The Rapha Hypocrisy
So the whole pre racing season chat and comment in the cycling rags was, amongst all the poker faced predictions, about how unaffordable the new Rapha / Sky kit is. Despite an appreciation of quality and considered detailing, journalists err on the side of popular opinion and subtitle a top rating with the drawback of price. If they were being truly honest they would mark it down. The reason they don't? Because they know this is the best cycling kit by a mile. I am not disputing the kit is much more expensive than anything other professional teams are wearing (brand new full set of kit for any pro team will still put you back hundreds of pounds) but here are two things that concern me about:
ILL JUDGED COMPARISONS
Punters make a direct correlation between one product and another, whilst the companies that produce these make very different Ethical choices (using a specific supplier), Design (making something more enjoyable and comfortable to use) and sales (quality control and managing returns). Comparing a burger from your local butcher to one that is frozen and processed, kind of defeats the purpose.
People always want a good deal (myself included) and seldomly question the reasons why something retails cheaply. I went through a period 10 years ago when I bought independent brands of clothing. I could afford them because I knew the owner of the shop and he gave a discount. Cheap these were not, however some of the pieces still get used, commented on favourably and are not ready to be binned. What this insight did was make me buy less but better quality: not for fashion or vanity but because I knew the clothes were well put together and would last.
Buy cheap if you want but you'll end up with the same cost!