Alternative to Rapha

yocto
yocto Posts: 86
edited June 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi,

Not wanting to start up another tired Rapha is cr*p debate.

I’m looking to buy a few apparel items (bib shorts, shoe covers, knee and arm warmers etc). Most of my ‘decent’ cycling clothing is from Rapha, and although I love their stuff I’m in trouble of starting to look like a walking (or cycling) advertisement for them ! I am aware that there are plenty of other ‘high quality’ and ‘technical’ brands out there, I’m just don’t know who they are :oops: I know of Assos and like the look of their stuff but who are the others? Who would you recommend?

I’m happy to pay up to Rapha sort of prices but if it’s not quite as dear, then all the better. What’s most important to me is comfort and quality. If it’s possible I don’t fancy looking like a category 2 racer (only because I’m more into long distance cycling then racing).

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • I was looking at Shutt's site the other day - they seem to be offering some Rapha-esque products 'without the premium price tag' as they put it. I was tempted last Winter with their version of the Softshell. I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts on them.

    I have a few Rapha bits and bobs - the quality is excellent, but you pay for it. I think Assos offers quality without the Soho cafe pose element! I'm a bit of a poseur though...so would probably buy more Rapha if my bank balance permitted :lol:
    Never mistake motion for action
    Tweet@gmunrop69
    Trainerroad - GMan69
  • watchfire
    watchfire Posts: 174
    Campagnolo
    Nalini Pro kit is very good. If you are used to Rapha stay clear of their base range

    Most of my kit is between these two.
    My classifieds feedback thread for reference

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40046&t=12946446
  • daviesee
    daviesee Posts: 6,386
    I recently dipped my toes into Torm by buying a shirt.
    Very comparible to Rapha in quality and at half the price it's a no-brainer.

    http://www.torm.cc/products.html
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • runaway
    runaway Posts: 4
    LeCol does some good kit. You can't go far wrong with Castelli or Assos.
  • Pseudonym
    Pseudonym Posts: 1,032
    yocto wrote:
    If it’s possible I don’t fancy looking like a category 2 racer

    what do 2nd cats look like..??
  • daviesee
    daviesee Posts: 6,386
    Pseudonym wrote:
    yocto wrote:
    If it’s possible I don’t fancy looking like a category 2 racer

    what do 2nd cats look like..??

    Like 1st Cats but off the back looking dishevelled & exhausted :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • pjm300
    pjm300 Posts: 58
    love my castelli kit
  • DrDavros
    DrDavros Posts: 62
    Another plug for Torm. I have two of their sportwool short sleeved jeerseys and they're absolutley spot-on - superbly made and suitably understated. Wore the white one yesterday on a hilly 4hr ride in 32 degree heat and was amazed at how comfortable the material is. Absolute bargain, too.

    Another personal favourite is Etxeondo: A bit like a Basque version of Assos - but nicer (IMHO) - superbly made stuff, esp. their winter jackets. (Prendas stock some).

    Oh, and +1 for avoiding low-end Nalini - not so great (esp the bibs!)

    Davros
  • yocto
    yocto Posts: 86
    Thanks for the replies.

    A lot of great kit out there. Like the Nalini (thanks for the heads up about their base range) and Castelli stuff. Torm look good, just a shame they have such a limited range. Don’t need another jersey right now, but when I do.... With Assos, I think I’ve just made cycle clothing shopping a lot more complicated for myself :shock:

    Pseudonym wrote:
    yocto wrote:
    If it’s possible I don’t fancy looking like a category 2 racer

    what do 2nd cats look like..??

    That’s a good point! Think I’m just a bit intimidated by those that whiz past me when i’m on my training rides. It’s probably the rippling calves, shiny carbon bikes and sheer speed, rather than the clothing. Particularly compared to me on my retro steel tourer.
  • shane r
    shane r Posts: 326
    Shutt stuff is unbelievably high quality for the price. Jerseys are hand made in the UK and use merino sports wool. I have 3, two training and one team-all are ace! Cut very well, comfy, pockets right dimensions-and look superb.

    Pro bib shorts are better than Rapha in my opinion. I also have the standard ones which I use for the occasional training ride.

    I have the arm warmers and they too are excellent.

