Rapha Core Bib Shorts Review: Tried and Tested

We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Review score


It was hard to spot any downsides while testing and reviewing Rapha Core Bib Shorts. In my opinion, these cycling shorts are all about comfort and style, and they are definitely of higher quality than some other similarly priced alternatives. 

product and testing details:

Rapha is a well-known cycling brand that produces some of the best cycling gear on the market. Their Core Bib Shorts are no exception, and they have become popular among cyclists for their style, high-quality fabric, and superb comfort throughout. In this review, I am taking a closer look at these bibs to see how they stack up against the competition.


I bought an S size, which is my usual clothing size. It turned out to be the right decision, and the fit is excellent.


These bis shorts are designed with comfort in mind. I did not feel any discomfort or movement restrictions from the straps or grippers. The fabric feels premium, and there is an excellent elasticity to them so I can move freely while on the bike.


This is why scoring the fit 10/10. 


The straps are wide and nicely distribute the pressure across my shoulders, chest, and back. I found them to be comfortable, and they didn’t cause any pain or movement restrictions. 


I was delighted with the straps on Rapha Core bib shorts and giving them a perfect score of 10/10.


The pad feels comfortable, and the fit is also perfect. In addition, it is relatively thick and firm, which makes it feel like a good quality product.


However, I feel that it is pretty entry-level and would not be perfect for the longest rides. It also sticks out a bit more than on some other bib shorts I used in the past.


These are just minor issues, and that’s why I am not penalizing Rapha too much and scoring the pad 9/10.


The grippers are extra wide and very grippy. In fact, so grippy that it is hard to put the bib shorts on, but once you do, they feel comfortable. 


I had no issues with the grippers sliding down or bunching up. Also, they did not dig into my skin and did not leave any marks, which is always great. 


I am scoring the grippers 10/10

Additional observations

Inseam length is slightly longer than on some other bib shorts I wore in the past. I had no problems with this, but it could be an issue for some (always a matter of personal preferences).


Overall, for me, Rapha Core Bib Shorts are of better quality than other similarly priced alternatives.


In summary, these are the things I like about Rapha’s Core Bib Shorts: 


These bib shorts are all about comfort. The fabric feels premium when you touch it. The straps, grippers, and overall fit create a comfortable experience.

Excellent fit

The size S for me was perfect, and I had no issues with sizing & fit.

The straps

The straps are wide and do a great job of distributing the pressure. They did not cause any pain or restriction of movement during my rides.

Good grippers

The grippers are wide and super grippy, so it is hard to put the bib shorts on, but they feel comfortable once you do. They also stay in place and don’t cause any discomfort or bunch up during cycling.


I found The Rapha Core Bib Shorts to be quite stylish. They have a modern design and a signature Rapha logo on the side.



There are several things I did not like:

Relatively entry-level pad

The pad is comfortable, but it feels a bit entry-level. It moves around and might cause some chafing down the road. 

Some cyclists complain about longevity

The main complaint is that the stitches come out quite quickly. But, as always, it is very individual, and the amount of wear & tear these take depends on how you care for them.

Final Verdict

Would I recommend Rapha Core Bib Shorts to a friend? Definitely! They are great for those looking for comfortable and stylish bib shorts. I found Rapha Core Bib Shorts to be an excellent product for the price. I only heard of minor longevity issues from other cyclists and think the pad relatively entry-level; however, these are minor issues. The pros of these bib shorts far outweigh the cons.

Frequently asked questions:

Rapha Core is the entry-level and most affordable line of Rapha’s clothing. However, it is not a lower-quality product. On the contrary, it is competitive with alternative premium cycling clothing offered by other manufacturers. Similar to other Rapha’s items of clothing, the Core category is designed for comfort and performance.

Rapha shorts are worth it because the quality of their materials is hard to match. Moreover, Rapha has a long-standing reputation in this industry that speaks to its success and reliability as a premium cycling company. 

Many cyclists ask themselves this question when they’re about to make the purchase. But, no matter your thoughts on Rapha’s prices or whether you’re willing to spend more on their products, there is one thing about them that you cannot deny: the quality of their gear and clothing. 

I think you pay extra for the excellent customer service, returns policies, delivery time, and brand identity that Rapha created. So if these things are not essential for you and you are looking for a budget option, then better consider a different brand.

Yes, Rapha’s clothing is very good. It is well made, and the quality is excellent, which you can’t say about many cycling apparel brands out there today. Rapha’s clothing fits great, looks good, and is very comfortable! 

It’s hard to compare these two brands because of the different categories, but what we do know about them is that both companies have a long history of producing excellent cycling gear. However, I personally prefer Rapha’s Core Bib Shorts over Castelli Competizione Bib Shorts.

Bib shorts are designed to have a higher waistband used as an extra layer of protection for your sensitive skin. They also offer more support than regular cycling shorts and have reinforced stitching on the seams that will help prevent chafing during long rides.


Scroll to Top