Think of Rapha’s Core Cargo Shorts as a sort of ‘everyday’ version of its Pro Team and Classic lineup, both of which are designed for serious road riders who ride tough miles and get expensive because of it. The Core range is for those who maybe want something a little cheaper that can be used on a daily basis but don’t want to give up the prestigious label.
But that doesn’t mean Rapha’s “value” range is cheap, as you’re still looking at Â£ 95 / $ 120 for a pair of shorts – but that’s what some of the best cycling shorts cost, to be. fair.
Obviously, this particular pair of pedal-friendly pants also doesn’t come with the support straps found in the bib shorts alternative, so where does your money go? Well, you get the same chamois (the spongy lump that goes under your butt) that you use in the Classic range, which is great and offers a lot of support on long, strenuous hikes. There are also comfortable flat seams to prevent chafing, plus laser-cut soft silicone leg darts to hold the shorts in place and stop them, excuse the pun, get on.
Plus, they’re made from Rapha’s typical high-quality dense mesh fabric, which helps avoid the sticky issue of an opaque butt panel like after the shorts have been worn and washed a few times.
The Cargo piece in the title refers to the fact that this particular model comes equipped with two mesh leg pockets, which Rapha says have been designed and tested to deal with all manner of cycling gear, essentially eliminating the need to wear a traditional bicycle. jersey with back pockets.
Rapha Core Cargo shorts for men: price and availability
You can buy the Rapha Men’s Core Cargo Shorts directly from the Rapha website for Â£ 95 / $ 130 / AU $ 165
While the price tag is steep compared to rival high-end brands, such as Assos and Le Col, there are obviously cheaper shorts available than this, with Wiggle’s own dhb brand being a good place to start for some savings. .
Available in XS to XXL, there should be a pair of shorts to fit most body types, but Rapha’s outfit varies depending on fit, with some signaling the need to take a size up while that others claim they take a size smaller. Unfortunately, Rapha does not offer their “Downsize” program on shorts, as this would allow those who have lost weight while riding to claim a 50% discount on new clothes.
Rapha Core Cargo shorts for men: design and fit
Rapha’s approach to cycling gear has always been understated and sleek. In an area full of bold colors and face logos, Rapha plays it cool with simple lines and classic details that rarely go out of style.
On the surface, the Core Cargo Shorts look a bit simple but take a closer look and you’ll find a subtle tonal mark dotted around, while the overall build quality gives off a premium feel. The fabric is light but thick in the right places,
Like much of Rapha’s gear, I found the size to be perfect, but I’m still a fairly standard midrange. I only fight in the swimsuits, where I find that I have to take the size. But oddly, these strapless shorts were quite high in the front and I found out that I had to pull the waist up almost to the navel to get the chamois to sit well.
It’s not a big deal, but if you’re not used to having such a high belt while pedaling, it might seem a little weird at first. Rapha’s classic chamois is also quite chunky compared to the thinner version used in Pro clothing, while competitors have certainly refined the cushion with little detrimental effect on overall comfort.
Overall the fit is good and there is something nice about not having to deal with straps. However, straps would help keep the shorts in place, but for casual walks it’s much easier to go to the bathroom which is nice.
Rapha Core Cargo shorts for men: performance
The beauty of these shorts is the pocket design, which looks criminally simple, but it’s not often that you find two deep mesh pockets on the side of a road or gravel bike shorts. It’s just not considered aerodynamic, although a pair of Shimano shorts I recently tested had a small pocket for a phone on one leg and it came in handy.
But Rapha put the bag in the pocket and it really works. I often found myself looking for the Cargo Short over a more typical bib shorts on a casual stroll, simply because I could slip my phone in one pocket and a snack in the other. There is something incredibly awkward about reaching out behind you to blindly extract food in a running jersey, especially after experiencing the ease of going for a pocket snack.
Rapha also did well to make sure that whatever is in those mesh pockets doesn’t sink into your thighs, although the pockets themselves can suffer from small holes and tears if you decide to put them in. something pointed or obtuse.
Lastly, it’s probably not the nicest topic to talk about, but these Cargo was it shorts are a lot easier to handle when it comes to those impromptu convenience breaks on long commutes.
Rapha Core Cargo shorts for men: verdict
While not as technically accomplished as Rapha’s elite Pro clothing line, the Core Cargo Shorts are a great everyday workhorse. The leg pockets are really helpful and the overall fit and finish is great.
When paired with a cycling jacket or more casual jersey, they allow riders to hop on a bike without going for the full-suit look, but the shorts still offer the comfort of a chamois and fit. contoured to ensure there is no loose clothing in the way or a king of mountain records.
All in all, these are cycling shorts to treasure – although personally I would always prefer a bib shorts.