Reassuringly compressive and fitted with a very comfortable chamois pad; the Rapha Pro Team Training bib short is a great companion for longer rides. A tweak of the leg gripper sizing would make it even better.
Excellent pad comfort
Quality of materials
Leg gripper is noticeable
By James Bracey
The Rapha Pro Team Training Bib Short was selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
The recently released Rapha Pro Team Training bib short is essentially a re-imagining of Rapha's original and well received Pro Team short. Now that the Pro Team II has been released, this 'Training' model boasts trickle down technology from the flagship original.
The Pro Team Training bib short utilises the same multi-panel construction as found on all the Pro Team shorts and retains the obvious overlock stitch detailing that you may or may not like. I wasn't a fan to start with as I prefer a cleaner looking short, but the design does stand out from the crowd.
Rapha has done more than just rename the old short and this new version is made using a more updated fabric. The nameless fabric feels comfortable against the skin and has a pleasantly compressive fit that reassuringly holds muscles in place without feeling restrictive. The overall fit is really good and the medium fitted my 183cm/75kg frame as good as any short I have tested with the leg length being just right.
The bib section is quite old-school in its simplicity in comparison to many similar priced shorts. It's almost completely made of a lightweight and stretchy mesh and has doubled over hems to enhance durability. It does suffer from the classic rolling over of the straps when putting the short on, so takes a little longer to set right. Due to the lightweight nature of the material it doesn't feel like it offers much in the way of support however the upside of this is a completely free feel across the torso with zero restrictions on breathing. It also means the upper remains comfortable and relatively sweat free when working hard.
Each time I put on the Pro Team Training short I was impressed with the ride comfort offered by the pad Rapha has fitted. It's not too bulky, has just the right amount of coverage and feels equally as comfortable cruising right on your sit-bones as slammed on the nose and pushing hard.
The classic measure of a short is just how well it disappears and lets you get on with the job in hand and I would say the Pro Team Training is ninety percent there - the sticking point is the leg gripper.
The gripper is quite a narrow and made from a thick knitted elasticated band which just felt a little too tight for the sizing. It did keep everything in place but also had a noticeable tourniquet effect on longer rides, leaving an imprint on my leg a couple of hours after returning.
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