Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts review

Pockets for the people with these more reasonably priced and exceptionally comfortable Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Built around the brilliant Rapha Core bib short, the Core Cargo adds versatility to an already comfortable package. I started by using these for my commute, then promoted them to standard road ride duties and now I'd use a pair on every bike ride if I could.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very comfortable chamois

  • +

    Very comfortable short

  • +

    Pockets sit comfortably

  • +

    Take the weight out of jersey pockets

Reasons to avoid
  • -


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The Rapha Core Cargo bib short is absolutely a short that shouldn't be dismissed. As comfortable as the standard Core model with functional pockets, it really has become one of our go to shorts. For this reason it's on our Editor's Choice list for 2019.

Buy it now from Rapha for £110

Rapha's Cargo bib shorts caused a stir amongst the road crowd when they first launched a couple of years ago, and were dismissed by roadie fashionistas to the gravel and adventure cycling fringes of our sport.

However, having spent a summer riding in them the practicalities of these shorts have shined through and they've become my go to pair for all types of riding.

Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts

(Image credit: Cycling Weekly Studio)

The Rapha C0re Cargo bib shorts come with four pockets: two on the legs and two on the back. The pockets on the sides easily fit a plus sized phone inside a riding case, wallet, keys or a pump. In the back I put my multi-tool and tubes. Using the pockets in this way means I no longer store goods in my jersey pockets, removing the frustrating swinging of an overfilled pocket.

Perhaps what is more impressive is that because of the design of shorts, the pcokets are cinched close to the body even when full as opposed to a jersey that sags down. It means that no matter how full you fill the pockets, they're truly a fit-and-forget pair of shorts.

The Rapha Core Cargo shorts are built to the same excellent standard as the pocket-less Rapha Core bib short. Both the Core and Core Cargo shorts use the same chamois as the also excellent Rapha Classic bib shorts. It's very comfortable and I've ridden some of my longest days on it without complaint or soreness.

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The dense knit fabric that the shorts are made of is supportive and non-abrasive against the skin, and the length of the leg is flattering, with the large silicone leg grippers holding the short in place.

There's no need to worry about sizing with these either, as my size smalls fit perfectly. As ever with Rapha shorts, the wide bib straps are comfortable and supportive with decent stretch for when you're off the bike.

>>> See more at Rapha.cc

I've actually been testing these back to back with the more premium Rapha Cargo bib shorts which cost £195 and have found the Core versions to be more comfortable against the skin, have a better hold on the leg and to wick away sweat better.

At £110, the Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts are £25 more expensive than their standard Core bib short siblings. It's a price increase that represents the technical difficulties of constructing a short with pockets that move properly with the rider and I'm confident in saying they're worth every extra penny. Riding has never been so comfortable.

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