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  • winkybiker

    I actually really like that Rapha have picked up sponsorship of this team. To me, it fits their brand better than Sky ever did. I’ll remind my wife (again) of the two pairs of Rapha bib-shorts that I have asked for as a Xmas gift. A bit sad that they will have to ride SRAM (it will possibly cost them some races as it falls apart at critical points), but the Canyons will be nice. Interesting to see Morgan Blue on board. They copped a lot of well-deserved criticism for inappropriate and sexist marketing a year-or-two back, but I guess they’ve “cleaned up” their act (see what I did there? I crack myself up).

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    • Chris Carpenter

      Sky a bad fit for Rapha? Yeah that makes sense for a British team sponsored by a British company who’s had huge success with their own team. Two pairs, a bit greedy, no? What’s ‘sad’ about SRAM? It’s just as good as everybody else. I’ve been running RED now for 18 months and it’s been flawless. Falls apart you say? What a load of rubbish. I can think of a couple of pros this year who what suffered because of Shimano failures in their gear. There’s so much snobbery in cycling these days. I would love to ask a Pro cyclist if they even care what they ride so long as it works. No, a pretty poor attempt at humour there.

      • Winky

        What I mean by the brand-fit is that Rapha’s brand is a lot less mainstream than Sky’s (Sky the media mega-corp, and by association Sky the cycling team). I think this fits well with the more low-key and “pioneering” place that women’s cycling occupies, compared to the more commercialized space of men’s pro cycling. Personally I couldn’t give a flying toss what country the team or sponsor is based in. It overwhelmingly global manufacturing selling into a global market. What does it have to do with Rapha being British? I’m not British, but that doesn’t discourage me from buying Rapha kit.

        Yes, two pairs. I dislike the bibs of our new club kit so much, that these will be my go-to bibs for the next 8-10+ years – which is how long Rapha kit has lasted for me previously. I’ve actually never worn any out, so I don’t really know how long it will last, but I’m commuting in Rapha kit that is at least 8 years old, and it’s still great.

        I’m pleased you like your SRAM Red. But 18 months is a pretty short test. My nephew is still riding a 9-speed D/A groupset I first bought 13 years ago. New BB bearings is all it has needed (cables and brake-pads notwithstanding). I dislike the Sram brand because they entered the market on the back of an unbalanced engineering/marketing philosophy. They bought their way into the pro-peloton with representation that was completely disproportionate to their market share. Their engineering lags behind in many areas and they seem to be continuing to pursue novelty at the expense of sound functionality. I also think some of Sram’s equipment is unspeakably ugly (specifically, road hydro levers and their cranksets). But that’s just me.

        Each of the major brands could cop criticism for one thing or another, but the reliability and engineering of Shimano is not a weakness of theirs by a long shot.


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