    Sadly they don't do shoe covers yet, happy with Castelli on those.
    Coupla Road Bikes
  • nickwill
    nickwill Posts: 2,735
    I've been one of the test riders for Cervo Rosso since the spring. My Assos clothing has hardly had a look in since.
    http://www.cervorosso.com/

    I've reviewed some of the kit on my blog: http://lakescyclist.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/cevo-rosso-first/
    and
    http://lakescyclist.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/cervo-rosso-national-pride-short-sleeve-jersey/

    Having declared my interest I have to say that It really is the most comfortable kit I've worn and quite distinctive from the other upmarket brands.
  • bigpikle
    bigpikle Posts: 1,690
    another vote for the Shutt gear as well - I have a bunch of items from jerseys to 3/4's and the original gilet. The new stuff has improved further on fit and quality as they have listened to customers and continually improved different elements. Their service is also top notch and you really cant argue with the free crash repairs service - got my L/S jersey repaired free after a CX crash last season.

    You cant beat the sportswool stuff whoever makes it though. I wore an old man-made jersey in the heat today and regretted it after 5 mins, as it was wet enough to wring out despite a full length zip! Total contrast to the 3 hours done in sportwool yesterday in the afternoon sun. Still hot but nowhere near as unpleasant to actually wear.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • AidanR
    AidanR Posts: 1,142
    +1 for Shutt. I have way too much of their gear now, but it's rendered everything else obsolete.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • sonny73
    sonny73 Posts: 2,203
    Another vote for Castelli here, great gear. But my favourite is Etxeondo, more so than Castelli because I find all Etxeondo gear is a perfect fit for me.
    I've got my Etxeondo gear in the past from Prendas and www.alwaysriding.co.uk.
    Both great customer service too.
  • Dodger747
    Dodger747 Posts: 305
    Nickwill wrote:

    Having declared my interest .

    No offense, but it is not the first time I have seen this comment. Repeated use makes it seem somewhat less than sincere.

    I'm sure they make nice kit, but this seems to be shill marketing in nice new clothing...

    My recommendation would be the high end Castelli stuff. Unbeatable imo for something other than Rapha...
    VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
    W/kg - 4.9
  • gwillis
    gwillis Posts: 998
    +1 for shutt vr, quality is spot on and having dealt with them several times the customer services is exceptional.
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Nickwill wrote:
    I've been one of the test riders for Cervo Rosso since the spring. My Assos clothing has hardly had a look in since.
    http://www.cervorosso.com/

    I've reviewed some of the kit on my blog: http://lakescyclist.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/cevo-rosso-first/
    and
    http://lakescyclist.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/cervo-rosso-national-pride-short-sleeve-jersey/

    Having declared my interest I have to say that It really is the most comfortable kit I've worn and quite distinctive from the other upmarket brands.

    Distinctive because it looks like its designed by an 8 year old?

    I'm out.
  • Ciclicasati
    Ciclicasati Posts: 740
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Nickwill wrote:
    I've been one of the test riders for Cervo Rosso since the spring. My Assos clothing has hardly had a look in since.
    http://www.cervorosso.com/


    Distinctive because it looks like its designed by an 8 year old?

    And marketed by an 8 year old?
    http://www.cervorosso.com/index.php?section=shop&cmd=details&productId=56
    This bundle seems to cost more than than the struckthru price...?
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    Etxeondo. Glad to see it becoming more readily available through the likes of alwaysriding, etc.
  • Wheelspinner
    Wheelspinner Posts: 6,559
    Dodger747 wrote:
    Nickwill wrote:

    Having declared my interest .

    No offense, but it is not the first time I have seen this comment. Repeated use makes it seem somewhat less than sincere.

    I'm sure they make nice kit, but this seems to be shill marketing in nice new clothing...

    My recommendation would be the high end Castelli stuff. Unbeatable imo for something other than Rapha...

    Seems a tad harsh. No offense, but why is your recommendation of another "high end" brand like Castelli any more impartial or valid than Nickwill's endorsement of the other. At least he "declared his interest". You could just as easily be on the scorpion's payroll.

