 - the same price as Rapha's usual jeans upon which they are clearly modelled. Many of the products in the range are existing Rapha designs with the addition of Team Sky's logos and blue highlights.

It's the same deal with the Team Sky Belt, for example (yes, of course there's a Team Sky Belt). Rapha already do a black/pink version. Now they do a black/blue Team Sky version. They cost the same at £70. It’s made for Rapha by high-end Italian brand Anderson’s.    

The leather Team Sky Grand Tour gloves are more expensive than the existing Rapha ones, though - they're £120 rather than £100.

The complete collection comes available mid‐February online at Rapha.cc and at Rapha Cycle Club stores in London, San Francisco, and Osaka. Riders and fans in the UK will be able to buy the complete Rapha Team Sky collection at all Evans Cycles locations and online at evanscycles.com too.

81 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

badback wrote:
Anybody know if Rapha's used MOA to make the team issue kit (like rumour has it Sky used previously) ?

That was certainly what I'd heard (on twitter), although I wasn't interested enough to do much other than shrug.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:28

25 Likes

velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

Look what SKY have done to football, so many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy, if it wasn't for the dirty money coming in from the Middle East, Russia and China things would be even worse and as for what SKY have done to Rugby League, well that really is a disgrace and I could go on for hours (but I won't).
As for pikey your right each to his own, but if you associate Sky with dishes hanging off council flats then I can't see the fit with Rapha.
Vulpine and all the other Rapha wannabes are going to benefit from this.

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:36

25 Likes

belgravedave wrote:
Sam1 wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
But c'mon SKY as a brand are pretty pikey.

Not when I'm watching races on Eurosport or decent programmes on Sky Atlantic


You can get Eurosport online and with SKY atlantic all the've done is copied what C4 we're doing a few years ago and then outbid them.
As for a brand SKY is pikey and replica team cycling wear is pikey, so it's a double pikey! What are Rapha thinking?

Feel free to think the entire world is pikey. But Simon Mottram will be counting his wads of cash whilst you - and I - are doing the 9-5. Now...I wonder who's the smart one? Plain Face

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:39

32 Likes

So, Sky is to blame for all the problems associated with football and rugby? I have a dish on the side of my house. I own a few Rapha items. I don't feel Pikey. I'm still not sure what that term means.

Still smiling politely at a persistently flat chain.

velophilia's picture

posted by velophilia [39 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:45

28 Likes

belgravedave wrote:
velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

Look what SKY have done to football, so many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy, if it wasn't for the dirty money coming in from the Middle East, Russia and China things would be even worse and as for what SKY have done to Rugby League, well that really is a disgrace and I could go on for hours (but I won't).
As for pikey your right each to his own, but if you associate Sky with dishes hanging off council flats then I can't see the fit with Rapha.
Vulpine and all the other Rapha wannabes are going to benefit from this.

But here's the thing - and its pretty clever: The cycling team doesnt get associated with 'sky dishes hanging off council flats'. Rapha have hooked into an association that is with a team headed by Wiggo, the newest knight of the realm, with winning the Tour, with heralding in the Summer of Sport (TM), with stamping his pedals and demolishing the competition, with the iconic pose on the throne in front of Hampton Court, even with the all conquering trackies at the Olympics, and with British cycling at the top of the sport etc etc...

And for many people - many new to cycling - that's the association they make with the team.

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:50

27 Likes

The replica kit looks pretty good to me, jersey material looks similar to castelli tops and similarly priced. The pro stuff is for pros, I suspect... top end, best materials and excellently cut. You are going to pay top dollar for that from any team, and I probably wouldn't fit in it anyway. As for the design I think it's cool. The only reason I wouldn't wear the replica stuff is the Murdoch factor. Shame.

...

posted by AlexStriplight [69 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:51

24 Likes

posted by LPS [4 posts]
4th January 2013 - 20:55

27 Likes

Sam1 wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

Look what SKY have done to football, so many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy, if it wasn't for the dirty money coming in from the Middle East, Russia and China things would be even worse and as for what SKY have done to Rugby League, well that really is a disgrace and I could go on for hours (but I won't).
As for pikey your right each to his own, but if you associate Sky with dishes hanging off council flats then I can't see the fit with Rapha.
Vulpine and all the other Rapha wannabes are going to benefit from this.

