Rapha Merino Boxers  £35.00

8/10

Pants to be pampered in: luxury merino boxers that perform well, eat odour and leave a hole in your wallet

Weight 90g   Contact  www.rapha.cc

by TR McGowran   February 1, 2014  

Rapha's Merino Boxers are pants that really pamper your parts.

Merino is one of those finer things in life, literally: the super fine fibres of merino wool are one of the properties that make it work so well for cycling and also make it feel very nice against your skin.

What better use for this luxurious fabric than having pants made from it; it's like having your goolies cupped by the soft hands of an angel. The fine wool is very absorbent and does wonders at wicking sweat from your nether regions and along with the flatlock stitching throughout helps reduce chaffing even when sodden. These aren't going to make you feel like your genitals are being dragged across an acrylic carpet when things get moist while you are frantically bashing your legs up and down on the pedals. Merino wool is like having climate control in your underwear, it keeps you warm but also does a good job of stopping the thermostat being turned up to 'tropical'.

 

These trunks are figure hugging and the material is very elastic. The polyester in the mix helps the material keep its shape better than 100% wool. They're not too tight against the skin, still allowing unrestricted movement but there's no jostling about in the barracks: everything is kept in its place.

Another great quality of merino is it's reluctance to pick up a pong. If you have got sweaty and these undercrackers have got damp they aren't going to smell like you have just lifted the blanket off a wet horse. If you are commuter who stays in the gear you rode in on all day, these are made for you. They do feel a little odd at first because they take your sweat away and spread it over the fabric initially making you feel damper than normal, but then it does its magic and starts wicking it away.

What better way of storing your prize cargo than to have them contained in a pair of merino pants? Of course, this amount of luxury comes at a cost, and at £35 it is double what you would pay for a pair of Calvin Klein boxers but they won't offer you the comfort and performance of Rapha's premier division underwear. If I could afford it, my top drawer would be stocked with these for every day of the week. Or you could by one pair and wash them before going to bed because they dry very quickly.

If your ride's a bit too long to go padless, Rapha also offers these with a thin pad, tri-suit style, for an extra tenner.

Verdict

Pants to be pampered in: luxury merino boxers that perform well, eat odour and leave a hole in your wallet.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Merino Boxers (no pad)

Size tested: Medium Black

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?

Provide all-day comfort for city riders - they did this admirably.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Comfortable merino/polyester fabric

Flatlock stitching

Foldover fly

Distinctive styling

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Great for sweaty people, I am a sweaty person and these work well.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

They will outlast cotton pants.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

They aren't going to boil your spuds but are warmer than loose cotton boxer shorts.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10

If you like things tucked in rather than loose these are as comfortable as you can get without being fur lined.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

They are competitively priced for merino pants from equivalent brands but it is a lot of money to spend on pants.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

At first they feel like they are more damp than normal pants then they get to work getting rid of any moisture. The price is high.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and I still am.

Would you consider buying the product? Definely, this is the beginning of my collection.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, to those who have healthy salaries.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

These are a luxury that are also a performance garment if you cycle to work and stay in the same clobber all day.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 179  Weight: 75

I usually ride: Condor pista  My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Look KG241, Jean Thomann vintage

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, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back

 

38 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

They look pants.........

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [650 posts]
1st February 2014 - 13:29

8 Likes

Ive had a pair of the padded version for a few years, get used every day on the commute under winter tights or baggy shorts. Bloody comfy things they are. I did a tour in the US and didnt want to use bib short so took these and a pair of endura 'underwear' with pad, those were so awful they went in the bin and I used the rapha boxers for 10 days straight, with only the occasional chance for a wash. I know they are expensive but they are some of the best cycling boxers ive worn, better than many cycle shorts.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [420 posts]
1st February 2014 - 14:39

8 Likes

Bunch of skinflints, the lot of you!

Now these are what I call luxury pants:

http://www.derek-rose.com/otis-5-mult-boxershort.html Rolling On The Floor

Don't forget to get the matching pyjamas, they're at a knock down price too ..... Wink

Never in a hurry on a bicycle.

posted by GoingRoundInCycles [134 posts]
1st February 2014 - 14:40

8 Likes

Superman has a pair of these. That's why he wears them outside his clothes; it's nothing to do with being a superhero, just letting everyone know how much he spends on his pants

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [168 posts]
1st February 2014 - 16:02

6 Likes

ha ha love the comments here, to be fair £35 is a lot but then its also not in the sense of im about to boff £50 at the bar.

i just think it sounds amazing, hey im wearing wooly pants ba ha ha ah

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
1st February 2014 - 18:04

6 Likes

I suppose being rapha these will attract a used resale value of at least £20 above the original price to those crazy ebay buyers.

posted by paulmcmillan [80 posts]
1st February 2014 - 19:11

6 Likes

Are we supposed to wear these under our bibs? Apologies if this is already pointed out in the review, couldn't be arsed to read it.

posted by Nick Squier [7 posts]
1st February 2014 - 19:22

6 Likes

I have used the Rapha merino boxers ones with a pad which are no even more eye-wateringly expensive at £45.

