Video, Fake Cycling Kit

When something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

So a Rapha brand cycling shirt for £9 plus postage was always going to be slightly dodgy - but how bad could it be?

I bought one to find out.

My parents used to own fashion shops and, back in the day, the factories which made designer dresses would often make extra, tweak a few things, then sell them as their own.  It was called "cabbage" - no idea why.

I wondered whether this could be the case here because, looking at the photo of the shirts sold on the highly reputable website, they looked close to the real thing. I added the price tag.

If you're thinking, "if you're daft enough to expect to get a £120 Rapha shirt for £9 then you deserve what's coming to you", then let me be clear - it's not just Rapha kit.  There is a wide range of cycling kit for sale on the highly reputable website

I have no idea how much of it is fake.  But hey, how bad could it be?  Let me show you.  This is a genuine Rapha Brevet Jersey.

Real Rapha
Here is what arrived from the highly reputable website - it was supposed to be the one in the photo above.  You get a better idea of it in the video.

It's thin and very nylon.  For a top to wear on the turbo, it's fine and perhaps £12.90 isn't too much to pay.  But it's most definitely not a Rapha shirt.  If you'd ordered brand name shorts or tights, then I suspect the pad would be low quality.

I immediately reported it as counterfeit to the highly reputable website using their automated customer service tool and was promised a reply within two working days.  Three days later I tried again.  No result either time.

So I tried again and plastered it on Twitter and Instagram - copying in the genuine Rapha, who responded.  Within hours I received a refund.

As of writing, all the fake cycling kit is still being sold openly on the highly reputable website.  I have deactivated my account.


Abalem said...

Thank you for having gone through this for us ! ^^ I saw that today, and I guess I just needed to read your article after that. Cheers

Simon Willis said...

Glad you liked it. The shirt is still lying around somewhere - pretty useless.

ciara said...

Thank you so much Simon, I was just getting sucked into maybe really perhaps getting the greatest Rapha deal ever on Wish! I needed to read your research to be reminded that you do get what you pay for. I really don't want to support fake goods, which is basically slavery... Thanks again!

Russell said...

I suspected it was fake but gave it a go as it was so cheap! Mine looks very much like yours. Might give it a go on a ride though for a laugh.

Simon Willis said...

I thought about riding in it, but it's a really nasty nylon so I'm saving it for a turbo session first. Or perhaps a duster...

martyn herman said...

I bought one for nine quid . Sort of guessed it would be fake and surely is but it’s not terrible either so will wear it a few times until it falls apart !

Simon Willis said...

Hopefully better than mine - still unworn!

Chris said...

A year on and it is still on there. Even comes up high on Google shopping when you search for Rapha.

Ironically they would probably sell more of it if they tripled their prices!