But here's the thing - and its pretty clever: The cycling team doesnt get associated with 'sky dishes hanging off council flats'. Rapha have hooked into an association that is with a team headed by Wiggo, the newest knight of the realm, with winning the Tour, with heralding in the Summer of Sport (TM), with stamping his pedals and demolishing the competition, with the iconic pose on the throne in front of Hampton Court, even with the all conquering trackies at the Olympics, and with British cycling at the top of the sport etc etc...

And for many people - many new to cycling - that's the association they make with the team.


Going by the comments on this thread thats not the association people are making?

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
4th January 2013 - 21:23

24 Likes

Well since news international only have a 21% stake (IIRC) in Sky, that whole connection is tenuous anyway.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3234 posts]
4th January 2013 - 21:53

29 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Well since news international only have a 21% stake (IIRC) in Sky, that whole connection is tenuous anyway.

21% is a pretty big stake and would have gone up to a controlling stake if the phone tapping hadn't blown up in Murdoch's face.
Wait for the court cases to finish and everything to blow over and the Dirty Digger will try again.

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
4th January 2013 - 22:04

23 Likes

I bet road.cc HQ love it when they get a Rapha story because nothing ensures a buzzing comments section than a good old Rapha mass debate.

posted by Some Fella [770 posts]
4th January 2013 - 23:38

23 Likes

belgravedave wrote:
Sam1 wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

Look what SKY have done to football, so many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy, if it wasn't for the dirty money coming in from the Middle East, Russia and China things would be even worse and as for what SKY have done to Rugby League, well that really is a disgrace and I could go on for hours (but I won't).
As for pikey your right each to his own, but if you associate Sky with dishes hanging off council flats then I can't see the fit with Rapha.
Vulpine and all the other Rapha wannabes are going to benefit from this.

But here's the thing - and its pretty clever: The cycling team doesnt get associated with 'sky dishes hanging off council flats'. Rapha have hooked into an association that is with a team headed by Wiggo, the newest knight of the realm, with winning the Tour, with heralding in the Summer of Sport (TM), with stamping his pedals and demolishing the competition, with the iconic pose on the throne in front of Hampton Court, even with the all conquering trackies at the Olympics, and with British cycling at the top of the sport etc etc...

And for many people - many new to cycling - that's the association they make with the team.


Going by the comments on this thread thats not the association people are making?

Did I say 'no one makes the association'? No, I said many will not. What, you think this forum is an accurate representation of the new-to-cycling population amngst whom Rapha has no brand awareness and no preconceived image? Actually also many people just wont give a toss. You do, obviously, deeply and madly. Hey, you keep on raging against those 'pikey' things though - keeps you happy. Yawn

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
4th January 2013 - 23:38

27 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
I bet road.cc HQ love it when they get a Rapha story because nothing ensures a buzzing comments section than a good old Rapha mass debate.

Could be even worse if Rapha made helmets too....

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
5th January 2013 - 0:11

25 Likes

Lol @SomeFella

Quote:
Mass Debate

I like that track jacket in SKY colours.

I've got a Garmin Pro Level jacket from when it was Garmin Transitions and PBK were selling it because they'd got a new kit sponsor. It's honestly the eat jacket I've ever had, compeltely windproof and very light, looks good too.

I've also got pro level Garmin jerseys, my favourite isthe one from the 2011 TdF, again, they're really really nice.

Then, I have a 'supporters' adidas jersey that my teache gave me for playing in the house concert. It was nice of him to give it to me, but it's not great to wear. Defintely 'club' cut, and with a 7" zip, just shows, you do get what you pay for, Rapha is expensive, but their stuff is excellent, both in looks, ethics and quality.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
5th January 2013 - 0:32

24 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
I bet road.cc HQ love it when they get a Rapha story because nothing ensures a buzzing comments section than a good old Rapha mass debate.

Big Grin

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4144 posts]
5th January 2013 - 0:59

26 Likes

Sam1 wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
Sam1 wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

Look what SKY have done to football, so many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy, if it wasn't for the dirty money coming in from the Middle East, Russia and China things would be even worse and as for what SKY have done to Rugby League, well that really is a disgrace and I could go on for hours (but I won't).
As for pikey your right each to his own, but if you associate Sky with dishes hanging off council flats then I can't see the fit with Rapha.
Vulpine and all the other Rapha wannabes are going to benefit from this.

