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The Rapha Men's Pro Team Training Bib Shorts fit very well and perform as impressively as you would expect from a brand renowned for its high-quality kit, making long training rides very comfortable.
Rapha's bib shorts have a reputation for quality, but with more and more options available it's often hard to select the right shorts for your use. These Pro Team Training bib shorts are designed to meet the needs of professional cyclists who put in big training miles, so you'd expect them to provide a comfortable ride while not necessarily featuring the aero materials that would be required for racing.
The materials used here meet that brief really well. I would describe the shorts as medium thickness, suitable for use in a pretty wide range of temperatures. I certainly didn't find them too cold when riding in sub-10 degrees nor too warm when figures reached the mid 20s.
Rapha describes the main fabric as offering "support and compression through tough efforts" and I really like it: with effective panelling, the shorts felt tight but not too small. In fact their pro fit – "designed to sit close to the skin, with a high stretch fabric that hugs the body" – is where they really stood out for me. It certainly worked for my 68kg, 182cm build.
The leg grippers are of a more elastic material than the main shorts, providing a good hold on the leg. I wasn't having to adjust the shorts mid-ride at any point, though I would prefer the legs to be 1-2cm longer – my only criticism.
The bib straps were comfortable – and white! – and the all-important chamois has two thickness levels of padding, focused in the areas where it's needed. I found it really comfortable and it doesn't feel at all restrictive, either when pedalling or off the bike.
It's early days to talk about durability, but I've used these shorts quite regularly over a month or so and there hasn't been any deterioration in quality. Unlike some particularly delicate fabrics, you don't need to be super-careful with these shorts when you put them in your washing machine.
Price-wise, they're a bit expensive for a pair of bib shorts for training – Castelli's Endurance 2 bib shorts are slightly cheaper at £125 – but it's a price I would be willing to pay for the comfort on long distance rides.
Overall, it's very hard to find fault with these classically designed shorts. They're not cheap, but they are very good quality, and being able to complete long training rides in complete comfort goes a long way to justifying the price.
Very comfortable classic-styled pro-level bib shorts, perfect for long training rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Men's Pro Team Training Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
These pro bib shorts are designed to be super comfortable for long training rides while still offering the high quality materials and fit that would be expected by a professional rider.
Rapha says, "A pair of performance bib shorts for fast training rides.
"Made for getting the miles in, these bib shorts are durable and comfortable – the ideal pair to build a race-winning base in mild to warm conditions. The perfect partner to our Pro Team Training Jersey, the pared-back styling and striking contrast logos make these bib shorts a staple of any serious cyclist's wardrobe.
"Based on our first Pro Team Bib Shorts – proven on the world stage at Grand Tours – these shorts make use of a new main fabric that offers support and compression through tough efforts. A new high-density Pro Team chamois pad keeps you comfortable as you tick off those training miles. Elastic, silicone-backed gripper keeps the shorts securely in place through the toughest efforts, and a breathable mesh upper keeps you cool when you're working hard."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High density, comfortable chamois pad
Compressive and comfortable main fabric
Lightweight mesh upper wicks and breathes easily
RAPHA logo in shoulder panel and on both legs
Multiple panel construction for optimum fit
Name label for team laundry use
High-quality, multi-panel construction.
Early days, but no signs of deterioration after washing.
Rapha says, "PRO FIT - Designed to sit close to the skin, with a high stretch fabric that hugs the body."
The small size was almost perfect, though I would prefer the shorts to be 1 or 2 centimetres longer.
An RRP of £140 is high for bibs marketed as a 'training' shorts, though they are very well made and very comfortable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They've responded well to the first few washes, with no deterioration.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're very good. I used them on medium length training rides and they were very comfortable, they fit really well and I think they look really good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the comfort of the pad, and the look – classic styled shorts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They're a bit short for my liking, could have been 1-2cm longer.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're pretty expensive for a pair of shorts designed for 'training'; their £140 is a little higher than Castelli's Endurance bib shorts at £125.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very good: the fit, fabric and pad design mean they're super-comfortable on training rides, although they're not cheap, and they're slightly short for my liking – but that's personal preference.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Pro My best bike is: Specialized CruX Expert
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike