Rapha Grand Tour Shoes

 

When I heard (through a somewhat cryptic email) that Rapha was going to offer cycling shoes, I need to be honest and admit that I was more excited than intrigued. My duty as a reviewer obliges me to maintain a certain skepticism about any new product. Alas, I’m a bike geek and some companies tend to do consistently good, if not excellent, work. With Rapha, quality is never really up for discussion. I’ve yet to see a product of theirs suffer from a corner cut, so I had what I believed was good reason to expect that a pair of cycling shoes by them would be very good, if not stellar. Is that more credit than an unknown product deserved? Probably, but consistency of practice is how one earns a reputation.

While their early jerseys were cut on the large side and difficult to size correctly, for the last three, maybe four years, their apparel has fit very true to size. How is this applicable to a shoe review? If I had any concern about the shoes going in, it was whether a pair of 42s would fit the same as my others. Any concern I had that way was laid to rest the moment the shoes arrived; as you’re probably already aware, the Grand Tour shoes use the same sole and last as the Giro Prolight SLX and Factor shoes because they are produced to Rapha’s spec by Giro. I can report from previous experience, the Easton EC90 sole is lighter than the touch of a pickpocket and stiffer than my first belt of Yukon Jack.

If you’re familiar with Giro’s Factor then you’ve probably noticed the more subdued appearance of the Grand Tour shoes. Rapha sourced yak leather (yes, yak,  as in those big furry beasts that occupy climates less hospitable than outer space) from the shoe maker Ecco. The yak leather is reasonably soft and because it is perforated it also breathes better than a great many other shoes I’ve worn.

Like the Factor, the Grand Tour shoes feature two velcro straps and a ratcheting buckle for adjustment. This is where these shoes have to come in for a knock from this reviewer. First, let me just say that when it comes to shoe closures, the Boa has it all over everything because it does a better job of distributing pressure across the foot. It’s superior the way The Who were superior to every band you ever heard in a neighbor’s garage. Those garage bands were a fun way to pass an afternoon during high school, but they were no match for Townshend and co.

Presentation with Rapha is always impressive.

Moving right along. The bigger issue with these shoes—for me—is that they really aren’t intended to hold a foot as high-volume as mine. As has been explained to me, I’ve got a foot that is wide (E at minimum, but on one occasion an Italian crispin created a set of 41.5 EEEEE dress shoes that fit me terrifically), and that detail is compounded by a really high instep caused in part by a very high arch. The Grand Tour’s velcro straps barely pull far enough around to attach.

Turns out, that’s probably very good news for you. This shoe really isn’t designed for my ridiculous dogs. It’s designed for a typical American, roughly D width and with a bit more volume than your usual Italian shoe. But thanks to the Giro SuperNatural fit system, my high arches are well treated by the biggest of the arch supports. Like the Factor, the SuperNatural insoles include three different arch supports, depending on your personal fit requirement. I like these insoles so much, I’m willing to overlook the shoes’ other drawback just because how good my feet feel when they are within these shoes. I suspect that riders at the other end of the bell curve—those with especially flat or narrow feet will end up with little strap wings protruding from the sides of the shoes—curb feelers for the pedal set.

One natural question about these shoes is whether the yak leather will stretch. Because this is a natural leather, it’s going to stretch some, sooner or later. In the weeks that I’ve been riding these shoes I’ve been able to readjust the velcro straps and I tighten the ratcheting buckle one click more than the first time I saddled up with these. I attribute that mostly to the leather settling into the shape of my feet—getting those straps to fold around a different point at the D-ring wasn’t easy. I should mention that in only my second ride in these shoes I got caught in five hours of drizzle on a day that was supposed to be simply overcast. I was as pleased by that as the time I was hit by a snow squall while riding to work. The shoes cleaned up easy enough, though.

Now, these shoes are by Rapha, which is to say that you’re going to pay a premium for them, and by some reckoning, a painful one at that. The Factor goes for $289. The Grand Tours go for a whopping $450. I mean, Edgar J. Hoover, that’s a lot of greenbacks! The difference in price—$160—is a not insubstantial pair of cycling shoes in their own right. Everything about these shoes is top-notch, from the box they come in to the shoe bags to protect them when you travel to the leather conditioning cream included. Whether or not these shoes will work out to a reasonable balance of value vs. quality vs. luxury is an answer that can only be arrived at individually. What I can say in their favor is that they are the best-made production cycling shoes I’ve ever worn and the natural leather has made for an appreciable increase in comfort—especially for a shoe not really designed for my foot. I love the Factor, but the Grand Tour is a noticeably superior shoe. It’s easy to quibble about price, but it’s much harder to criticize anyone for producing the best product they are able.

