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Benefits of cycling
The Rapha Why

The Rapha Why


If we’d followed the rules of the industry,
the rules of the market, Rapha wouldn’t exist. There would be no premium cycling apparel
of the sort that we make. There would be no international
cycling club, and clubhouses. There would be none of the innovations
we’ve made around product. The idea that you can’t do something,
or it’ll never work, I heard so many times when
trying to raise money for this business. “Cycling can’t be an aspirational sport.” “Cycling’s for people
who can’t afford to drive a car.” Outside is free. “You could never create a
successful brand in cycling.” Reasons why you couldn’t do things,
and yet, cycling is all about pushing yourself to do more. “I can’t go on, I must go on,
I will go on,” that’s what the cyclist says to himself, and that’s what the innovator
says to themselves as well. The sport’s amazing. Actually what they do, how they do it,
the history, the culture. Incredible aesthetic, amazing stories. There’s this huge wellspring of ideas
that no-one was talking about. Nobody had applied that to clothing, and nobody had pulled that together
to turn it into something that really reflected how
amazing the sport was, and bring that to more people. And that’s why Rapha was born. For the first three or four years
there were only a handful of people at Rapha, and we had the market to ourselves
for quite a long time. Because we only sell direct,
you can only buy Rapha from Rapha, we can have this direct conversation without worrying about anybody else. We don’t have to worry about
anybody in this business, apart from doing the right thing
for the sport and for our customers. That’s incredibly liberating. I think the reason it doesn’t feel
like a big corporation is that it’s not a group of people
sitting in the head office, pressing buttons on machines
to make things happen, it’s a group of 350 passionate people
that we’ve pulled together, and lots of those people are out
on the ground. We have people in clubhouses,
we have people in local markets, and then we have a whole network of ambassadors
throughout the world. I think that keeps it much more intimate,
and much more relevant. I think that’s what it is.
It’s a different way of building a business, you know, it’s not a business,
it’s not there just to, sort of, move things on a board game. It’s about being on the ground,
living it. Everybody who works at Rapha
really understands why we exist. There is a sense of mission about what we’re doing,
and everyone gets that. Nothing is too small,
nothing is insignificant, all of it has to be thought through, and all of it has to be made
as good as it can be for cycling. From day one we’ve worked with
fantastic photographers, and we’ve created more than
300 films over the years, and what we’ve been able to do is
we’ve had the freedom to not make commercials. We’re fortunate we work with a number of
amazing designers from different fields, whether that’s fashion,
or architecture, or it’s furniture design. Working with people like Paul Smith,
or Norman Foster, or Herman Miller, we bring total passion for cycling,
and total knowledge about cycling, and they bring something very different. When you put those two things together, you can make cycling more than it is, and we can infuse cycling
into other areas of life. The way cycling’s perceived has changed massively
in twelve years since we launched, and I think we’ve been
a big part of that. It’s more relevant than it’s ever been,
to everybody’s lives. We talk about Rapha being about something, and we have a big “why” behind the business. It’s not just something which.. feels good and looks good
and performs well, it’s an experience. It’s a transformational experience that
makes people’s lives better when they really get into it. That’s an incredible thing to
be trying to push, trying to build. That’s an amazing “why” to have. We’ve got the best “why” in the world, there’s so much more we can do with that.

51 comments on “The Rapha Why

  1. Brilliant story of why. My view is that every ride is an adventure. After I watched this I thought that your business is an adventure just like cycling itself.

  2. Paying twice as much for a garment doesn't make my cycling experience any better. It doesn't make me push myself any harder or go any faster. It just leaves me with less money in my wallet that could be better spent on other cycling related needs.

  3. Spain, think about Spain. Here in Asturias, north coast. Full of enthusasts of cycling and Rapha culture. Most beautiful road you've ever imagin. Thousands of cyclists. Try with a pop up store or somethig. Here I am to help with whatever you may need.

  4. Rapha is serious Rapha is stern, squinting and grimace, Rapha WAS BORN!!!
    Rapha is EPIC, fancy and nice, but Rapha demands the ULTIMATE price (eternal misery)
    Rapha hates logos, bright colors and helmets, until they made one and now they can sell it
    Now everyone out there on the Fred path, will use Rapha "post ride butt cream" ($49) , when they take a bath

    Now see this look from other bike brands OH you still want to suffer but you can't understand
    Why pay so much to ride your bike, to feel great pains but look just so right
    You sold your soul the the Rapha aesthetic and now a 2017 in matte black,,,, yeh you'll need to get it
    Hmmm how much is this gonna cost me? I need this full look, this brand represents me!
    Well all of these stripes and this obsession with pink?
    It costs your whole wallet, probably more than you think
    Just remember never EVER to smile, and being happy?
    That would ruin the style

  5. Grt Vid, Super product, awesome ethos. Was it a conscious decision to allow so many cyclists not wear helmets. It's not a criticism just an observation.

  6. I believe the point of the video was to show that cycling is a timeless sport and they wanted to conjure the spirit of the past in their brand. Gone are the days of races and grand tours where cyclists rode on steel framed bikes without helmets but I think their memory and nostalgia lives on.

    As a cyclist I believe it's important to remember the past and where we have come from.
    Yes rapha is expensive, but so are so many other premium brands……of anything really.
    I I like their looks, fit and most of all the history and greatness of the sport.
    Style is such a personal thing, I hate Assos, their not comfortable at all, their ugly for what you're paying, and their way to expensive factoring in the other dislikes I mentioned.
    Castelli and Rapha are my two favorites rapha is definitely the more stylish of the two.

  7. Shame that a video like this only brings out the knockers and safety nazis. Why don't they wear helmets. Why is the gear so expensive. Companies like Rapha have raised the profile of cycling and showed there is more to it than sport or commuting. If they happen to make shitload of money along the way then good luck to them. I don't own a single Rapha product but harbour no envy or judgemental condescension to those who do.

  8. yes you're going to look very stylish when you are getting carted away on a stretcher after a crash with no helmet – rapha wankers, I can't respect these types they are shite at cycling also. The type of people who draft buses.

  9. Like the kits and have a few of them and also a member. The San Francisco club the staff are stuck up. Im a club member and a SF bike messenger. The staff treat my fellow messengers like dog shit. Rude and disrespectful towards them. Soho in the London Club house the staff rock! Messengers come in and they are treated with respect! Not SF! Plus the SF club house is in the most pretentious part of San Francisco. It’s the area I work and I see my clients in that cafe a lot. But again the staff suck at this location especially the hot chocolate. Soho the hot chocolate is top notch! Why is the San Francisco club house full of pretentious assholes and crappy hot chocolate? I’m referring to the staff. You should have put the cafe in Hayes valley. Most of the cyclists live near there!

  10. Bello e inspirador su trabajo… un poco más en español… que no todos hablamos otros idiomas, aunque nuestro lenguaje es la bici

  11. The SF Club house is the worse of all the club houses. The Baristas are complete assholes, especially Izzy and Amon! Izzy wanted to fight me over a cup of hot chocolate. I cancelled my SF Membership and got a full refund. I canceled it due to Izzy and Amon. I will never go back to that club house while they are working there. The London SOHO club house is the best. Once I move back to London I will restart my membership.

  12. You are talking about experience. I have a suggestion for all rapha guys. Go through the online repair process with an iPad. Have fun. That experience you won‘t miss.

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