Rapha Woman’s Classic cycling shorts review

A classic pair of shorts from the house of Rapha for riders on a bigger budget

Cycling Weekly Verdict

A ronseal pair of shorts that, if purchased in black will match most cycling wardrobes, but only if your budget can stretch to it – a costly label purchase

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Contour and flatter legs

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Low waistband

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Living up to their namesake by delivering a simple and traditional pair of shorts.

Made from eight panels the shorts contour the legs well, and, thanks a healthy band of silicone around the inner circumference of the leg cuff, secured the legs of the shorts well, without over clamping the thigh.

The front and back waistband sections are constructed wider than the sides, and sat a little low at the front, which, when combined with the narrow sides, did create a ‘muffin top’ look when on the bike. A couple of extra inches of fabric at the front would help prevent this.

>>> Women’s cycling shorts: a buyer’s guide

While I initially really liked the dark grey colour of the Rapha Woman’s Classic cycling shorts, it soon became apparent that it’s not the wisest of colour choices, not only did it make it difficult to co-ordinate with the rest of a cycing wardrobe, but it darkened with wet patches.

Fortunately the discovering was on a wet day and not a hot sweaty ride or spin class, so practical nature says the black version would be a better purchase.

>>> The best women’s bike saddles

For me, the biggest stand out was the £130 swing tag. While they are a good pair of shorts, they aren’t exceptional and I just couldn’t justify the price tag.

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Hannah Bussey

Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.

Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.

For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. 

She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.