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42 comments

  1. Ron

    If I had these shoes on I think I walk 50 miles instead of ride to make sure I got my $ worth. ;)
    Rapha products always look super. I’m glad they are in the game.

  2. Mo'Nilla

    I just got some nice Marresis off the Dromarti.com website. Italian. Cowleather. $200. Kinda retro. Box not near as nice as Rapha’s, though. I’d buy those Raphas but then my wife would want some $450 shoes too.

  3. Walt S

    I am absolutely impressed with the Rapha marketing strategy. It is pure genius! They have taken made in China products, convinced Hipsters and roadies who should know better alike, that their products are chic and desirable. Then, much like Louis Vuitton purses and shoes, they have made owning such items a status symbol and must haves, regardless of the absurdity of the price they are charging and the quality of the product itself.

    I have compared made in China shoes (Specialized, Giro, Bontrager, etc.)to a pair of made in Italy Gaerne’s. On EVERY LEVEL, the Gaerne’s are truly superior. Since when is a mass produced Chinese pair of shoes eworth $450? Oh, I forgot, when you are buying a $5,000 made in Asia carbon frame, I guess $450 shoes are a bargain.

    Are we ever going to wake up and see that we are being taken for a ride when we fall for the marketing hype that convinces us to buy goods that appeal to our egos rather than our intellect? Reason tells us that the Rapha Grand Tour cycling shoe can probably be produced for $50 or less. That is an amazing profit Rapha is making at our expense. Is the shoe REALLY worth it?

  4. Troutdreams

    The larger question is when will we accept that within a population of 1.3 billion there are skilled craftsman.
    ‘Emerging economies’ or ‘developing nations’ are by definition associated with low cost labor. This is what initially attracts foreign manufacturers. Low cost labor supplied with low cost (inferior) materials by design.

    But China is no longer a developing nation and they have a skilled manufacturing base, if that’s what a manufacturer wants. Based upon the look and review, Ralpha supplied high quality material to craftsman- located in China.

    Now, as for paying a premium for brand name, that can’t be argued. It’s been happening in Italy for decades and now China’s in that game too.

  5. Walt S

    I speak of the lack of lack of quality in Chinese cycling goods from first hand experience, not hearsay. I needed a new pair of cycling shoes. The Carnacs I had were 12 years old and shot. I tried Sidi. Great, but too narrow. The Specialized shop I was at offered a pair of branded Specialized shoes with the BOA closure. They seemed to fit, but I was experiencing pain on my right foot ankle bone. When both shoes were placed side-by-side, the right portion of the shoe that was under the ankle bone was at least 10mm higher than the right. How could the shoes be that far out of spec? So much for Specialized quality control. The shop ordered a new pair, which were better, but still off-right shoe not quite matching the left. I was desperate for a shoe that would fit, so I bought them. On my first ride of 20 miles (seat height adjusted for sole thickness; cleats as identical as I could measure) my knees began hurting. I took the shoes back to the shop. They inserted a wedge which was supposed to neutralize Specialized “Body Geometry” fit that cants the shoes so that they produce a more natural pedaling motion and put less strain on knees. The result of adding the wedges was a slight improvement, but knee pain still persisted. As near as I could figure, the shoes must have been canted much more than the 1.5mm that was supposedly specified. Changed shoes. Instantly pain went away. The shoes put undue strain on my knees, the opposite of what they were supposed to do.

    That is my first-hand personal experience with the inconsistent quality of $370 Specialized Chinese made shoes.

    My experience has been that if companies ask that goods meet certain manufacturing specifications, Chinese craftsmen can comply, but those specifications are not adhered to unless there is due vigilance. Lack of consistency in Chinese quality control is also a problem in the computer industry as well as in the musical instrument industry.

  6. WV Cycling

    Padraig – My feet appear to be complete replicas of yours. My necessities are compounded due to being a diabetic for 25 years. (I wasn’t allowed to wear sandals until I was 15, for fear of cuts/scrapes/etc to my feet)

    If you ever end up wanting to get rid of a pair of mountain bike shoes for cheap, please contact me. My Nike MTB shoes are falling apart, and I want to save for something nice, but /The Girl/ and grad school are prohibiting me…


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Mo’Nilla: I suspect that a great many purchasers of these shoes will lie about how much they paid for them, especially if they are in relationships.

