The new Rapha range of women’s bib shorts features a completely reconstructed chamois. According to the apparel specialist, this makes them ‘the most comfortable available, no matter how far or where you ride.’
The overhauled women’s chamois range has been three years in development. Rapha has drawn on feedback from 38 wear testers, from professional racers to commuters, who together have ridden more than 15,000km. Initial design and subsequent development of the chamois pad was led by the female riders at Rapha HQ. Early prototypes then underwent exhaustive mapping tests to ensure optimal distribution of pressure.
Rapha has created three new styles of women’s bib shorts – the Souplesse Detachable Bib Shorts, the Women’s Cargo Bib Shorts and the Women’s Core Cargo Shorts – each incorporating multi-thickness pads which come in two sizes, depending on size of shorts and style of riding.
Antibacterial treatment helps to provide long-lasting next-to-skin comfort. Meanwhile, seamless construction ‘eliminates chafing; and a pre-moulded shape provides optimal support’. The foam used is dual-density, with softer foam to take pressure off at the front, while firmer foam supports the sit bones.
“Throughout this three-year project the sole aim was to improve the riding experience for all women, focusing on the very heart of every pair of bib shorts,” said Maria Olsson, Design Manager at Rapha Racing.
She continued, “Through five rounds of wear testing, ridden by 38 women for more than more than 15,000km we did not just evolve the concept of the women’s chamois, we defined it.”