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MX News Update 2024


Rapha Core bib shorts for women review

Rapha Women’s Core Bib Shorts, Performance

Rapha Women's Core Bib Shorts for cyclists
The simply designed suspender straps worked well during testing. – Sam Voaden / Our Media

The Rapha Women’s Core suspenders exude quality from the first ride.

They may not have the same level of compression support as their high-end Pro Team bibs, but the shorts are cut and constructed in a way that is both comfortable and stylish.

The wide leg grippers ensure everything stays in place without causing any skin irritation or the dreaded ‘sausage leg’ effect, while the soft, simple braces sit flush against the upper body in just the right place.

Rapha Women's Core Bib Shorts for cyclists
The wide profile leg grippers proved effective and did not cause skin irritation. – Sam Voaden / Our Media

The sizing seems to be perfect, with the medium shorts fitting my UK size 12 body perfectly.

They are slightly longer in the leg than some women’s bib shorts (such as the Pearl Izumi Attack or some Castelli models); good news for taller riders or people who prefer a longer cut.

The chamois has the same smooth microfiber upper as other Rapha shorts, but feels slightly thinner than the chamois pads in some bibs designed for longer distances.

However, considering the Core Bib Shorts aren’t specifically designed for mega-mileage munching, this is forgivable. Overall I found them very comfortable.

Rapha Women's Core Bib Shorts for cyclists
Rapha’s branding is typically subtle and refined. – Sam Voaden / Our Media

My only issue with these bib shorts is that they don’t have an easy-puddle design, which means you have to throw away your jersey to go to the toilet.

This does not have to be a problem for shorter journeys or commuting. For longer days, however, it can get a bit tedious, especially when there are so many good alternatives – the Endura Pro SL, Castelli Espresso and Pearl Izumi Attack Air bib shorts all come to mind.

In fact, Rapha sells its women’s detachable bib shorts, with an easy-urination mechanism, although these are just over twice as expensive as the Core bibs.