      Walt S: It sounds like you’re operating from an assumption that Chinese products are inferior. I gotta wonder why. While I can appreciate your frustration with shoes that didn’t fit properly, I’ve owned seven pairs of Specialized shoes over the last 25 years, and they were all good shoes, relative to their time (I’ll admit you couldn’t pay me to wear those touring shoes I bought back in ’87). Inconsistent quality can happen no matter where shoes are made; I’ve seen lousy shoes out of Italy, though I wouldn’t say that’s typical of all Italian shoes. It’s not exactly reasonable to extrapolate that Chinese cycling good are bad based on your experience with two pair of shoes. The Italian Trade Commission would be within their rights to have me strung up if I came to the conclusion that Italian cycling products were bad based on the last pair of Gaerne shoes I tried. I hope you’ll consider the possibility that if all Specialized products were as noticeably inconsistent in quality as what you experienced, you wouldn’t see much of their stuff on the road.

      WV Cycling: If I come up with an extra pair of MTB shoes, I’ll let you know. I’m wearing an older set of Specialized that also double as my ‘cross shoes.

  7. Troutdreams

    Walt, based on your description of the shoe buying experience I can understand your preferences (Italian) and or opinions of Chinese manufacturing.
    On the other hand, I’ve had a different experience with cycling products
    made in China. My Cervelo R3 (“hand made”) has served me very well. The shimano Ultegra components have held up quite nicely. The Fisik seat, 3T bar and post, Time RXS pedals, Sidi shoes, Specialized Prevail helmet, etc…have all met my expectations. The only things on my bike that were not manufactured in China, at least i believe not, would be my White Moutain hubs, Kinlin rims and me.
    No doubt China can make cheap goods but they also do performance well IMO.

  8. SteveP

    What is it with white cycling shoes? I hardly have the patience to chisel mud cakes from the bike – keeping white shoes white is an outlandish thought.

  9. Wsquared

    Trout

    Not necessarily disagreeing with you point, but FYI – I also have time RXS pedals on my R3. They are made in France. The Sidi shoes on my feet are Italian made as is the Fizik Antares under my butt.

    Walt – Did you try Sidis in the “mega” extra wide versions?

    Imo, chinese made products can vary quite a bit in quality. As somebody said, it is often dependent on how demanding their customers are. There was a time that Japanese goods had the reputation of being really shoddy. They were often cheaply made knock offs. Then, they embraced Demming’s quality control philosophy virtually as a nation and all that changed 180 degrees. Hopefully, large Chinese manufacturers will do the same, regardless of who their foreign customer might be.

  10. Scott G.

    Rapha should put out a special “I hate Rapha & the Schlecks” t-shirt,
    bound to be popular.

    SteveP, your mechanic should be cleaning your shoes and changing
    the white bar tape after each stage, talk to the DS if this is not happening.

  11. John

    I would love to see a side by side comparison with the Fizik R1. Cheaper, ‘Roo leather, Sidas mouldable insole, T700 sole. Made in Italy. Also comes in a very fancy box. I know if I was in the market for a high end pair of shoes which way I would be leaning. And it would not be towards Rapha. At the end of the day they are just Giro shoes in a sweet box.

  12. High Plains Drifter

    Can I get black with a white stripe?

    Geez … waiting for one person on the Internet to respectfully say “that’s not my cup of tea” without insulting everyone who happens to like it.

    If Prada made these, they’d go for $1999. It’s all relative. If you want something, you can make it yourself or pay someone to make it for you. And if you choose the latter, what constitutes “too much” is between you and the guy in the mirror.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I’m kind of amazed how the companies working hardest to do really high-end work come in for the nastiest comments.

      Wiggo: I look forward to you sharing something more constructive next time. You don’t have to like them, but really, you can do more to help the conversation along.

      Steve P: Keeping a white shoe white isn’t easy or fun, I admit. But damn, they look great and for nasty days there are always booties. At least, that’s how I do it.

      John: I plan to try on another pair of the Fi’zi:k R1s, but I suspect that someone other than me will need to review them. The pair I did briefly try on at a shop were entirely too narrow for me to wear. Your assertion that these are just Giros in a sweet box suggests you didn’t really read the review. They aren’t.

      High Plains: They do offer black with a white stripe. And thank you for your call for more temperate responses.

  13. Wsquared

    High priced clothing gets more heat because it is held to a higher standard because it is so expensive. Users are more likely to ask “is it really worth a lot more money?” than say for a high end grouppo. It’s natural to ask, “am I paying twice as much for extra quality or for making a designer line fashion statement?” Bit, as Drifter said, if the designer label is worth the extra money to you, it is to you.

    I’d add that it’s incumbent on a resposible professional reviewer to answer that question too. Is the extra cost compared to other comparable products really justified by the design & quality or is there also a built in surcharge for “designer” bling?

    After a closer look, I kind of like the Rapha shoes aesthetics, but at first glance it looked like they have a strip of black electrical tape wrapped around them to hold them together.

  14. Ian

    The biggest question I always want reviewers to answer with high-end items is “What are you paying for?” Then I can make my own decision on whether that added value is worth it for me.

    Sounds like here you are paying $160 vs. the Factor for:

    1. Perforated yak leather
    2. Aesthetics
    3. Premium packaging + conditioning cream

    To me, it’s not worth the cost. For others it may be, totally understandably. If you are wealthy, $160 (and $450 total) may be very little money to you. Rapha appeals to riders with lots of disposable income.

  15. Kepler F1

    Place booties over these Raphas??  Sacrilege! These shoes are just meant to be seen.  Rapha’s products have always had that distinctly handsome but muted appeal more common in the kits of the 50′s and 60′s.  I think it’s due to their minimalist aesthetic that they have to relentlessly assure that their fit and build are of high quality.  The materials, construction, and practicality of their products are intended to speak volumes that that other manufacturers will try to channel through louder designs.  A potential buyer may see a Rapha piece as rather plain but try it on and he’ll realize where some of that money’s going.

    This is sort of what Roger Hammond alluded to (from rapha.cc/a-classics-classact)
    “Perhaps I’m not allowed to say it but Simon [of Rapha] had provided me with some baselayers for racing. As racers, we spend so many hours a day in team race clothing and I strive to be comfortable as I can in every area. I was so pleased with how they work that when I was no longer obliged to wear team clothing I was excited to wear the rest of what Rapha had to offer. I was impressed with the quality of the materials and the attention to details.”

    Was Roger paid off as he sought to reinforce his retirement funds? Maybe. Or it could be that Rapha’s goods are quite good.

  16. SteveP

    Scott G, Noted. My mechanic is a slacker. He spends way more time hanging out with my wife and kids than he does cleaning my bike and kit.

  17. Bob Gade

    I have a few pieces of Rapha stuff: a pair of bibs, a neck warmer, a winter training hat, winter booties, and trousers. The winter “training” hat is one of my favorite pieces. While the finish and quality of the other products are fine, I have not found them to be better than similarly priced products from other manufacturers. I would definitely be happier if their products were not made in China, that part kinda ruins the romance of the product for me. I have a hard time sending my money to a country that does not respect basic human rights, but it has become increasingly hard to avoid (see my new Parlee Z5sli as an example).
    I do find that the sizing on their casual clothing seems to be designed for those with supermodel physiques. I’m 6’2″ 158lbs, and I still couldn’t squeeze into an extra large shirt.
    I saw these shoes last year in the Rapha store(or at least a forerunner of this model), and while they look sweet, I will not be abandoning Sidi, which has served me extremely well. I just wish that Sidi would add some of those wicked pink highlights to their shoes.

  18. Clark

    Those interested in a retro shoe with lots of tech and a lower price than the Raphas ought to check out Fizik’s other offering, the R3. I dig the aesthetic and they have turned out to be very comfortable as well (after swapping the included insoles for a pair of Specialized BGs). The thing that sold me on them over the Giro Factors (also personally comfortable) was practicality–a replaceable heel pad on the Fiziks. The Giro heel pad is wafer-thin and non-replaceable.

    I dig the Rapha aesthetic and the practical inclusions in their kit (pump pockets on the jerseys for example), and their stuff is pretty darn comfortable as well. My thinking on some items like the Grand Tour shoes (and the gloves of the same name) is that they’re perhaps more showpieces than products the expect to sell a lot of.

    I’ll admit, $450 is probably a lot to pay for a pair of shoes I’ve never seen in person, let alone tried on. But if, after trying them on for size I found the fit to be personally fantastic, I’d certainly start doing all kinds of rationalizing of why they were worthwhile.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Wsquared: It sounds like you are suggesting that a reviewer should have a working knowledge of all competing products and render a verdict in mini-shootout form of which is the most successful at a given price point. That’s a pretty unrealistic expectation for a host of reasons, not least of which is the simple fact that the losers would be virtually assured of never sending you (me) more product to review and any chance for advertising would be dashed. That’s not my job. My job is to evaluate a product based on its merits and liabilities. It’s your job to do the shopping.

