Review: Rapha Pro Team Thermal Shorts – 500 miles later

Review: Review: Rapha Pro Team Thermal Shorts – 500 miles later

6 weeks ago I posted up my 50 mile review of the  Rapha Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts and now, 500 miles later, it’s time to get the full review online.


It’s been a mixed couple of months or riding, obviously cold, sometimes clear and sometimes snowy, with temperatures ranging from -7 to +9.

The thing that has struck me the most about these shorts, especially when paired with the Rapha Merino Knee Warmers, is just how versatile they are, and it’s that versatility that really does help to justify their cost – make no mistake, at £170 they are not cheap by any stretch but they will help keep you riding in the cooler months.

My original review went into a bit of detail about construction and materials, and whilst that can be interesting I think what we really want to know is simply do they work?

And the answer is a resounding Yes.

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Rapha describe them as being suitable for high tempo winter riding and I would say that this is about spot-on.

I have worn them as low as -4 (the weather report said it was going to be +2!) and at that temperature you really notice them keeping you warm, insulating nicely compared with bare skin, but you must keep the effort level up otherwise at that level of cold you soon get chilled!

I would envisage their ideal temperature range to be around +3 upwards when paired with knee warmers, I’ve had very little chance to try them in much warmer weather but why would you?

Now for me, I much prefer to wear shorts instead of tights when riding, and would rather work that bit harder to justify their inclusion.  I found that with the Rapha Pro Team Thermal Shorts I did just that, often times choosing these to wear them in full knowledge of the extra work that was to come.

A cold weather bimble certainly isn’t the right environment for these, you have to be going at a good rate of knots to be comfortable, but entering into that deal with yourself at the start of the ride will see you richly rewarded.

The shorts are comfy for hours on end, and will see you through a high-tempo century in comfort (comfort in the pad and leg at least, the actual comfort level of a min-winter century is something else!)

The added length in them helps keep your pins warm down to the knees, but be warned that if you are skinny of leg then they may be a little loose further down – best to check before you go out riding in them.

If it’s not snowing outside then these are my favourites for winter and spring riding, and after 2 months of use they are still in pristine condition despite my use of the washing machine.

As always you pay a higher price for them than many other winter riding combos out there, but for performance and fit I think you are going to have to hunt around to find better.

You can buy them at the Rapha website

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