“Every piece of clothing comes with a field repair kit containing fabric matching iron-on patches to keep you looking good after a crash.”

It’s no secret that this brand comes from the ‘roadie’ scene. But this means they know a thing or two about use of good fabrics and have been making ‘roadies’ look good for years. Rapha has now employed their knowledge around textiles to mountain bike apparel. Their focuses are on sustainability and longevity — and I can vouch for their products lasting many seasons. Rapha’s colourways are normally subtle, so you needn’t worry about being out of vogue whilst on the trail.

The Trail Short is a built from four-way stretch material that is Bluesign certified, meaning it is built from sustainable sources with minimised environmental impact. An integrated, contoured waistband allows for precise fit adjustment and there are four pockets, two of which have zippers with an integrated phone sleeve to keep items from sliding around. The cut is fairly form fitting but has been designed to work with or without knee pads.

The Trail Short have a relaxed and comfortable fit that slides over small to medium knee pads with no issues. Larger, downhill style knee pads may cause the shorts to bunch up and sit on top of the pad, though. I found they fitted my medium knee pads well and were also good without, too. The short is a little more form cut, which means there’s no bunching and they don’t get in the way when you’re pedalling. They certainly don’t have the bagginess of other shorts on the market.

The adjustable waist is neat and easy to use, locking in a personalised fit with no slipping of the belt. The size medium was a perfect fit in both the waist and length for me. Having had these shorts for a while, I found the breathability to be moderate even in the warmer months. They breathe well and don’t overheat, but a few vents would just allow a bit more airflow, especially if you’re wearing a bib-short underneath. The zippered pockets keep trail essentials secure, and the phone sleeve is a very well thought out solution to keep your phone from bouncing around. I really like this feature, and the position means the phone feels like it’s out of the way but always accessible for that quick pic or vid.

Rapha has priced these shorts consistently with the market and offers several services, such as free repairs and free returns if you’re not happy with them. Every piece of clothing comes with a field repair kit containing fabric matching iron-on patches to keep you looking good after a crash. Heck, if you shed some kilos they will offer 50% off your jersey in a smaller size. I’m a big fan of buying a quality piece once, rather than buying cheap stuff every year — and Rapha promises exactly that: quality and longevity, with repairs if you do happen to find a way to destroy it.



RRP: $195 AUD

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