I use them under trousers for round town riding and they are the most comfortable underpants for this purpose. They really make a difference for your nether regions.

So I just pay up and shut up.

posted by ChairRDRF [157 posts]
1st February 2014 - 20:14

4 Likes

Bought some in the Manchester sample sale, I'll let you know how good they are!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3423 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 3:40

5 Likes

I'll take a dozen pairs 'cos I'm considerably richer than you......

posted by don simon [214 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 12:58

6 Likes

You can buy perfectly adequate base layers in Aldi for a tenner - I'm still wearing various items I've had for several winters - this stuff is aimed at those with more money that sense who think the answer to everything is to buy more expensive kit - when was the last time anyone really thought "I'd be enjoying this ride far more if I was wearing a pair of 35 quid Rapha skivvies?"

Alternatively, try saying it out loud next time you're out on a club run....

posted by lightboxuk [4 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 9:41

7 Likes

I like a bit of Lidl, sometimes a bit of Castelli but Rapha is just ridiculously priced. No thanks (again).

stenmeister's picture

posted by stenmeister [69 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 9:41

4 Likes

I got a pair for Christmas and they are very comfortable. Only worn once, save them special occasions Love Struck

posted by alexhamps [7 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 15:46

5 Likes

Icebreaker merino underwear = £36.99. Finisterre = £35. These are priced the same as other high end merino dung hampers.

lightboxuk wrote:
You can buy perfectly adequate base layers in Aldi for a tenner......

I bet you buy all your 'perfectly adequate' clothes from George at Asda too. Damn people for spending their money on whatever they want. Some people prefer nice, desirable things and I'm glad they do. Otherwise we'd all be walking around in 'perfectly adequate' boring crap.

These cost less than half a tank of petrol (although I don't drive a 'perfectly adequate' car, it could be considered dangerously ostentatious by the crusader for the adequate I suppose) and if they make someone's commute or audax feel better whilst enjoying the hobby they like spending money on, good luck to them.

posted by ajmarshal1 [345 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 17:08

14 Likes

I have just ordered my 4th pair. Love them, have a handfull of Icebreaker, and they are about the same price. You pay for quality and comfort Wink

/Anders

posted by MrBAW [39 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 18:04

7 Likes

I've think I'll buy some of the ludicrously bright orange ones for no other reason than I fancy some besties for the colder commutes. Merino pants are great in winter.

posted by ajmarshal1 [345 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 18:18

7 Likes

If these were labeled as a 'base layer' would they be considered as better value? You can get a matching merino vest (base layer) for double the price from most bicycle clothing manufacturers than these boxers, check out the review of the deFeet Merino base layer http://road.cc/content/review/110023-defeet-undwool-merino-base-layer that review only has one comment...

It's all about the size of your cog.

TR McGowran's picture

posted by TR McGowran [97 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 18:27

5 Likes

ajmarshal1 wrote:
I bet you buy all your 'perfectly adequate' clothes from George at Asda too.......(although I don't drive a 'perfectly adequate' car, it could be considered dangerously ostentatious by the crusader for the adequate I suppose)

Rather a lot of extrapolation from my post there - if you want to lash out £35 on a pair of boxers in the pursuit of possessing lots of "nice, desirable things", be my guest, obviously anything is preferable to "walking around in 'perfectly adequate' boring crap".

Crusader for the Adequate

posted by lightboxuk [4 posts]
4th February 2014 - 19:46

4 Likes

Bought a bundle of these cheaply at a Rapha sample sale a couple of years ago and they are so comfortable both on & off the bike that I now wear them all the time. Mine are the padded ones - there was no padless option until recently - and they make everything work on the bike; jeans or bibs. Had a pair of their winter tights in the same sale for £40 and they make a brilliant winter combo with these keks.
Find an opportunity to buy them at the right price & you can't get any better to be honest.

posted by herohirst [59 posts]
6th February 2014 - 20:16

2 Likes

You had me at "it's like having your goolies cupped by the soft hands of an angel." Where do I sign? Smile

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [582 posts]
7th February 2014 - 8:02

3 Likes

hand it to Rapha - they're always good for a laugh

Sudor

posted by Sudor [183 posts]
7th February 2014 - 10:48

1 Like

Zzzzzz. So bored with the Dave Spart Socialist Worker attitude to Rapha. Want to buy cheap crap every year for three years - or pay more for something that lasts 3 years? Fork out and you'll be able to give a balanced opinion. If you don't wear Rapha for reasons of cost or principle how can you possibly have full personal knowledge of value for money?

