How long into your passion for cycling did you realise the possibility of needing to declare bankruptcy was forthcoming? It’s no secret that our beloved sport is not a poor man’s game, regardless of its’ blue collar origins. The wheels, the components, the after-market accessories…and of course, the kit.
The price we pay to pull on a second skin and achieve ultimate aerodynamics and hours of comfort in the saddle is akin to daylight robbery… but having suffered the consequences of some ill fitting kit, we willingly pay it. There are many household names that will gladly take your left kidney as payment in exchange for a set of unbeatable bibs, but today I want to talk to you about Rapha and more specifically the Souplesse Flyweight Bib Short – their mid range offering.
My attraction to the Souplesse Flyweight Bibs was Rapha’s initial advertisement as the best bibs for hot days in the saddle. Australia is, for the most part, incredibly hot year-round so a pair of bibs that managed to keep me relatively cool was a no brainer.
The Price tag
I’m that girl that always screams ‘never pay retail’ from rooftops, in bars, at the park, on group rides…so naturally I waited until there was one of those famous Rapha sales and nabbed a few pairs at the same time. I wasn’t willing to pay full price until I had experienced the product first hand.
Having now worn them for quite some time, and finding them to be the only pair of bibs my ass and lady garden actually get along with willingly, I would pay the full $295 they request for them.
I squeeze myself into an XS, and they fit true to the measurements they have on their online size guides. All 4 pairs I own, purchased at different times and in different colours, fit the exact same way for the first few rides.
They do stretch after a while, but nothing major. The chamois still stays put and they still feel like a second skin.
The Souplesse Flyweight Bib Shorts are also a fair bit longer in the leg than the bibs in their other collections (Core), which I’m a fan of. I prefer my bib shorts to cut off just above the knee as opposed to just below my vagina.
My oldest pair is now nearly 12 months old and they still fit like a second skin, the chamois is still doing its’ job and the colour hasn’t faded. The Rapha emblem on the side has, however, peeled away slightly.
In addition, I’m not exactly gentle with the care of my bib shorts. They go in the machine with all my other kit and Tim’s running gear on “Delicate” mode and cold water. I do believe the care instructions tell you to probably hand wash them in the artisan tears of Croatian mermaids…but ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.
I actually can’t fault them on comfort at all. They are immensely comfortable, and even when have forgotten to don the chamois cream have still come out the other side of a 4 hour bike ride relatively unscathed in them.
The chamois isn’t one of those hard, cardboard types but also isn’t incredibly plush so that it bunches up…I don’t know what recipe the guys at Rapha concocted but Goldilocks would assert the Souplesse Flyweight Bib Shorts to be “just right”. It does make me wonder for the comfort level and feel of their top of the range ones though…
Love them. Will give left kidney for. Not sponsored. Wish I was.