Rapha Men's Explore Pants review - not quite what we were expecting

Trousers for adventures which are a little short on bike features

Male cyclist wearing the Rapha Explore Pants
(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Rather than a dedicated cycling trousers, Rapha Men's Explore Pants are for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. This adaptability is useful but does mean they're not the best trousers for regular riding. The lightweight stretchy material allows plenty of movement, and is abrasion resistant and treated with DWR to repel scuffs and water. Sizing is a bit small and the cut isn't great around the crotch and bum which isn't what we're used to with Rapha.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    The stretch of the material gives a good fit and allows lots of movement

  • +

    Features and material means they suit lots of activities

  • +

    Good sized, well placed pockets

  • +

    Small pack size to stash as extra layer

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Come up small in comparison to sizing chart and similar Rapha bottoms

  • -

    Cut and seams around crotch and rear aren’t flattering

  • -

    No reinforced areas where wear is higher

  • -

    Press stud waist fastening is small and fiddly

  • -

    No women’s fit

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.

After reviewing Rapha’s Technical Trousers last year, our tester has rarely been spotted – on or off the bike – wearing anything else. Would the Rapha Explore Pant be enough to coax his legs out and how would they compare to the rest of our best bicycle commute trousers? We crept in under the cover of darkness to make the swap and waited to see how things turned out.

Adjustable cuff of the Rapha Explore Pants

Short leg and adjustable cuff to keep out your chain and off your shoes

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

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Rachel has been writing about and reviewing bike tech for the last 10 years. Cynical by nature, Rachel never really trusts the marketing hype and prefers to give products a mighty good testing before deciding whether they're worth buying or not. 

Rachel's first riding love is mountain biking where she's been European and UK 24hr Champion on more than one occasion. She's not just confined to the trails though and regularly rides - and occasionally races - on gravel and road too.