I have 12 pieces of Rapha kit: ranging from 8 year old winter jackets to shoe covers and t shirts. All of them are more comfortable and longer lasting than any of the Aldi et al kit I've also bought in the past. Worth asking yourself: Had I not bought 3 cheap jackets and invested in one decent jacket I would now own a decent jacket rather than the latest crap one? And crucially - which one of the four would please you the most?

Would I want a pair of wool boxers? No. But are they value for money? Probably.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1084 posts]
7th February 2014 - 23:24

3 Likes

Just ignoring the usual pricing debate for a sec...

Why doesn't Rapha incorporate nano silver technology into their boxers? It's something that appears to be quite common amongst other high value brands.

I've got Rohan boxers and even a couple of decent shirts with nano silver technology too. Even my Marks and Spencer socks have silver particles in them. So why doesn't Rapha have this?

Not sure how it works, but the technology seems to be incredibly effective.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
8th February 2014 - 1:09

1 Like

'Why doesn't Rapha incorporate nano silver technology into their boxers'
Prob because it'd be fairly redundant in merino. Excellent in cotton/nylon and other places though.

posted by andyp [1013 posts]
8th February 2014 - 14:36

2 Likes

To update Jim Royle - I paid 35 quid for these pants and 20 quid's worth is up my arse!

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
8th February 2014 - 14:42

2 Likes

Neil753: Silver is a natural antibiotic, so weaving it into fabric inhibits bacterial growth - which otherwise can be a problem with cotton and, especially, synthetics.

Good woollens are coated with lanolin - sheep skin grease - which has an anti-bacterial effect. Much more effective than silver nano-threads, I think. So that's not needed. The lanolin in wool will be removed with washing over time, unless you use a good wool wash, with lanolin in it.

posted by Paul J [667 posts]
8th February 2014 - 16:35

1 Like

Paul J wrote:
Neil753: Silver is a natural antibiotic, so weaving it into fabric inhibits bacterial growth - which otherwise can be a problem with cotton and, especially, synthetics.

Good woollens are coated with lanolin - sheep skin grease - which has an anti-bacterial effect. Much more effective than silver nano-threads, I think. So that's not needed. The lanolin in wool will be removed with washing over time, unless you use a good wool wash, with lanolin in it.

So how come some wool items have this silver technology then?

I don't know how this silver technology works, but it's incorporated into my wool socks, and at the end of a hard day lorry driving (which is a tough test for a pair of socks) they definitely stink a lot less than the wool socks that don't have any silver in them.

Just checked the website, and it says, "Sanitized Silver Technology keeps your socks fresh and odour free for the liftetime of the sock".

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
8th February 2014 - 21:38

2 Likes

Lanolin's only (to my knowledge) antimicrobial property is by acting as a coating to prevent bacteria/fungus/yeast from attaching to the surface of the wool. Silver nanoparticles in fabrics have a stronger antimicrobial effect by disrupting microbial (bacteria, fungus, and/yeast) cell wall synthesis, DNA/RNA production, and protein function to name a few of the many mechanisms. Silver is a total package, multiple mechanism attack against microbes vs lanolin. Sort of like comparing a biometrically keyed security system with patrolling guards to a single moat defense. Also, since lanolin gets washed out of the wool fibers over time, its efficacy will wane so adding silver to wool fabrics not only increases the antimicrobial effect but also allows you to maintain it over time while utilizing a soft, natural fabric that some people prefer over synthetics. That and you can increase the cost and bling factor. Most of my kit is silver impregnated but synthetic, not wool. Too itchy.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

movingtarget's picture

posted by movingtarget [136 posts]
8th February 2014 - 22:01

2 Likes

Silver pollution is a real concern in marine environments, I personally would avoid clothing that uses nano silver technology.

posted by FMOAB [238 posts]
9th February 2014 - 0:36

2 Likes

@ FMOAB
I've been reading about this, and it appears that it is the action of the steel drum inside washing machines that causes the problem
But it is reported that there is no problem with hand washing.
It's certainly an interesting subject.
Maybe a good compromise is to hand wash nano silver technology garments, and to just use them for special occasions when you really don't want to stink after a long ride, and use garments without silver when you don't mind stinking a little bit.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
9th February 2014 - 15:50

1 Like

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