Decathlon's tricky to pronounce B'Twin range is massive over on the Continent, and we're seeing more of it in the UK as Decathlon rolls out more stores. If all their stuff is as good as the Aerofit 900 shorts, the more the merrier.
The Aerofit 900 shorts are - according to Decathlon's website - the very same as the shorts worn by FDJ.FR cycling team. And as the adage goes: 'If they're good enough for the pros...'
In all seriousness though, for 50 quid (actually a tenner cheaper on Decathlon's site on Decathlon's site at the time of writing) you get a decent set of shorts for your money. When I first put them on, the Aerofits felt like a far more expensive pair of shorts. My favourite features included a nice wide elasticated leg gripper, so you can keep your tan lines (OK possibly a bold statement in the UK) razor sharp, and wide shoulder straps made of nice thin material to keep my back and shoulders comfy and relatively sweat free. In my opinion the colours are also pretty cool and add to that feel of a more pricey pair of shorts.
When it comes to getting technical with materials, B'Twin don't go down the whole acronym/new-fangled name overload route. Having tested some kit with outrageous fabric feature names and claims, it was refreshing to read the blurb and just be given a list of seven areas B'Twin have worked on - which you can find in the "technical aspects" section a bit further down the page. The shorts are also guaranteed for two years, something I haven't come across too often before.
This is all very well and good but the real test is always going to be on the bike. Overall I found that the best way to describe the Aerofits is: good. They're just good at being bike shorts. I wasn't blown away by anything in particular, but at the same time I wasn't irritated or held back by anything either. The comfort of the shorts was more than adequate enough to for me to be happy to go on three hour plus rides in them, and the breathability meant I was never sweating buckets either.
If I'm nitpicking I found the pad to be a bit on the thick side than some of my backside's more favoured shorts. It never put me off wearing the Aerofits, but once or twice made them second choice to my thinner padded (but notably more expensive) shorts when heading out for all-day adventures. Size wise my six-foot, 73kg frame fit into the mediums very nicely. Durability wise, the Aerofits have held up without a hitch through both road and off-road excursions for the last month and a bit so no problems there.
Overall, B'Twin's Aerofit 900 bib shorts have been a comfy pair of shorts at a price that made me double check the website to make sure. The pad may not have been exactly to my taste for the really big days out, but that certainly wouldn't stop me buying a pair for general training and weekend ride usage.
Good shorts at an even better price
road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin Aerofit 900 Bibshort
Size tested: Large
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?
From the site:
Intensive cycling, 3 hours or more. The shorts worn by the FDJ.FR cycling team
That pad might stop me for going for real long days out.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Those points B'Twin targeted that I mentioned in the review, again from their website:
Pad with gel inserts and 3 density levels for superior comfort
Elastic band on the bottom hem provides excellent hold on the thighs
Exceptional moisture management
The shape of the pad reduces all types of friction
Cycling shorts specially designed to fit the shape of the thigh muscles
Low weight / lightweight:
Straps with mesh fabric and thermo-bonded material for excellent comfort
Guarantee : 2 Years
Feel like a pair of shorts that cost a few bob more.
Comfy, breathable and supported me well. Pad thickness was my criticism.
Nice thin material on the straps keep the weight down, if bib short weight is something that bothers you.
No actual uncomfortable bits to the shorts, but again that pad thickness was a niggle that stopped me from getting them out for big days
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The price, and the leg gripper holding the shorts in place well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 21 Height: 182cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: On-One Carbon Whippet Single Speed MTB/Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,