The Rapha Classic Shorts have been a staple of the firm’s range since its inception. For 2017 Rapha has updated and refreshed this key garment with new features, fabrics and cuts.
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Rapha is known for its stylish, high-performance cycle wear, with much of the line using the same technology as the Pro-team kit. This updated classic collection is perfect if you prefer low-key yet high-quality designs, and is versatile enough to mix and match with louder pieces.
A quality pair of padded shorts is arguably one of the most important pieces of kit in any cyclist’s wardrobe. Getting the fit right is essential, as any tightness or baggy areas can cause chafing.
During testing, this wasn’t something I found to be problem, as the Rapha women’s classic shorts were a snug fit, without being restrictive. The shorts also include a “top level” chamois pad from specialist Cytech, which is designed specifically for female riders and provides support and protection in a crucial area, without feeling overly bulky. It also protected against knocks on bumpier off-road trails.
Made using incredibly soft and lightweight material, I found the construction of the shorts has been well-thought-out. The use of panels and flat lock stitching is typical of a well-crafted Rapha design, but other clever features are included, such as the high-extending fitted band at the back which help keep the shorts in place, and the soft grip on the hems that stop the shorts from riding up.
A regular or shorter leg length is available, which means you can choose the most flattering and comfortable fit for your build.
I tested the Rapha Women’s Shorts over several long rides and found them to be a supremely comfortable pair of shorts. My only bugbear is that I’d have liked to see a small pocket at the back to stash my keys. You can never have too many pockets!
While I tested the navy and pink version of the kit, a black and cream option is also available. Despite the hefty price tag, if you’re after a comfortable pair of shorts that are built to last, then these are a worthwhile investment.
The shorts are available directly from Rapha for £130 / $210. They aren’t available in Australia, however the bib short version is available in all three territories, retailing at £165 / $235 / AU$285.