Spring has arrived and it's time to get the legs out. Altura's Raceline Comp Bib shorts are worth considering if you want to treat yourself to some new bib shorts for the summer, though ours had a problem with the logo leaving the fabric.
Altura's Raceline Comp Bib shorts are their top of the range and you can see and feel why. As well as being comfortable, they look good; it's not just about comfort. The Raceline sorts proved themselves comfortable on long rides as well as shorter commutes. Even in the cooler mornings with a set of knee warmers they kept enough heat in.
One thing that strikes you when you put them on is the ease at which you can do so. The main body of the shorts is made from 80% Nylon and 20% Lycra and this makes for a very stretchy mix. The bottom hem on the legs has a gripper as you'd expect, in white to add some contrast to the black body but the section above it is perforated. It probably won't offer too much ventilation when the sun beats down but it adds to the overall good looks. The Racelines are pre-shaped and have proven to be breathable on warmer trips without feeling overly hot.
The pad is antibacterial and a good size. It is ergonomically shaped and was unobtrusive but provided plenty of sit comfort. The area for your sit bones has been given a gel injection which does give a lot of padding in the right area.
The mesh is equally as stretchy and is made from a mix of polyester and Lycra, split 79%/21%. The straps offer plenty of ventilation due to the mesh and the rear part of the strap for the back is thin enough to be see through. This combination makes them very breathable and the stretchy qualities mean they will fit the contours without riding up and feeling as if you've been wedged in. In fact there is enough give in them to make you check your size as you could easily go down a size.
The multi panel design doesn't give any irritation from the seams. There is a reflective trim for some added visibility.
The only downside is the addition of the model name on the side. This wouldn't be an issue if the letters hadn't started to peel. Over time this will make the shorts look tatty and it's a shame as they are a decent fit and good to wear.
Decent fit and good looks but the latter is let down by poor decals. Not what you'd expect for the money.
Stylish and comfortable shorts, the Racelines are only let down by dodgy decals peeling away on the side
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Raceline Comp Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The shorts are aimed at racers, serious sportivers or those who want a top pair of shorts when they ride.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The mix of polyester and Lycra make the Altura Racelines flexible in their fit so there are no pinch pints. The straps are stretchy so allow plenty of movement but ensure everything is kept in place. The pad is a decent size and it felt good on either short or long rides. The comfort is provided in the right area.
The Racelines would score more if it wasn't for the decals on the sides of them. After only a few rides they have started to peel away. I know this doesn't distract from the very good performance but you are paying £90 and you wouldn't expect that to happen.
Dodgy decals aside, the Racelines perform very well. The pad is generous and comfortable, the straps offer plenty of stretch and the material of the shorts make for a very pleasant ride. There isn't much to dislike.
The shorts in general have lasted very well through some very wet weather. As I've already commented, it is just the peeling decals that let them down.
The shorts are light and feel so when you wear them. The elasticated feel means the don't feel heavy when you put them on.
The comfort is helped by the materials used that allow for stretch so when you move around on the bike they move with you. The pad is generous, providing comfort just where you need it. On long rides it has proven to keep on giving in terms of comfort. The small ventilation lines on the bottom of the legs are probably not going to do a great deal but it does add to the aesthetic look of them.
For £90 you would expect a decent pair of shorts and in almost every department the Racelines deliver. The only area and it is quite noticeable and lets them down, is the peeling decals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
All other aspects of the shorts make for a very comfortable ride with looks to boot but if you are paying £90 you wouldn't expect a minor issue like the decals to become a problem. Unfortunate.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The feel and comfort of the Racelines make an easy choice regardless of the journey. I can't wait to use them without knee warmers and see how they fair on long, warm summer rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The only thing to dislike are the flaky decals.
Did you enjoy using the product? I did indeed and continue to do so.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes I would.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A decent pair of shorts for every occasion let down by something so simple, which is a disappointment. The overall mark could and should be higher but for £90 you expect that level.
About the tester
Age: 45 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT