Road Cycling Clothing

Review: Rapha Classic Bib Shorts

The Rapha Classic Bib Shorts have a great reputation. But do they live up to all the hype?

A good pair of bib shorts can genuinely transform a good ride into a great one. If you are going to spend money on one piece of kit, we highly recommend it is for the benefit of your backside. Here we put the Rapha Classic Bib Shorts to the test. 

A while back I tested the Rapha 3/4 Tights. I liked them. But I didn’t love them. As a fan of a minimalist chamois, I found it didn’t quite suit my shape. And there lies one of the main problems for us ladies, we are all different shapes and sizes so what suits one of us might not work for another. Having read my review I was approached by the PR manager for Rapha. She took my comments about the chamois on board (which is always a welcome response) and asked me to test the Rapha Classic Bib Shorts. She had a hint of confidence in her voice that dared me not to like them.

And it turns out she had every right to be confident. Overall these shorts really did deliver. As a UK Size 10, I opted to test the size small. I did have slight concern about the bib fitting me from a height point of view as I am 5’10” but they really did fit like a glove.

Unlike the majority of other bib shorts on the market, the Rapha Classic Bib Shorts do not have straps but instead have an integrated mesh baselayer (think triathlon suit style) with a zip down the front for added ventilation. It sat across my body very comfortably providing support for my chest which was a welcome addition, was super breathable and gave me a nice streamlined silhouette under my jersey.

The chamois itself was also a hit. Not too bulky and thankfully with no irritating seams, it absorbed the shock of the road well and went pretty much unnoticed for duration of my ride – which to me is always a good thing!

The chamois also remained firmly in place. This I think was due to both the bib and the tight fighting lycra that the shorts are made of. While the shorts were tight, they didn’t cause any discomfort at all. Although this is the point of my one and only gripe when it comes to these shorts – I did experience a touch of the dreaded sausage leg.

The back of the bib shorts has a handy sized zip pocket which is perfect for stashing money and your card – although if like me you are a bit of a sweaty betty when out riding, your money won’t work in the automated tills at Sainsbury, I am quite sure the shop staff didn’t mind swapping my sweaty £20 pound note for a fresh one though!!

The Rapha Classic Bib Short is available in a size XXS to XL and comes in three colour combinations – black/white, black/hot pink and black.


The Rapha Classic Bib Short is super comfortable and perfect if you are planning on spending a long time in the saddle.


These shorts do not come cheap, but they offer quality and comfort so the price tag is justified. My only gripe is the little bit of sausage leg I experienced when off the bike!


I have to admit that I do love these shorts. They are super comfortable and flattering, a winner!

Price: £160

Stockist: Rapha

 Also worth a read:
The joys and pitfalls of bib shorts  
How to: Get the best road bike for your budget
6 Healthy bites for the bike


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