There’s a new pair of shorts in town. You may have seen their top-of-the-range cousins before—the Rapha Explore Cargos—which made waves when they were launched as the first cycling lycra shorts with mesh pockets on the thighs. There’s now a more affordable version, however. Meet the Core Cargo Bib shorts.

The telephone pocket

The Rapha Explore Cargo Bib shorts went quickly from being seen as a ridiculous to a ubiquitous wannahave gadget among adventure cyclists. The bib shorts with the characteristic mesh side pockets have been all over the world in ultra-endurance challenges. Now there is a more affordable range, more within reach of the leisure cyclist.

Rapha core cargo

The new Rapha Core Cargo shorts still have that super-handy pocket.

Rapha Core Cargo shorts

There are three new variations of the Core Cargo shorts: the Core Cargo bib shorts (€135), the Core Cargo short (€115) and the Women’s Cargo Shorts (€115). All three variations have the characteristic side pockets on each leg, though the Core Cargo bib shorts also have two rear pockets above the waistline.

Rapha core cargo

The new Core ranges have a price point with a wide appeal, or as the blurb says: “to strike a balance between comfort, performance and value, to allow more cyclists to access the Rapha brand.”

Updated Core shirts for him and her

The new range includes updated versions of the Core shirts, and the range also includes kids’ shirts for the first time. The Core Rain Jacket II rounds of the set nicely.

Rapha Core Cargo

The Core Jersey II includes a new hi-viz pink version.

The materials used in this updated Core range are, as one would expect, lightweight and breathable. The designs and the fabrics are more geared towards being used, than being raced. The cut is also utilitarian and the textiles durable, while the shape and construction of the pockets on the shorts has been well tested to make sure everything you put in stays there during the whole ride. It’s good to see Rapha venturing into the more reasonably-priced end of the market. Time will tell if those short with side pockets catch on among a wider group of riders.

Rapha core cargo

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