Rapha is today launching a brand new range of three women’s bib shorts built around a brand new chamois that has been three years in the making and tested by 38 women over 15,000km.
It has developed three distinct styles of shorts - Souplesse Detachable Bib Shorts, Women’s Cargo Bib shorts and Women’s Core Cargo Shorts - and each has a specific chamois available in two sizes, to suit the different requirements of cyclists whether racing or going the distance.
The pads use variable thickness dual-density foam and have a seamless construction to prevent chafing, and an antibacterial treatment to protect the skin. The chamois has a pre-moulded shape to further enhance seated comfort.
Designed for racing and to be used by the Canyon//SRAM team, the Souplesse Detachable Bib Shorts (£195) have the redesigned chamois and a self-centering magnetic clasp which enables easy removal of the uppers without removing the jersey, for easier comfort breaks. The shorts have a high-stretch supportive fit with minimal seams and low-profile leg grippers.
The Women’s Cargo Bib Shorts (£195) use a Brevet version of the all-new chamois to provide maximum comfort for long distance rides. They use the same lightweight upper as the current Women’s Brevet Bib Shorts but add mesh pockets, four in total with two on the legs and two around the back.
As I found when I tested the Cargo Bib Shorts last year, they are ideal for increasing your load-lugging capacity on longer rides and bikepacking adventures, and by putting jersey contents in the short pockets frees you up for wearing a more relaxed top like a t-shirt rather than a form-fitting jersey.
The shorts are made from lightweight materials to stand up to riding in hot weather and using a variant of the Shadow fabric offer wind and water resistance. The lightweight fabric ensures quick drying, ideal for multiday rides.
Extensive testing was key in the development of the new shorts and it spent three years refining the shorts and chamois, working with a team of riders.
“Throughout this three-year project, the sole aim was to improve the riding experience for all women, focusing on the very heart of every pair of bib shorts. Through five rounds of wear testing, ridden by 38 women for more than more than 15,000km we did not
just evolve the concept of the women's chamois, we defined it,” explains Maria Olsson, Design Manager, Rapha Racing.
More at www.rapha.cc
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.