The Rapha Women's All-Day Leggings blur the lines between cycling clothing and active wear. They're very useful and versatile for low-intensity exercise such as short commutes, gentle jogs or yoga practice, but they're not the most breathable. This, and the lack of a chamois mean they're not suitable for a long time in the saddle.
Who is just a cyclist these days? It's my main exercise of choice, but you can also find me holding Warrior Two as I settle into another Yoga with Adriene YouTube video (she is the best), or going for a run around the estate. I'm not looking to optimise in either, though, so leggings with true versatility are exceptionally handy.
Rapha has entered the women's lifestyle market with these 7/8-length leggings. They're super comfy; I'd happily laze about in the house all-day in them... They're called all-day leggings, so I've been testing them all day long, even as I write this.
These leggings are chamois-less. Now that's going to limit how far you can cope riding in them, but then there's no unwanted bulk as you go about your other activities. Personally, I can happily ride in these for up to 30 minutes at a gentle pace.
I'm 178cm tall, and to my surprise the size small comfortably reached my ankles. There's good length to these, so you don't have to worry about the ends riding up and getting a bare skin gap as you ride. The six sizes run from XXS to XL.
The high waist covers your back as you shift forward into the riding position. The waistband is double-layered to prevent rolling, and is effective at doing so.
Rapha uses recycled nylon for these, mixed in with elastane (42% is elastane) for a wonderfully soft and stretchy fabric. It conforms to your figure and doesn't turn see-through when stretched – instead it has a slight shiny look to it. The stretchy material gives you full freedom of movement.
It's all the same fabric. There are no mesh panels (it could do with some behind the knees for breathability when you put on the pace), but at a gentle jog this issue isn't as noticeable.
Down at the cuff is a layer of fabric that can be flipped back to reveal an ultra-bright pink cuff with the Rapha logo. It's the same unmissable colour no matter whether you choose the black, navy blue or purple leggings.
This cuff is 5cm wide and adds some visibility, and can cleverly be hidden away for your other day to day activities. It's a neat touch, but the pink does inevitably find a way of peaking through.
It's so easy to catch and ride up, so you do end up having to readjust the outer fabric to cover up again and again – it looks odd with just a little accidentally showing, so you may decide it's too much hassle looking smart with these leggings.
Sewn in on the right side is a pocket for essentials. It comfortably fits large phones (mine's a Xiaomi Pocophone F1) and there's a 1.5cm elastic band at the top to prevent anything falling out. This is the only pocket, though – there's not a zippered one at the back, as you often find in running tights, for stashing your keys.
Heat-transferred onto the pocket is Rapha's reflective logo. This is quite large, but subtle enough it looks smart.
At £80, these are expensive compared to specific running tights. For instance, dhb's Aeron Run Tights are £45 and feature a hip pocket large enough for a phone and reflective details. Gore's Women's R3 Mid Tights are £64.99 and come with a zippered rear pocket as well as a side phone sleeve; these also both look more breathable options thanks to mesh-ventilated knees.
But Rapha's leggings are more cycling-focused, with a high waist that better suits the forward riding position. They're not for long or intense rides, but for general riding – and lots of other activities – they're a great, if rather expensive, option.
Stretchy, comfortable leggings and great for all your low-intensity activities
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rapha Womens All-Day Leggings
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Rapha says: "The All-Day Leggings are perfect for those looking for multifunctional apparel to suit a busy lifestyle. Ankle length, high waisted, and with no chamois pad, the leggings feature a contoured fit that sits close to the body for a slim silhouette. And with a high-stretch fabric and a minimal construction with fewer seams, the leggings are comfortable on and off the bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Double-layer waistband to prevent rolling
7/8 length with a contoured fit
Pocket for phone and ride snacks
Reflective heat-transfer Rapha logo
Visibility cuff in hi-vis pink - can be rolled back to reveal 5cm cuff
58% Recycled Nylon
Very well made.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine wash at 30°C and these look as good as new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfy and incredibly stretchy, so I'd happily wear them all day long. Just not very breathable – I'd only use them for low intensity activities.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
High waist for riding, super stretchy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pink cuff, no rear zippered pocket, not as breathable as running tights.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are considerably more expensive than dhb or Gore's running-specific tights, but the Rapha leggings have features more suited to cycling, such as the bright reflective cuffs and high waist to suit the riding position.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are brilliant for a range of low intensity activities. The side pocket is useful and effective for phones, but these really need another pocket for stashing keys away from expensive devices while running. The fabric is also not very breathable and bunches slightly behind the knees, but they're still very good for a wide range of activities.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.