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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

81 comments

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philallan [14 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

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andylul [410 posts] 3 years ago
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Replica tops coming in Feb - £75 for adults (both men and women) and £50 for children, plus a £45 Wiggo supporter's top

http://www.rapha.cc/team-sky-replica-short-sleeve-jersey

Looks like they've got the right idea about encouraging the masses to buy in to the brand. £75 ain't so bad for a replica jersey and it has 'Rapha' written on it

The Sky Supporters of the World breathed a sigh of relief...

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Bigringrider [216 posts] 3 years ago
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philallan wrote:

Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

Well done  37

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree on the colours not exactly standing out to oncoming traffic! - think the kit look great though...

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andyp [1473 posts] 3 years ago
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'And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers'

They'll mostly be racing on closed roads, of course.

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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I like the way they describe the £45 Supporters Wiggo Jersey as a 'relaxed fit'. Very Sports Direct.

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theclaw [73 posts] 3 years ago
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Well the Rapha site has crashed so this is obviously a popular thing. I tried to look out of curiosity but there have got to be a lot of people looking with their credit card at the ready.

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philallan [14 posts] 3 years ago
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Just shows not to react instantly!  1

Still, hardly impressive or inspired from the design gurus at Rapah Towers. Must have spent hours with the blue highlighter colouring in a standard jersey.

Rapha's range must surely go even further up in price to recover the "investment" in kitting out a Pro Tour team.

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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It's not a bad looking kit actually. However, replica national champs jerseys is asking for trouble. Talk about painting a target on your back! Wearing a Wiggo replica, complete with mod name up the ribs and the union flag on the arm will also get you some stick, I suspect.
http://www.rapha.cc/team-sky-gb-national-champions-replica-jersey
http://www.rapha.cc/team-sky-wiggo-replica-jersey

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IOM Paddy [38 posts] 3 years ago
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I do like the Rapha stuff to look at - but the price  31
I would rather 2 of everything from one of the big cycling retailers.
I am suprised at Rapha as I thought they were "too cool" for this but it fits with their thoughts on cycling that you are not a cyclist unless going up some Col in France or cycling at warp speed everywhere  13

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John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 3 years ago
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philallan wrote:

Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

I can see the guys in the pics that illustrate this article pretty easily, fwiw. If the jersey were grey, with a pattern of small stones, you might have a point.

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tc345 [18 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks pretty good and the pricing and range are in keeping with the castelli Garmin range.

Not that i can really afford any of it. Whats the likelihood of there being an end-of-year discount sale?

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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philallan wrote:

Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

What's is so different from the Adidas kit that would make it any harder to see the rider?

I think the Fluoro issue is a bit of a nonsense anyway. It's just a lame excuse for people not checking for cyclists.

It looks like a good design. The only criticism is that it's perhaps not ground breaking in design and rather conventional. It has the Rapha armband, but it doesn't really hark back to the 'good old days' of cycling like the rest of the Rapha range.....though beyond making the Sky team wear wool or something I'm not sure what they could do.....Taxi!

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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John_the_Monkey wrote:
philallan wrote:

Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

I can see the guys in the pics that illustrate this article pretty easily, fwiw. If the jersey were grey, with a pattern of small stones, you might have a point.

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Leviathan [2266 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, I am glad I don't really like the SKY kit, I don't really want Rupert Murdoch plastered across my chest. I support what team Sky have done for british cycling but these prices have to be a rip off.

Is Rapha kit actually make in the UK or Italy at least?Because if it really just made in China this is a total abuse of the fans and blatant profiteering. £240 for a jersey and bibs before you even buy any other items.

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 3 years ago
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Site back up... never known anything quite like it.

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othello [382 posts] 3 years ago
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My favourite item is the Merino Hoody -- wish they did that in a non-Sky colour.

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS, anyone would think we were being forced to buy it...!

It's a British team, supplied by a British clothing company, on the world stage, and it's priced more or less like the competition.

So what's the problem?

Oh, I see it now. Both of them.

Sky.

Rapha.

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nevman [18 posts] 3 years ago
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Admire the team but not the kit-too corporate.Disappointed that Paul Smith not involved after all.
Ruthless,efficient,takes orders and dressed in black-remind you of anything?

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Pitstone Peddler [104 posts] 3 years ago
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Its funny but with cycling, I always think having pro team kit on looks really naff. It should be fun trying to pick out the sprinters from a helicopter camera with the steady influx of black/dark blue kit. Shouldn't be a problem for Sky thinking about it  4

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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nevman wrote:

Admire the team but not the kit-too corporate.Disappointed that Paul Smith not involved after all.
Ruthless,efficient,takes orders and dressed in black-remind you of anything?

How do you know he wasn't?

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 3 years ago
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Eddy's Norwegian National Champion's jersey is a big improvement on the Adidas one, which had a rather small flag band across his chest.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

£240 for a jersey and bibs before you even buy any other items.

The replica jersey & bibs - which is comparable to what you would get for other teams - is £175.

The Pro Team range - the same kit the riders use - will cost you more. You'll have trouble finding that for other teams.

Not sure any serious riders would buy into the supporters range for riding, but fact is Rapha and Sky have just changed the game in the way team kit is merchandised.

Rapha's number one issue was always going to be tackling the 'How much?' criticism, and they've done that head on and imaginatively I reckon.

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nivagh [58 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks like a replica Manchester United top (apparently it's a soccer club) is about £30, but the volumes must be absolutely gigantormous, and I bet the quality is nothing like what the players actually go out on field wearing.
And most soccer shirt wearers seem to like having somebody else's name emblazoned on their back...  7

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thereverent [432 posts] 3 years ago
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philallan wrote:

Wow, bargain kit. And so stealth you'll be invisible to drivers. What's not to like?

You could always buy last years Liquigas-Cannondale kit. You'd be seen, and drivers would slow down as they are sick after looking at the that much lime green.

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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It had never occurred to me before, but my dad cracked up telling me he had seen a cyclist with 'liquidgas' written across his bum!

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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Anybody know if Rapha's used MOA to make the team issue kit (like rumour has it Sky used previously) ?

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Cooks [492 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll pick myself up a chinese knockoff for about 18 quid.

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thereverent [432 posts] 3 years ago
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The kit looks good (better without the addidas stripes). Interesting to see the three price level range.

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belgravedave [270 posts] 3 years ago
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Isn't Sky a little bit common for Rapha?

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