There’s no doubt that Rapha has quickly become one of the most successful businesses in cycling. Founded by Simon Mottram in 2004, the clothing label is synonymous with style and quality. The brand has also expanded its empire to incorporate casual clothing, travel and, of course, its own cycle club Rapha.CC.
– Interview by Rob Arnold
There are passionate customers and numerous detractors alike but it’s clear that Rapha is in the game for the long haul.
Mottram first visited the RIDE office several years ago after attending the Tour Down Under. Since that time his company has been involved with sponsorship of one of the most visible teams in the pro peloton and he’s learned a lot about the business of cycling.
We took advantage of his annual return to Australia to put him in the “hot seat” (as he called it) and turn the camera on.
Instead of our usual informal chat about cycling, family and life in general, our discussion this year turned into the longest instalment to date of the ‘Talking Cycling’ series.
At almost 40 minutes, there’s a lot of territory covered but if you’re interested in some background on Rapha and Mottram himself, it’s worth clicking ‘Play’ on the YouTube link (above) and having a listen to what he’s got to say.
Mottram has a strong sense of style and an obvious passion for cycling. These two things are combined well and they are on display on myriad items bearing the name, ‘Rapha’.
We talk about cycling and his clothing and the travel packages… and then move into discussion about what can be done to improve the state of professional racing.
But one of the most fascinating things about Mottram’s life is his remarkable son, Oscar. At 22, he continues to find his way in the world but it’s not easy and Simon explains some of the challenges that living with autism bring to his world.
* * * * *
Rapha is a young brand but it’s about more than just another pair of knicks and a jersey with a logo and funky design.
I hope you enjoy watching the interview as much as I did.
– Rob Arnold