Rapha’s Souplesse bibs are our go-to choice for long days in the saddle on the bumpy dirt roads outside of town. The thicker chamois provides just a little more padding than some of the more race-specific women’s bibs. While this extra padding feels a bit bulky off the bike or even when pedaling out of the saddle, our backside appreciated the added comfort when the roads got really rough.
The women’s Souplesse bibs use the same fabric as Rapha’s Pro Team bibs, which Team Sky has put to the test in the pro peloton for several years now. Using Coldblack technology, the bibs reflect the sun’s rays to keep the fabric cool against the skin but despite Rapha’s claims of an aero-fit, we found the leg material too relaxed, not compressive enough for performance bibs.
We did love the elastic Souplesse bib straps though, as they sit gently against the shoulder without adding extra pressure or uncomfortable rubbing. The straps are set a bit wider than the men’s bibs — to accommodate for different bust sizes — and are made from a breathable mesh material for superb ventilation.
At $260, these are some of the more expensive bibs out there. But we reach for them over and over again for important races and long adventure rides because we trust Rapha’s comfort and quality for any day on the bike.