Rapha Softshell Trousers18th November 2010   Words: Nick Rearden



Available tomorrow is a new pair of men’s cycling trousers that the maker claims will revolutionise what you can happily wear at the office.

Rubbish weather; it’s a perennial problem for cyclists who want to arrive at their destination looking good and there’s even a much better choice these days of waterproofish jackets in a wide variety of styles.

But the bottoms have remained a problem; you either wear bike-specific, form-fitting tights and risk looking like Max Wall circa 1958 or overtrousers that according to posh cycling kit maker Rapha “would be more at home on a fishing trawler.”

Hence their new Softshell Trousers, tailored to look like a stylish pair of men’s strides but made from the same kind of microfibre fabric that works well in the upper half.

According to Rapha, “We found that the softshell fabric performed and looked the best. We wanted a look which was smart and comfortable enough to wear all day in the office and fabric that was extremely durable for on the bike, whilst also being water resistant against downpours – it was quite a challenge creating a pair of trousers which did all these things and still looked good.”

Rapha claim the Softshell Trousers are windproof and highly water-resistant and they have a reinforced seat and specially cut knees and lower leg to cope with the two areas that always conspire to scupper street trousers on a bike.

They’re pricey at £180 but Rapha do seem to make garments that last and last. Website is www.rapha.cc