But here's the thing - and its pretty clever: The cycling team doesnt get associated with 'sky dishes hanging off council flats'. Rapha have hooked into an association that is with a team headed by Wiggo, the newest knight of the realm, with winning the Tour, with heralding in the Summer of Sport (TM), with stamping his pedals and demolishing the competition, with the iconic pose on the throne in front of Hampton Court, even with the all conquering trackies at the Olympics, and with British cycling at the top of the sport etc etc...

And for many people - many new to cycling - that's the association they make with the team.


Going by the comments on this thread thats not the association people are making?

Did I say 'no one makes the association'? No, I said many will not. What, you think this forum is an accurate representation of the new-to-cycling population amngst whom Rapha has no brand awareness and no preconceived image? Actually also many people just wont give a toss. You do, obviously, deeply and madly. Hey, you keep on raging against those 'pikey' things though - keeps you happy. Yawn


sam1, I said 'that's not the association people are making'. With the lack of any facts for either of our arguments the only evidence we can look to is this thread and if this is a good reflection of the cycling public it doesn't bode well for SKY/Rapha replica cycling clothing.
Also many people will not give a toss? Well obviously you and I do.

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
5th January 2013 - 2:37

26 Likes

Sam1 wrote:
Some Fella wrote:
I bet road.cc HQ love it when they get a Rapha story because nothing ensures a buzzing comments section than a good old Rapha mass debate.

Could be even worse if Rapha made helmets too....

Oh dear you've done it now, HELMETS, has been mentioned - get ready to stand back and watch the forum explode
Rolling On The Floor

I actually like the kit and would buy some of it. I have no problem with Sky investing in British sport as without it we would not have had Wiggo winning, as many medals on the track and some really good footie players available for us to watch never mind rugby and the other sports they support.

They are a business and make millions from supporting sport in this country. However we should get rid of them and go back to being a 2 bit sporting nation with no chance of winning because the govt wont invest - NOT Angry

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2781 posts]
5th January 2013 - 12:49

21 Likes

velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

'Pikey' is a derogatory term for someone of a Roma, gypsy or traveller background, and as offensive as the 'n' word or the other 'p' word to such persons.

Still weirdly considered acceptable in many circles, including this website, apparently (cue the deluge people telling me I'm being petty and politically correct...).

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1098 posts]
5th January 2013 - 13:04

14 Likes

Ghedebrav wrote:
velophilia wrote:
So, is it a bad thing for such a big corporation to pour money into the sport? I have seen nothing but good so far. Pikey or no. What does Pikey mean anyway? I'm guessing here.

'Pikey' is a derogatory term for someone of a Roma, gypsy or traveller background, and as offensive as the 'n' word or the other 'p' word to such persons.

Still weirdly considered acceptable in many circles, including this website, apparently (cue the deluge people telling me I'm being petty and politically correct...).


Round my part of the world (south London) the insult 'Pikey' isn't aimed at Roma gypsy's or travellers. Pikey is aimed at white english, usually underclass, normally a sun reader and usually a racist and also anyone that wears a replica team cycling jersey, watches SKY and thinks Wiggins should have accepted his knighthood (that should enrage people a little more).

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
5th January 2013 - 13:54

17 Likes

I like the kit but think I will be buying OPQS jersey to replace my HTC one anyway.

2 reasons, bike brand (I like to match bike / team jersey as I am sad like that)
and the other is I just know that everyone on my local roads will replace the current sky jersey with the latest one so it feels like a club! (one I am not sure I want to belong to)

posted by Super Domestique [1605 posts]
5th January 2013 - 14:29

17 Likes

belgravedave wrote:
Round my part of the world (south London) the insult 'Pikey' isn't aimed at Roma gypsy's or travellers.

Funny that. I grew up in South London very close to what was (and may still be, haven't been back for years) the largest travellers' site in the UK and I think Europe.

The word was definitely aimed exclusively at gypsies/travellers back then (1970s) and it's only much more recently it's been used to describe anyone else.

