Shorts & 3/4s
Craft's Attack bib shorts form part of their top tier 'Elite' range, developed with their WorldTour teams. The idea is that you're getting the very best that Craft have to offer. Does all this make for a good pair of shorts or is it just marketing spiel?
The Bontrager RXL bib shorts are well cut and highly breathable, and they feature a very good seat pad to boot.
We've had a whole bunch of Bontrager clothes in on test recently and these shorts are among the best of them. These are actually Bontrager's second level shorts after the £129.99 RXXXLs, but they put in a high-end performance.
Priced at just £60 (and nearer £40 on some websites) the new Sugoi RPM bib shorts offer outstanding value for money with performance that wouldn't be out of place on shorts costing twice as much.
As with the Body suit, these bermuda shorts from Odlo are probably going to provoke a Marmite-esque love or hate reaction in people. Personally, I love them, but I've already been accused of dubious taste, so decide for yourself!
They are a baggy style short, primarily aimed at the mountain biking sorority, but as with most baggies, suitable to more relaxed casual style street riding as well.
The Hincapie Sportswear Men's Equipe Bibshort is a compressive, sporty short that does a very good job.
Rather than just sticking his name on another manufacturer's clothing range. American pro George Hincapie set up Hincapie Sportswear with his brother. He probably needs something to keep him busy now he's retiring after his 17th straight Tour de France.
The BodyFit Pro range from Sportful is their top-tier line. Developed with Saxobank-Tinkoff, it shares the same material technology, cut and fit as the WorldTour team enjoys. Here on test is the Bibshort Classic, a race short with lots of premium features designed to be paired with the Race Jersey, also on test.
Craft usually make good stuff, but despite excellent build quality their Performance Bike Bib Shorts have some major flaws.
At £70 the Performance Bikes are in a competitive price bracket, with dhb's Aeron range and Endura's FS260 Pro II shorts leading the pack. They certainly look the part, with angled leg panels, subtle changes in colour and a flashy, technical pad that's labelled up like a cow in a butcher's shop poster. Build quality is excellent, with flatlocked seams, tight stitching and a reflective logo on each leg.
They're good all-purpose shorts, these Outriders from Rohan. They're bike-specific in a very understated way, well constructed and comfy; just the thing for short rides and any destination where showing up in lycra might be frowned upon.
The Northwave Blade Bib shorts are part of their mid-range line. With SuperRoubaix fabric, meshed straps and a variety of colours, they are only let down by a thin, unmalleable pad.
The shorts are a fairly traditional panelled construction with flat-locked stitching. Tradition isn't a bad thing; these shorts fit well. Leg length is good and held in place with silicone grippers which don't create any tightness. Back and side panels transition well to the '3D' meshed braces just above the hips.
It's not often that an all-in-one body suit catches my eye, but with the stripey design of the Soul from Odlo, it's no surprise that this one did. In a world where solid black reigns supreme for cycling shorts, it's a real novelty to see something colorful and with a bit of graphic appeal. It's also actually a novelty to see a body suit for women at all- they are thin on the ground and it's not really surprising, since you have to be feeling pretty confident to dress head to toe in lycra. But there are advantages.