Altura's Pro Gel Comp bib shorts sit one step below their top-of-the-range Raceline comp model, and are aimed at the serious sportive rider. While they fit great, they are not my first pick for longer fast rides.
Trying these on for the first time, the first thing you notice is the fit. They are nice and tight, support the thighs well, and do not bunch up when you're on the drops. The mesh straps are snug but comfortable and the pad feels high quality and follows your behind's contours. That'll be the premium quality European stretch fabric, deployed in anatomically shaped panels the marketing blurb talks about then.
The legs have the usual silicone grippers, which stop the shorts riding up effectively.
The pad is Altura's own Progel stretch multi density insert, which has gel bits under the sit bones. It provides a good level of padding without being too thick and has channels to relieve a bit of pressure on the perineum.
While the straps are made from a nice, breathable, mesh material, the back isn't. For a bib short that is described as 'highly breathable' that seems like an odd choice to me. I can't say I've found these to be overly sweaty, but then that's as much to do with the jersey you wear on top, and, obviously, the weather, which has been warm but not hot during the test period. I would say they ventilate well, but not exceptionally so: breathable, but maybe not highly breathable.
So they fit well, they look good, but what are they like on the bike? I've put in plenty of hours commuting, mountain-biking and a few of the Western League summer cyclo cross races as well. I've been happy wearing them, but compared to other shorts I've tried, they are not quite as comfortable. Everything seems to stay in place, except for the pad, which seems to move around slightly especially on longer/faster rides. I didn't get bad chafing, but some inconvenience was noticeable after a couple of hours.
I'll happily wear these for the hour-long commute, and they're great for an hour of blatting around in a bit of mud, but if I'm going to be out for more than an hour on a fast ride, I'll go for something different. For me, that's not quite 'perfect for the serious sportive rider', which is how Altura describe them.
They are available in any colour so long as it's black, and you can get them in XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL. We tested a medium, which fit me (80kg, 1.78m) perfectly. In terms of sizing, these are on a par with Endura or DHB.
Great fit, but a little to much pad movement to be comfortable on longer rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Progel 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 top end of our Progel bib short range, perfect for the serious sportive rider.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* A high performance bib short with the proven comfort of the Progel stretch multi density insert with gel sit bone padding
* Premium quality European stretch fabric
* Anatomically shaped panels
* Highly breathable mesh bib
* Silicone leg gripper to keep firmly in place
* Reflective trim details for increased visibility
* Performance fit
Good supportive race fit.
The shorts have stood up well to quite a few washes after some pretty wet cyclocross races. The "Progel" lettering on the side has started to wear off a little though.
These are OK for up to a couple of hours, but the Progel pad does move around a bit, which can cause a bit of chafing on longer rides.
At £69.99 RRP, these are not the cheapest shorts you can buy. They are certainly not bad, but not the best ones in class.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are good shorts, but not quite as comfortable as other I've used in the same price bracket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They fit well and give good support, they look good too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pad moves around a bit which can cause chafing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends on the kind of riding they're planning to do.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The Altura ProGel Comp bibshorts have a good, supportive fit; too bad the pad doesn't stay in place enough to prevent chafing on longer rides.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD10
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,