    Slipping on the cynic hat, why is this entire thread not just a sneaky PR piece for Rapha? "I've got loads of it. It is fabulous, looks great, blah blah blah. Anybody suggest anything as good as Rapha?"

    On the other hand, you could just take the suggestion of alternatives at face value, and do your own further research if so inclined.



    .
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • yocto
    yocto Posts: 86
    Dodger747 wrote:
    Nickwill wrote:


    Slipping on the cynic hat, why is this entire thread not just a sneaky PR piece for Rapha? "I've got loads of it. It is fabulous, looks great, blah blah blah. Anybody suggest anything as good as Rapha?"


    .


    Having read this, you are dead right. Didn’t mean it to sound like that and wish I had just asked for high end clothing suggestions :oops:

    Thanks again for the all the suggestions and feedback. Will be saving a link a link to this thread for my future reference. I think the Mrs wants to increase her cycling wardrobe soon :)

    I had a day off work today (guy came round to repair the sofa) so I had a good morning session of internet searching and shopping. Just to let you guys know I’ve ordered a few items from Shutt VR (Pro Bib Coolmax Shorts and buff) and Nalini (arm and knee warmers) :)

    Now just debating whether there’s time for a quick ride before the heavens open!!
  • Dodger747
    Dodger747 Posts: 305

    Seems a tad harsh. No offense, but why is your recommendation of another "high end" brand like Castelli any more impartial or valid than Nickwill's endorsement of the other. At least he "declared his interest". You could just as easily be on the scorpion's payroll.

    Both fair enough points.

    I have no way of proving my impartiality and it is only my opinion at the end of the day, so I'm sure the OP will do with it as he wishes. I'm just always highly dubious of reviews from anybody with a vested interest, declared or not...

    Anyway back OT, hope the OP hasn't blasted his credit card 8)
    VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
    W/kg - 4.9
  • JRooke
    JRooke Posts: 243
    I survive these days on a built up collection of club kit, few pinarello tops and all out castelli base layers/arm warmers etc etc to cover the rest.

    Selev Matrix Helmet looks sick, wouldnt mind one of them
  • JRooke
    JRooke Posts: 243
    lol and its in the "special offer" section for £150, first price on google search, £80, piss takers lol
  • nickwill
    nickwill Posts: 2,735
    I only recommend the Cervo Rosso kit because I am enthusiastic about it. I've simply been provided with kit to test and have been highly impressed. I gain nothing from people taking up my recommendations as my only remit is to give feed back. I have never attempted to hide that I am a member of the test team, in fact I have gone out of my way to make this clear.
    In the same way if I find other cycling equipment that has served me well you will hear me singing its praises. I have posted today with recommendations of Paul Hewitts bikefitting skills and have no connection there other than as a satisfied customer. In the past I have recommended Lazer helmets (again with no connection other than as a happy user).I have also posted regularly with very positive comments on several sportives with which I have no connection other than as a participant.
    I think I have been on here for long enough to be regarded as a reasonably trustworthy member of the community. We all tend to recommend things that we have positive personal experience of.
  • rdt
    rdt Posts: 869
    Respect to Shutt VR for quality products, without ludicrous prices, that are made in the UK.

    Does anyone know: is Torms' manufacturing outsourced overseas, or homegrown UK?
  • For jerseys once you've decided you want sportswool / merino instead of poly the options shrink rapidly!

    Lots of base layers but for jerseys:

    Rapha Shutt Torc

    I'm sure there's others....... Are they good? Are they uk owned / manufactured?
  • eh
    eh Posts: 4,854
    Gore wear shorts are good and apparently use the same pads as Rapha.
  • nickwill
    nickwill Posts: 2,735
    If you are going down the Sportswool line then I would go for Shutt VR. As has been said they are made in the UK and prices are reasonable compared to Rapha. Customer service is first rate as well. Just be aware that sizing is more generous than the Swiss and Italian brands.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Not 'Made in Britain' but Renner is a small, new UK label run by a Scottish chap who's passionate about cycling in Belgium.

    At the moment they're focusing on clothing accessories rather than jerseys and shorts. I really fancy the cycling cap that's been hand stitched by a little old Belgian lady who makes caps for the local clubs. Sadly they keep selling out.

    http://rennersport.com/