Earlier this year Rapha debuted their uniquely woven one-piece Powerweave road shoes (in a time of knit shoes), and now that same tech comes to bibs in their new Pro Team Powerweave bib shorts. And on top of the technical woven fabric (or rather beneath it…), they’ve created an all-new chamois pad that is thinner, lighter, better wicking & faster drying!
Rapha Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts, new jacquard weave
Rapha has been working for a while on these new woven Pro Team Bib Shorts together with EF Education First Pro Cycling. By using the greater degree of control they get by precisely weaving different threads together the new bibs offer improved support & structure, while decreasing weight and improving breathability across a wide range of conditions.
The result is a pair of top pro-level cycling bib shorts that are 20% lighter than the previous knit Pro Team bibs – shedding about 40g to around 160g – while also allowing better moisture management. Now more breathable, the jacquard weave technique also means Rapha could make them more compressive in the directions you want as they fit on the body and on the bike, rather than just relying on simple 2 or 4-way stretch on knit fabrics.
EF rider Mitch Docker tested them over the summer in Australia just before the end of 2019, and was “really impressed with how well they did in hot conditions. You’re going to get sweaty whatever you wear, but I’ve been comfortable wearing the Powerweave Bib Shorts right up to 40 degrees.”
The shaped compressive capabilities of the Powerweave fabric allowed Rapha to dial back the number of panels, which limits chafing & bunching. It still takes seven panels to create what promise to be some of the lightest & closest fitting bib shorts around, but that’s down more than 50% from the fifteen of the standard Pro Team bibs. Mitch called them “tight but right”.
Rapha has a new higher-density foam, dual-density perforated chamois pad for the new bibs as well. They needed something that could dry more quickly to keep up with the Powerweave, but also a thinner 5mm pad than could offer support (and all-day comfort) without bunching up in the thinner shorts & their fewer panels.
Pro Team Powerweave shorts – Details, pricing & availability
The Pro Team Powerweave bibs set a new upper limit for Rapha shorts (by a long shot) with a $375 / 325€ / £275 pricetag. The seven panel bibs use the Powerweave fabric for the two outer panels, from wrapping your thighs, all the way up over your back in the bib straps. They get the new lighter, better breathing dual-density chamois pad, integrated leg grippers, and laser cut straps. The new bibs will be available in a standard black version at an undefined point later this year, or the special RCC-only black/blue/pink to match those Pro Team Powerweave carbon road shoes!
Limited Edition RCC-only pink Powerweave Bibs
A special RCC version of the new Pro Team Powerweave Bibs goes on sale today with classic Rapha Pink woven throughout. Only 300 pairs of RCC bibs will be available, so get them before all your other virtual teammates do, quarantine lock down or not!