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Rapha adds Cargo shorts to Core range

Bib shorts with pockets now hit lower price points

Rapha has added men's and women's Cargo Shorts with pockets to its Core range of clothing.

Rapha introduced Cargo Bib Shorts into its Explore range last year, the unusual feature being pockets on the side and back for carrying essentials. These are designed for any adventure riders who don't want to wear a traditional cycling jersey with pockets, or for anyone who want to wear a looser-fitting T-shirt while riding.

Read our review of Rapha Cargo Bib Shorts

Rapha Core range SS 2019 - 17.jpg

Now Cargo shorts have been added to the Core range which Rapha says "is positioned to strike a balance between comfort, performance and value and allow more cyclists to access the Rapha brand". There are Core Cargo Bib Shorts for men and Core Cargo Shorts (without a bib section) for both men and women. 

Rapha Core range SS 2019 - 1.jpg

"Equipped with the same sturdy mesh pockets as their Explore cousins, [these] shorts give you the capacity to take all the essentials you need and the freedom to wear whatever you like up top," says Rapha. "The shape and construction of the pockets has been tested extensively to ensure contents remain safely stowed for the duration of your ride, whether you’re on the way to work or crossing a continent."

Rapha Core range SS 2019 - 14.jpg

In his review of the Explore Cargo Bib Shorts, Dave Arthur said that the two rear pockets have space for an inner tube, pump, phone and some energy bars with more to spare. He said that the pockets don't move about on your back and the contents are held securely in place. He found that the two mesh pockets on the legs worked really well for giving you quick access to energy bars, a Brevet card, phone or camera, or for stashing bits of clothing like a pair of gloves or cap. 

Rapha Core range SS 2019 - 3.jpg

"Our trio of new shorts – the Core Cargo Bib Shorts, Core Cargo Shorts and Women’s Cargo Shorts – are all made from a supportive, dense-knit fabric for comfort and durability," says Rapha. 

"Each features a new, simpler design around the waist, reducing seams to allow for a more comfortable fit. The Core Cargo Bib straps are made from a lightweight, breathable fabric that will stretch to accommodate riders of all heights and help regulate body temperature in warmer conditions.

Rapha Core range SS 2019 - 15.jpg

"All three feature an expandable mesh pocket on each leg and the Core Cargo Bib Shorts have two rear pockets that sit out of sight under a t-shirt and conveniently above the waist line when worn with a pair of looser fitting shorts on top. All pockets feature a reinforced top seam to keep items secure on ride after ride."

The shorts are made with a low-profile laser-cut leg gripper and flat-locked seams to prevent chafing. The men's shorts feature the existing Classic chamois seatpad while the women's shorts have a new pad.

The Core Cargo Bib Shorts are priced £110 while the Core Cargo Shorts and Women's Core Cargo Shorts are both £95.

The new shorts are the flagship product of the new Core range which also includes an updated Core Jersey for men and women (jersey prices start at £60), as well as children’s sizes for the first time.

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The range also contains a Core Jersey II, £60...

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...and a Core Rain Jacket II, £100

For more info go to

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Zazz53 | 5 years ago

I have got a pair of the cargo tights.  Agree that they are not everyone’s cup of tea but I have found them really useful for long distance riding when jersey and jacket pockets get pretty full. Mesh pocket really useful for bars etc.  Zipped thigh pocket less useful though.

pastyfacepaddy | 5 years ago

Bought a pair on Saturday from the Manchester Clubhouse. I needed a new pair of bib shorts and was going for the normal Core bibshorts but got these instead for a little more storage for longer rides.

Rode in them yesterday and they feel absolute spot on to wear, just the right amount of compressive feel, leg length is as I like it and quality feeling material. Obviously I HAD to use the thigh pockets (a couple of bars, gels etc) despite only riding 40mile, just, well because they were there and to be honest I didn't notice anything different feelwise to the normal core bibshorts certainly no feeling of the bars pressing into my leg and when the pockets are empty they just sit against the leg and aren't noticeable. .

Also did some short cobbled sections and a cobbled climb and the pad was fine although it will be tested a bit more next weekend in Belgium on proper cobbles.  1

Would I store a phone in there? No.

Will I fill them to the brim everytime I ride? No but I always see to struggle with storage once I've got a raincape in a pocket, phone & case in another and then small/ cafe stop bikelock, arm warmers, gels etc. in the last one..

Do I think the addtional pockets are worth it? Yep, especially when I get round to riding longer gravel routes, overnight bike packing etc.

Hope that helps if anyne is thinking of tryng them.  1


The _Kaner | 5 years ago
1 like

Those would totally irritate me.
I wouldn't put an expensive phone anywhere near one of those pockets.
Multi tools, nope. Bulky inner tube, nope.
Gels, possibly....but that would be it.
I think it's a 'no' from me.

Dr_Lex | 5 years ago

^ agreed. Rather use a top tube or handlebar bag for small items whilst riding, and then these pockets when off the bike.

LastBoyScout | 5 years ago

Given that the location of those thigh pockets is in exactly the place I had a huge bruise/graze last time I came off, I wouldn't put anything thicker or harder in them than the paper map of where I'm trying to get to.

Or, possibly, an offcut of Karrimat!

pastyfacepaddy replied to LastBoyScout | 5 years ago

LastBoyScout wrote:

Given that the location of those thigh pockets is in exactly the place I had a huge bruise/graze last time I came off, I wouldn't put anything thicker or harder in them than the paper map of where I'm trying to get to.

Or, possibly, an offcut of Karrimat!

The pockets are spot on for gels, bars, maps etc but I also wouldn't put a phone or anything valuable in there.

janusz0 | 5 years ago
1 like

Bonkers?  Doesn't it depend on how usesable and  robust the pockets are.  I must say that I'd prefer opaque pockets.

pastyfacepaddy replied to janusz0 | 5 years ago

janusz0 wrote:

Bonkers?  Doesn't it depend on how usesable and  robust the pockets are.  I must say that I'd prefer opaque pockets.

The mesh is quite fine. I'd prefer this fine mesh as an opaque material might be less breathable.

amazon22 | 5 years ago
1 like

£25 uplift over the standard Core bibs (£85 > £110) for some mesh pockets? Bonkers.

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