Summer Essential: The Rapha Lightweight Bib Short

It’s usually hotter than hell in Texas come this time of year but lately, we’ve been lucky. The 90′s have only just now crept in, but with all the rain and cloud cover, the roads and trails are still busy, even at the peak times. Naturally, with rain comes water holes, rope swings and excessive #Corndogging, meaning you’re usually spending some wet chamois time on the ride home. My usual kit of choice comes from Endo, but I’ve also been enjoying the Search and State bibs and these Rapha Lightweight Bib Shorts. All of which get heavy rotation from me, as I usually ride in the morning and evening come the summer months.

For the past few weeks, I’ve had the Rapha Lightweight bibs on more than I expected. As the name implies, they’re lightweight, super comfortable, fast drying and quite minimally branded. The signature asymmetrical leg band and classic fit can mesh quite well into any jersey combination and with a few extra details, you can tell Rapha took some time to think of the people who live in miserably hot conditions. A high-wicking mesh, more breathable fabric, SPF protection and a “thank god” cut-away back section keep your spine cool and ready for a cold water bottle squirt.

But my favorite feature of these shorts is how fast they dry. With all the rain we’ve had in Austin, a mid-ride dip in the Greenbelt, Barton Springs or other hole is inevitable, and sometimes a creek crossing depending on how dialed your route is. Regardless as to how you find yourself getting wet, these shorts dry out faster than any other bib I’ve had and that goes for the post-ride wash as well.

One concern is the fit. Since they’re a bit stretchy, you might consider going down a size, depending on how tight you like your shorts. The fit on the Lightweight bibs is a lot like the Classic bibs, with a little more room than the Pro line but since the fabric is lighter, I find it stretches about 30 minutes into a ride. I wear a large here, but could probably squeeze into the medium. This is also probably do to my own weight loss as well though. Bottom line is: try them on first if you can.

Bibs are one of the most essential items in one’s kit. Options are great and all the bibs I mentioned above are worthy of anyone’s drawer, so next time you see these in your shop, feel them, try them on but don’t be afraid to pull the trigger… Check out some more narrated photos in the Gallery.

  • Eddie Barksdale

    Those gloves tho…

  • Purple Fixie

    What size Pro team and Endo bibs do you wear? i wear a size large in capo custom (cadence/mash) however i feel like they could be a bit tighter. im interested in buying both these and the pro team bibs. im 6’2″ like you, only with a long ‘skinny’ torso and short legs.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I wear a medium in SAS, XL in Endo, Large in Pro Team and Medium in Classic.

  • Marc Jones

    I tried the Classic Rapha bibs today – loved them but they were long in the leg (2″ past the tanlines!). You find the lightweight are the same leg length?

    Thanks for the review, good stuff.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Pull them up!

      • Marc Jones

        I tried mate, too much material they were almost knee length! I’m 5ft 11″ – who they made for? ;)

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          Depends on the size. I wear a M and I’m 6’2″….

          • Marc Jones

            Bagged medium, wasn’t sure then remembered you are taller and in M. Cheers! Off to the TDF in them.

  • Nadim Kanafani

    I have these in extra small. The compression bands are indeed very tight, and I have noticed that tiny hairs of elastic material are poking through. Have you noticed that on yours?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Nope.