      Ian: If we’re going to boil the $160 difference between the Factors and the Grand Tours down to a few bullet points, then I submit you left out the single most compelling reason to buy the Grand Tours: They are more comfortable. I like the Factors a lot, but the Grand Tours are a noticeably more comfortable pair of shoes, and as they stretch, they may become even moreso.

      To the degree that you and anyone else question the value of the fancy box, conditioning cream and shoe bags, let me put forward an idea: The packaging is in keeping with the overall sense of value and luxury commensurate with the item. I believe that stuff is meant as a reflection of the quality of workmanship and materials invested in those shoes. Had those shoes come in a flimsy cardboard box like the one my Vans come in, I’d really question just whether those shoes were worth what Rapha is charging.

      Kepler F1: You have a point, but I can’t bring myself to let those things fly on a nasty day, at least, not deliberately. Hammond’s recommendation was a neat diplomatic trick. No one got tossed under the bus and he spoke up for a product line he digs. Most former pros simply don’t know how to navigate those waters.

      Steve P: Your mechanic and my mechanic have a lot in common.

      Clark: While I appreciate the replaceable heel pad on the R3s, I think placing that detail ahead of fit as a priority is a recipe for (potential) disaster. If you’ve got a narrow foot, then you’ll be fine, but as I’ve mentioned, I’ve got concerns about whether I can wear the Fi’zi:ks due to my wide foot. When we get a chance to review some Fi’zi:k shoes, it may be that someone else here at RKP does the review out of a sincere desire to make sure they get a fair shake. I genuinely believe ALL riders are better served by placing fit as their first priority.

  19. Wsquared

    I have to smile when reading some of these comments. Rapha has been “selling” shoes for how long? I was admiring the supple leather on pair of Giros in a shop the other day, but I had to ask myself, “what will these look Ike like in 5 years?” which is early middle age for Sidis. Same question about the Raphas.

    Sidi has been making their own shoes in their own factories in Italy with generations of the same workers since the 1960s. That’s what they do. They are fanatics about innovation, craftsmanship and durability. Every stictch and buckle has been refined through years of R&D. My first pair of Sidis were lace up, but they weren’t “retro” because that was all that was made in the 70s. Every pair of Sidi shoes I have had since then have lasted 10 years or more through year round riding. Every pair has been an improvement over the previous pair. I have tried other shoes, but nobodies last fits me like a Sidi.

    I like the look of retro lace ups because they remind me of the good old days of wool shorts, no helmets and Columbus tubes. Pure nostalgia. A pair of Dromartis would look cool on my single speed, but for year in year out real world riding, I’ll stick with Sidis.

  20. Jonathan

    Nice shoes.
    For that sort of money I’d prefer 2 pairs of Dromartis. But then again, being the wearer of $80 Shimano shoes, I’m clearly not the target market.

  21. Clark

    To clarify, I too feel fit and comfort are paramount. In my case, the Fizik R3s and Giro Factors were equal in that department, so the heel pad was simply the tie-breaker.

  22. Alex T.

    I found it incredibly beautiful. Not sure sure if I´d use it for hard training and racing, but I´d wear it with jeans and jacket to go out if it wasn´t for the stiff cycling sole I guess. I admire Rapha for their class and style, but I´m not a fan by any means. Got but a couple of their cycling stuff only. Yes it´s expensive by any comparative standard (that is, relative to other shoes, even expensive ones). But then cycling is my only vice.

    I have a S-Works road and MTB show and also an old Sidi road. I like them both, as I have Gaerne´s and Shimanos and others in the past. Odd thing is, I´ve discovered that I have to keep alternating between them from time to time to feel comfortable and pain-free throughout the year. But I like the Specializeds, they are awesome in comfort and style IMHO.

  23. Hautacam

    Had to open a new browser tab and go look up “crispin” in a dictionary.

    Not often that a cycling site causes me to do that.

    Nice work.

    As for the shoes, well, I think the other 29 or so comments pretty well cover the waterfront.