As a result it's probably best to avoid it.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8162 posts]
5th January 2013 - 15:19

16 Likes

Isn't wearing a Nats jersey a bit naff - like wearing a yellow jersey? I know a few people who wear them - they maybe LVRC or TLI - but they've actually won them. Can't say I'm looking forward to 'Madone man' strutting around in the hallowed top.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1060 posts]
5th January 2013 - 16:30

19 Likes

Simon_MacMichael wrote:
belgravedave wrote:
Round my part of the world (south London) the insult 'Pikey' isn't aimed at Roma gypsy's or travellers.

Funny that. I grew up in South London very close to what was (and may still be, haven't been back for years) the largest travellers' site in the UK and I think Europe.

The word was definitely aimed exclusively at gypsies/travellers back then (1970s) and it's only much more recently it's been used to describe anyone else.

As a result it's probably best to avoid it.


We must have grown up in very different parts of London! I must admit in 1970 I was 3 so can't really remember what we called anybody.
I do remember as a teenager I used to work on Portobello Rd market and the Roma gypsies that used to come along to sell things would be very upset if you called them travellers as for pikey I can't recall the word being used then (and there was plenty of slang used on the markets).
The first time I think I can safely say I heard the insult 'pikey' being used would have been at Stamford Bridge listening to Chelsea fans abusing West Ham in the early 80's.
Defo no traveller or Roma connection there.

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
5th January 2013 - 17:35

23 Likes

No one has actually mentioned Rapha gear will be for sale in Evans now. That's an association I didn't expect.

posted by Nzlucas [91 posts]
5th January 2013 - 22:03

19 Likes

Whether the term 'pikey' is referring to either someone from the travelling community or someone from the 'underclass' it is a pejorative term and i,for one, find it offensive no matter who it is directed at.

Ironically its derivation isnt particularly offensive - originally being used to describe someone with an itinerant lifestyle who wandered around the country looking for work - using the main roads and turnpikes - hence the name.

Even so - can we stop using it please?

posted by Some Fella [770 posts]
6th January 2013 - 3:42

16 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
Whether the term 'pikey' is referring to either someone from the travelling community or someone from the 'underclass' it is a pejorative term and i,for one, find it offensive no matter who it is directed at.

Ironically its derivation isnt particularly offensive - originally being used to describe someone with an itinerant lifestyle who wandered around the country looking for work - using the main roads and turnpikes - hence the name.

Even so - can we stop using it please?


Hi Some fella, seeing as I used the insult 'pikey' on this thread I suppose I should reply.
If you can be bothered to read the whole thread (and I totally understand if you can't be) you will see that I referred to SKY (the brand) as pikey, I then went on to say that replica team cycling tops are pikey, calling the whole thing a double pikey. At no time was this directed at an individual.
Later in the thread again in reply to a comment, I explained what I believe pikey means (white, underclass, racist etc).
As for offensive well no, it's meant to be insulting, when I describe SKY as pikey I'm obviously not trying to give them a compliment am I?
Insulting yes, offensive no (unless your the embodiment of SKY).

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
6th January 2013 - 6:47

15 Likes

Nzlucas wrote:
No one has actually mentioned Rapha gear will be for sale in Evans now. That's an association I didn't expect.

Not that much of a surprise, Evans is an investor in Rapha Wink

Fixie Girl's picture

posted by Fixie Girl [119 posts]
6th January 2013 - 12:58

19 Likes

Fixie Girl wrote:
Nzlucas wrote:
No one has actually mentioned Rapha gear will be for sale in Evans now. That's an association I didn't expect.

Not that much of a surprise, Evans is an investor in Rapha Wink

Didn't know that, any idea how big a share?

posted by belgravedave [180 posts]
6th January 2013 - 14:01

18 Likes

othello wrote:
My favourite item is the Merino Hoody -- wish they did that in a non-Sky colour.

They did one last year - it's one of my fav pieces of clothing. Expecting them to do it again...

posted by step-hent [684 posts]
7th January 2013 - 12:54

16 Likes

Disappointed to see the replica national champs jerseys. I'm sure I remember reading last year that Sky stated they weren't going to sell them as they could only be "earned".

Or did I just imagine that?

posted by Bhachgen [91 posts]
7th January 2013 - 13:14

20 Likes