Form and function combine superbly… with a price tag to match
Okay, you may have looked at the price before reading this and thought that it may have been a misprint but, these aren’t ordinary trousers, they are Rapha trousers and there is a subtle, black embroidered logo in the right pocket, just to remind you. If you, like me, use your bike as your main mode of transport, you are going to want to have clothes that you can wear both on and off the bike without looking like a courier or a commuter.
These trousers have the sort of tailoring you’d expect for 150 sheets. For starters, they aren’t jeans, they are trousers. They aren’t to be worn hanging off your bum with your briefs on show, these riding trousers have rubber grippers on the waistband to keep them locked to your hips without the hint of a builder's crack – persish the thought. Belt loops are there if you require extra security or you have lost some weight. One of the rear belt loops is in white to give it the characteristic contrasted accent synonymous with Rapha. The cut is slim yet proportioned to allow for the more muscular form of a cyclist’s thighs and the diagonal weave of the poly cotton material gives ample stretch allowing unrestricted movement to your pins.
These aren’t just hard wearing slacks, you can get those from Dickies for a fraction of the price, these black beauties have a special sewn in seat with a soft micro fibre lining to reduce any chafing and make the material sit well without causing any disruption in the barracks. The flat fronted waistband with hook and eye closure stops the trouser gathering and snagging. Riding with these trousers is a very comfortable experience and quite a warm one. The only niggle is that you still need to gather the bottom of your trouser leg away from your crankset and the dilemma of which method is the most acceptable; tucked into the sock, cycle clip or rolled up to the calf?
The polycotton is fairly robust, fairly windproof and will even repel a light shower. When the heavens finally do open up, these leg covers are pretty quick to dry too. There is a neat change pocket within the right hand side seam pocket which prevents your loose bits from spilling out when you are pedalling or seated. The only problem with this is if you put your mobile phone in this pocket as I could never retrieve it to answer in time. A zippered rear pocket allows extra stowage, something you will use because putting your wallet in the side pockets of flat fronted pants looks, um, lumpy?
The trousers come in a gazelle like 34 inch leg length across all of the sizes which was slightly too long for my legs but they are designed to be hemmed by your tailor/butler/mum/wife/Filipino. Available in black with bright pink contrast stitching on the inside.
For the city gent who requires a trouser that looks dapper on his cycle and in the club for high tea. A little on the pricey side.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Trousers
Size tested: 34
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Created for the urban bike-rider, these smart, slim-cut trousers are tough enough to survive the rigours of the winter commute but also stylish enough to be worn off the bicycle." So, for the man about town with a large(ish) disposable income… that's essentially me without the tiresome income bit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
•Microﬁbre lined seat.
•Gripper on waistband.
•Waistband extension with hook and eye closure.
•Bound seams in contrast colour.
•Side seam pockets.
•Rear zipped and welted pocket.
•Contrast rear belt loop feature.
Good cut. The inside leg seam and seat are designed to reduce chafing. Quality of workmanship is excellent.
As good as you can get without using technical fibres.
With reduced rubbing, this garment should perform well for ages. I did have an incident with the button coming of but this happened on a Friday night after a visit to the ale house.
The micro fibre panel on the inside of the gusset stops your crotch getting grated. A great fitting trouser.
They are expensive but they look great and are good quality and they do the job. Some people spend that sort of money on a hair cut.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These trousers perform well, they are comfortable on and off the bike and they look very smart. They are quite warm though, so don't choose the chesterfield closest to the open fire when enjoying a cognac with Peterson at your club.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit and the quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I would like them to be slightly narrower at the bottom so I don't have to gather them away from the chain ring.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
If you are a person who likes to spend money on their wardrobe or price isn't an issue, these smart riding trousers will serve you well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Sparton, brakeless fixed My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,