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Rapha Core Cargo Bib Shorts review

Multi-purpose bibs with useful pockets in a well-thought out package

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
GBP £110.00 RRP | USD $150.00 | EUR €135.00 | AUD $195.00
Rapha Core Cargo Bib Shorts for road cycling

Our review

A truly versatile and practical set of bibs that offer outstanding value
Pros: Breathability; comfort; pockets; price; support
Cons: Struggling to find anything
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Rapha punts the Core Cargos as a dependable pair of everyday bibs that will work for all types of riding, with the added bonus of pockets.

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They’re also a more affordable version of Rapha’s high-end Cargo bib shorts (£195 / $270).

The obvious difference between these and their more expensive sibling is that these aren’t water-resistant. Similarly, though, they’re designed as an all-rounder with additional pockets, which makes them ideal for endurance and gravel riding.

Large mesh side pockets allow you to stash everything you normally would in jersey pockets, leaving your upper body unhindered to wear what you like, whether that’s a non-traditional jersey or a hydration system.

Rapha uses a midweight, dense-knit fabric for the legs and lower body, with 4cm-wide laser-cut silicone leg grippers. This is combined with high-stretch upper bib straps that are neatly configured with a cutaway back section. There are also two rear pockets on the lower back.

Inside, the tried-and-tested chamois pad from Rapha’s Classic range keeps you comfortable in the saddle.

Rapha Core Cargo Bib Shorts performance

I never realised how useful side pockets are until now – it opens up ride options and means there’s no jersey pocket bouncing, especially off-road. I’m a complete convert.

It’s not just the pockets that sold me on the Core Cargos. These are a really forgiving pair of bibs that work well for a wide variety of pedalling duties both on and off-road.

Their performance compares with many top-priced bibs yet is delivered in a more relaxed and comforting way.

Everything here is as it should be. The compression-free legs are the perfect length, the grippers work flawlessly and the upper bib, despite no mesh, never got overly hot.

Don’t be taken in by the simplistic-looking Classic pad, either. It utilises several layers of quick-drying foam that cushion your posterior excellently whatever the terrain and duration of your ride.

Rapha Core Cargo Bib Shorts bottom line

These bibs stand out because they do everything well without costing a fortune.

They’re super-comfortable in a forgiving way and true all-rounders that offer a great ride, wherever your adventures take you.

For women riders, Rapha has its Core Cargo Shorts, which we also awarded 5 stars, and a women’s-specific version of the Cargo bib short.

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Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $195.00EUR €135.00GBP £110.00USD $150.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 198g (S), Array, g
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Rapha


Features br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Colours: Black, Navy/White
Sizes: XS–XXL
Gender br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Men's