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Rapha Men’s Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts



Exceptional bib shorts with an exceptional price tag
So comfortable
Chamois is superb
Noticeable compression
Colours won't be for everyone, there's no black!
Contact: Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to recommends

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts are excellent, using innovative technologies combined with noticeable compression and a superb chamois. However, there is no getting around that price tag.

For more (and cheaper) options, check out our guide to the best cycling bib shorts.

> Buy now: Rapha Men’s Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts for £300 from Rapha

I've had a pair of Rapha's Pro Team shorts for the last five years. Normally I wouldn't keep a pair of bib shorts for that long, because... they're bib shorts. However, although they are now admittedly further down the pecking order, they are still going strong and there has been no reason to get rid of them. The chamois is still very comfortable, the decals are still in place and they still look great. Only time will tell whether this Powerweave version will have the same staying power, but in other respects they're top performers.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - back.jpg

The Powerweave material has similar properties to other high-end bib shorts I have used, such as the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 and Castelli Premio Blacks I tested in the last couple of years. The material wicks very well, has compression built in, and even has elasticated threads that make grippers at the bottom of the legs unnecessary.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

The material used down the front and up to the back also feels quite similar. However, down the side of the legs is where you really notice the difference, with a feel closer to cotton than what you would expect in a pair of bib shorts.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - side.jpg

This material is noticeably compressive, to the extent that when you first put the shorts on they almost feel a bit small. But after a couple of minutes, they sit perfectly, offering compression and  without any irritating wrinkles or creases.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - legs front.jpg

It also offers very impressive wicking and breathability, rivalling and possibly beating both the Castelli and MAAPs in terms of use in hot weather. It is often quite difficult to justify sky high prices of premium gear, but you really notice the difference if you commute in regular bibs and then throw on a high-end pair like these; it's like night and day when it comes to use in hot weather particularly.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - side detail.jpg

To help with this comfort, Rapha has used fewer seams, with the stretch of the material allowing them to build these with seven panels. Fewer panels means fewer seams and the potential to rub and cause irritation on longer rides. That said, the Castelli Premios have even fewer seams, with only three panels, although to be honest both are supremely comfortable without any rubbing whatsoever, even during long rides on hot days.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - legs back.jpg

On the subject of comfort, Rapha has used its remodelled race chamois, which is both slimmer and lighter than the other Pro Team models, and it's a truly excellent pad. I used these over several long and hot rides, on rough paths and glass-smooth roads, and there was no time when I wished I was wearing something else. The compression of the fabric seems to really help with this, not only with wicking but also because it feels like it holds the chamois closer in, creating less movement. Compared with the other top-end pads I've used in the last year or so it stands up well – it is definitely simpler than MAAP's and Castelli's, but is no less comfortable on long rides.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

Up top Rapha has slightly adjusted the straps compared with the earlier models of this bib short, removing the cutout in the strap and instead just having a straight strap running all the way across the top of the shoulder and connecting the back panel. They sit flat against the shoulders and I didn't have any issues with twisting or digging in while I was riding or when putting them on, which is something that can happen with these thinner laser-cut straps.

At the back, a mesh panel helps to let heat escape easily and keeps you nice and cool.

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

These shorts do break the mould in a couple of ways, but the one that is perhaps most marked is that they are not available in black. As well as the blue version on test, which has little turquoise flecks down the legs, you can get them in a dark brown and a grey that's close to a black, but there is no standard plain black in the line-up.


At £300, these are comfortably the most expensive bib shorts we have ever reviewed on

By comparison, those Castelli Premio Blacks are a snip at £250 (£30 more than when I tested them in 2021). There isn't a huge amount between them as they're both brilliant, but the Pro Team Powerweaves dry slightly quicker.

The MAAP Pro Bib 2.0s have gone up to £260, and again there isn't much between them, though again the Raphas dry a little quicker.

Looking beyond those we've tested, they're still very expensive – even Assos' range-topping Mille GTO Bib Shorts C2 are cheaper, coming in at £265, though Poc's Raceday Bibshorts are £320.


Though there is no getting around the price, the Rapha Pro Team Powerweaves are supremely comfortable bib shorts. From my testing of the MAAP and Castelli shorts in 2021 and 2022, I'd say there's little to choose between them – all three are fantastic – though the Raphas do dry quicker. They are among the best bib shorts I have ever used, and if you prefer a more 'natural' feeling fabric then perhaps that extra £40 or £50 is worth it – as long as you don't want black.


Exceptional bib shorts with an exceptional price tag test report

Make and model: Rapha Men's Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

They're aimed at racing and high performance road cycling.

Rapha describes these as an 'Elite-Level Race Bib Short'.

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

Rapha lists these key features:

Compressive yet comfortable race bib shorts made for extended high-tempo rides

Highly breathable woven fabric draws sweat from the skin 2x faster for reliable temperature control

Engineered 7-panel construction saves on bulk – 20% lighter than Pro Team Bibs

Compressive weave optimises muscle support to aid with rapid recovery

Race-ready chamois pad with multiple layers of higher-density foam for optimal support

Laser-cut, ergonomic bib straps with bonded edges for pressure-dispersed support over the shoulder

No regular leg gripper – integrated, elasticated yarns woven into the fabric provide a stable fit

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very well made – strong stitching, impressive and innovative fabric, and few seams to cause issues.

Rate the product for performance:

Comfortable, compressing, and the best wicking I have come across in a pair of bib shorts.

Rate the product for durability:

My current set of Pro Team bib shorts have lasted for five years and are still going strong; I don't see anything about these that suggests they wouldn't last just as well.

Rate the product for fit:

The compressive qualities of the fabric mean that these sit very comfortably against the skin and create an impressive close fit without any real signs of creasing.

Rate the product for sizing:

The large I tested fitted as I would expect.

Rate the product for weight:

179g is impressive, although Castelli's Premio Black hit the scales at 154g. Let's be honest, though, a 25g difference is the equivalent of having a gel in your pocket or not.

Rate the product for comfort:

Supremely comfortable – the chamois is excellent, the fit is exceptional, and the wicking for hot weather riding is unrivalled.

Rate the product for value:

The one downside – they are not just very expensive, they are the most expensive bib shorts we have ever reviewed on the site.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

You can just chuck them in the washing machine at 30 degrees and line dry.

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

Very, very well. They are incredibly comfortable for long rides in a multitude of conditions and really show their class when the temperature rises.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit, not only the compression but also the way you can almost feel them adapting to your body.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

At £300, these are the most expensive bib shorts we have ever reviewed on

Castelli's Premio Blacks are £250, while the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0s are £260.

Looking beyond those we've tested, Assos' range-topping Mille GTO Bib Shorts C2 are cheaper, coming in at £265, though Poc's Raceday Bibshorts are £320.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if my bank manager allowed it.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A truly exceptional pair of bib shorts that are comfortable, high performance, and fit superbly.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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IanEdward | 1 year ago

I really want to like Rapha shorts but can't get on with the seam/split in the middle of the chamois.

HOWEVER these shorts look reeeeeeally similar to my favourite Bioracer/Stolen Goat Epic bibshorts, same material by the look of it, different pad (sans middle seam 👍).

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