Tuesday 26 August 2008

i've been Rapha-d

Hi, my name is crossjunkie and I have been a Rapha-holic for 6 months now.

Whilst there is no 12 step programme I've heard of for cycle clothing addiction, and my finances certainly don't allow me to explore fully this affliction, I have become strangely fixated by the Paul Smith-esque Cool Britannia phenomenon coming out of London.

Useless for cyclocross, blindingly expensive and elitist, favoured by wealthy Southerners/Londoners - how many more reasons not to favour this brand are there? Yet there is something undefinably alluring about the attention to detail, subtle designs and overall quality of a Rapha item. My wife says I am a marketing persons dream, taken in by style and image over substance. However, as most women know (and some men too) there is something deeply comforting and confidence giving about those special articles of clothing in ones wardrobe that ooze quality, fit soo comfortably and just feel fab to wear.

The Gilet is easily the most comfortable and minimal I have ever worn and yet it sheds rain and keeps wind at bay better than all the others combined. 'Sportswool' sounds like a bad invention from the start, yet the Classic jersey is comfortable when hot, wet, cold or any other time, and manages to simply disappear from consiousness when worn, like all good vestments should do.

The price? Whether anything is worth it's price is a judgement only the buyer can make, but the world is full of items that cannot justify their price in terms of materials or manufacturing alone, and so must offer something more than mere utilitarian efficiency.

Call me all the names you like but when a long hard or special ride is planned, I will reach for the Rapha every time. Now, what's the max on my credit card..............

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