Shorts & 3/4s
For serious distances on the road, bib shorts offer easy comfort at the waistline and extra draft protection for the back over standard shorts. For women, though, bibs do present a few problems, the main one being how the straps/bib area interact with the bust.
At first glance these Altura Ergofit bibs look like a typical pair in the mid-range price bracket. Quality gel pad? Check. Reflective patches? Check. Flashes of colour? Check. Sadly, once you put them on, things start to go downhill.
The first thing you notice is that getting in requires a bit of a wiggle as the mesh upper section is cut very high. This gives a little extra warmth but also means that stopping for a wee is even more of a trial than usual.
Three-quarter tights are perfect for autumn and spring when you want your knees covered but not the whole of your legs, and the new range from dhb has a couple of options worth considering.
For some riders, it may be getting too late in the year to think about exposed legs, but if you’re still road-racing, or getting ready for ‘cross, it’s worth having a look at the new Pace Roubaix bib-shorts from dhb.
Protective’s Washington ¾ length trousers are the most practical and stylish I’ve encountered to date. Separating them from the legions of similarly excellent garments is the universally flattering cut that compliments all genres of machine, ensuring daylong comfort regardless of riding style. Step off the bike and their sharp, stealth detailing means you’ll be taken seriously around the office and incognito down the pub.
Australian born company Skins have been making waves in the past few years with their range of compressive travel and recovery products. This year Skins have launched a range of premier cycle clothing using the same graduated compression principles as the recovery products. The name C400, so Skins say, comes from 400 key fitting points which define the cut. With the help of a lengthy list of athletes and a 3D scanner Skins have created a genuinely fantastic fitting pair of shorts.
Swrve's lightweight WWR shorts are well suited to our British summer climate, built tough and with a good resistance to the elements. A good choice for urban riding and short commutes where lycra could be seen as a bit keen and a little 'inappropriate' at pub stops.
The pun-tastically named Ewetopia Knickers are a good looking garment, made from 39% merino wool mixed with nylon and elastic. The fabric is stretchy and robust with a pleasant matt finish and the natural anti-microbial properties of merino.
De Marchi's lightweight Contour shorts are aimed at racers, whereas the Pure Classic is made from slightly thicker material and cut in a style that’s slightly more traditional – or ‘sober’ according to De Marchi’s own website.