Rapha introduces “new approach to cycle clothing” with Explore

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Here at grit.cx, we like to think we’ve got the “having fun on a bike thing” nailed. Not every day is race day, or even a training day, indeed #partypacewinstherace as Tech Ed Tom is wanton to say (usually while being overtaken).

We never thought the phrases “banana pouch” and “bib shorts” would appear in the same sentence

We reckon chilled out rides and long trips maybe demand different clothing to aero-cut race kit, and it turns out Rapha agree. They’ve released a small clothing range designed for:

Days on the bike when you want to go until you’re lost, relax into the ride and take time to soak up the journey. Those days are all about exploring.

It is a tight range at the moment, with just four items. First up is probably the most interesting and stand-out different.

Cargo Bib Shorts

  • Price: £195

These are Rapha’s first ever bib shorts with pockets. At first glance they don’t look wildly different to other lycra shorts, but take a closer look and you’ll spot mesh pockets on both legs, and a couple more on the back, around where you’d expect to find traditional jersey pockets, but higher than the waistband of their Cotton and Randonnée shorts to let you cover up should you wish.

Pockets on the rear

The shorts are made of a new lightweight Shadow material, designed to shed light rain, but also be comfortable up to 30ºC. The leg pockets have a stretch closure to keep items secure, a reflective stripe at the rear and a lower front to enable easier pee breaks. The upper and chamois pad is shared with the Rapha Brevet and designed for long days in the saddle.
Low front

Technical T-shirt and Polo

  • Price: £55 (tee), £70 (polo)

By moving more cargo carrying to the shorts, riders are freed up to forgo the usual pocketed jersey. To take advantage of this, Rapha have a new technical tee and polo shirt. Both are made with Rapha’s hot weather Flyweight fabric, which is a micro mesh fabric that encourages airflow and has a structure to prevent the jersey clinging to sweaty skin in hot conditions. Both are designed to be worn with the Cargo Bibs for a “perfect loose-fitting option for casual exploration on and off the bike”.

Retina burning colour option available

As well as more subtle options

Polo neck

Brevet Base Layer

  • Price: £60

The Explore Base Layer is Rapha’s first to include a permanent anti-bacterial treatment. Their thinking is that when you have to pack a little to go a long way, you want your kit to stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Makes sense to us!

Anti-whiff base layer


Rapha has sent us a pair of the Cargo Bib Shorts to test, as well as a Technical T-shirt. We are hoping the weather perks up a little soon and we’ll start getting some miles in on them ASAP.

Comments (3)

    It’s a shame the technical tee doesn’t have a zipped pocket. I suppose Rapha are intending people to exclusively go for the full outfit.

    It’s a shame the technical tee doesn’t have a zipped pocket. I suppose Rapha are intending people to exclusively go for the full outfit.

    Is that a banana in his pocket?

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