  24. sophrosune

    There’s a really important issue with these shoes that’s barely been mentioned: You can’t try them on before you buy them. Unless you live in London or one of the few other places that has a brick-and-mortar store where you can try them on, you are just guessing at their sizing. I love Rapha. I have a lot of their clothes. But Padraig is absolutely right about their sizing issues of yesterday, so I think this should be a real consideration for these shoes as well. In 1996 I bought a pair of Sidi Genius 2s in size 44. I wore them for the next 11 years. I bought a new pair of Sidi Genius 5s in 2007 but had to get a size 45. Lasts are different, shoes have to be tried on. It seems to me to be a pretty big issue. That said, they do look delicious.

  25. Randomactsofcycling

    Speaking of delicious and a little off topic, does anyone know if Giro are sellIng the shoes Taylor Phinney is sporting at the Giro d’Italia. He’s worn a couple of different colors of some tasty lace-ups onto the podium. Is he riding with those too?


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I’m told Taylor’s shoes should, I repeat, should, hit at Interbike and be in dealers before next spring.

  26. noel

    there’s some rapha stuff i really think is amazeballs (the shorts and some of the jerseys and the socks). when you rolled up in them i was kinda disappointed given how good they look in pictures. the looked thick, lumpy and just generally big. i’ve seen your bare feet… they’re lovely and sleek. kinda thinking sidis in simple not too shiny black and white woulda done it (for me).

    that being said… good design is always a good thing. it’s so subjective… but were you surprised by the bulk/mass (not weight)?


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Noel: It’s always nice to get the perspective from someone who has seen me wearing the stuff in question. That said, I think the bigger problem with their appearance, or the root cause, as it were, is my fat feet. I feel like most any shoe is going to look a big ungainly on my feet. I don’t want to fault the shoes for responding to my anatomy. I suspect they’ll look great on many folks.

  27. Jeff

    No doubt, Rapha is a premium lifestyle brand that has figured out its target market — detractors notwithstanding. The new Rapha shoes are nearly sold out in most sizes, according to the Rapha site. Is the company creating false scarcity? I doubt it. They are in the business to earn profits for ownership. The Rapha product line appeals to a certain customer who can be found around the world (not just in the US or UK), and those who prefer products from other cycling brands at any price level (remember Assos, the original OMG-I-can’t-believe-the-price Swiss brand?), are justified to believe what they want. That’s the beauty of a free market where companies can produce products that people buy. The market has sent many a new company into the trash bin of economic history. As consumers, we all get to choose. You want to spend $450 USD on cycling shoes, there are options. You want to spend less, of course, there are many more options. No one is right or wrong on which to select. It’s simply a matter of preference — as much as riding hors categorie climbs solo versus weekend criteriums is a preference cyclists make all the time.

  28. michael

    I’d pretend to try to get excited about these, but i just bought a pair of Fizik R3′s that I love so much that I am considering proposing to them. Best shoes I have ever owned, and i’ve only had two rides in them. Once I get some extra dosh kicking around i’ll probably pick up a pair of the R1′s, which felt like butter but I just couldn’t afford the extra $100 at this time.

  29. Johan

    I have had a pair of Grand Tours for six weeks or so. I tried three sizes at Condor Bicycles in London and settled on size 44.5. By comparison my three year old Sidi Genius 5 Pro Megas are size 44.

    The Grand Tours seem to “disappear” on my feet. I wore the Genius 5s for the first time in six weeks on a particularly wet day last week and they felt tighter than I remember. Which I attribute to the Grand Tours being so much more comfortable in comparison. They feel, and look, wonderful. Expensive no question, but worth the money.

    So that is one contact point sorted. The search is on for better bib shorts and gloves.

  30. James

    When I have my cynic hat on I sometimes believe Rapha employs people to hate and troll. The old adage: “I don’t care what people are saying about me aslong as they are talking about me” applies perfectly to a young brand.

  31. Ian Hancock

    If you like them and can afford them, buy them. If you don’t like them, think they are too expensive, or can’t afford them, then don’t buy them. I don’t see the problem.

    PS. My new white Rapha Grand Tour shoes are amazing – as is my Ferrari.

  32. Roadglode

    Yes, made in China bothers me. I really don’t fuss too much that a company wants and can actually make a good profit, as they should, it’s a business. The monster has been created. No turning back. Just about anything anymore is built in the Pacifc Rim regions. You can fight your battles and lose the war or enjoy what life you have and ride with yet another great looking, great feellingmand well made product agaain born in the Pacific Rim. Decide your battles and get on with it. Life’s short. Just ride.

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