The Summit line is Pactimo's top end range and after living with these Raptor bibshorts for the past few weeks I can vouch they are very top end and while they're not cheap you would usually expect to pay a lot more for this level of quality and performance.
Colorado based Pactimo have their own factory in China and specialise in custom clothing - they made the original roadcc jerseys - but if you don't want club kit everything is also available in their standard retail range.
The tech spec on the Raptors is impressive, longer than some bike specifications I've seen. Kicking things off is the Raptor material by Swiss company Eschler that has a patterned, almost scaly effect to it which if nothing else certainly looks cool. It uses a nylon outer (66%) which offers great abrasion resistance with 14% Lycra added to create the elasticity giving a mild compression feeling to it.
It's treated with Coldblack, a finishing technology that makes dark fabrics reflect heat rather than absorbing it, keeping the rider cooler in the long run. Unfortunately it hasn't been hot enough to really test it here but the Louis Garneau Course jersey and shorts tested last year used the same stuff and it worked wonders in the sunshine.
The inner lining is polyester (20%) which Pactimo call Flash. Polyester is an inherently hydrophobic material so acts a barrier against moisture being absorbed from the air keeping you dry as you ride.
Loads of technology can't make up for a poor fit though and thankfully with the Raptors it doesn't have to. The cut of the Raptors is pre-shaped which coupled with the supportive characteristics of the material mean they are supremely comfortable and move with you as you stand to climb or crouch on the drops. In fact Pactimo offer a polite warning that bibshorts using their Silhouette Engineering (yep, engineered shorts) will feel odd when you first put them on as they won't feel comfortable until you are on the bike.
The legs stay where they are thanks to 3in wide bands and silicone grippers. Others like Castelli have been using this style of gripper for a while and it's so much more comfortable than elastic.
Cytech provide the Elastic Interface Endurance Anatomic Carbonium chamois, the same that is used in some of Rapha's models plus quite a few others and it's very comfortable even though the padding is quite thick. It's firm enough to stay in position though which is the key, keeping the central channel in place to relieve any perineal pressure.
Pactimo also get high marks for build quality thanks to tight neat stitching of the flatlocked seams and the all round solid feel to the bibshorts. Plenty of miles on various saddles has seen no wear to the Raptor material or the stitching on the inner leg or chamois area. I can't see them wearing out in a hurry.
Overall the Raptors are quite literally beautiful to wear, really comfortable and supportive no matter how long you are in the saddle. The £125 price tag is easily justifiable against some of the more expensive opposition in terms of fit, comfort and all round build quality. Just putting them on makes you feel up for going out for a ride.
Pretty much the best all round bibs I've tested, this level of comfort and performance usually costs a lot more
road.cc test report
Make and model: Pactimo Summer Raptor Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
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?
"Whether 5 hours in the mountains or grinding it out on the flats, the Summit Raptor Bib Short will provide the finest bib short experience you've ever had." is what Pactimo reckon about the Summit Raptor and I must admit I tend to agree.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Raptor™ fabric from Schoeller-Eschler with Flash coldblack® technology
*Cytech Elastic Interface™ Endurance Anatomic Carbonium chamois
*Silhouette™ Engineering to provide a superlative fit
*Italian double turned leg band with silicon gripper
*Womens version available
*Custom design options
You get what you pay for and even a little bit more in this instance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliantly comfortable bibs which are ideal for big ride comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Just how good they feel on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to dislike really.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.