A perfect foil for the excellent Classique jersey, the Classique bib shorts continue the luxurious all-day feel of the whole Classique range.
That all-day feel comes via a slightly thicker than normal lycra blend, which feels relaxed, yet fits to the skin perfectly. That's in part down to the cut, which impresses thanks to the 23cm inseam length. That's slightly shorter than a lot of bib shorts on the market these days, and is actually a slight nod to the days when bib shorts barely made it halfway down the leg.
I really like this more classical length on the leg, but that classical touch belies a level of modernity, just like the jersey. The straps are lightweight mesh, and are extremely comfortable, distributing any stretch evenly across the straps. They're well vented too, keep you cool where necessary.
The legs feature silicone grippers. They're not my favourite form of retention on the leg, but in this case they perform very well indeed – possibly the most comfortable grippers I've ever used.
The seams are well styled and tidy. They're hard wearing and I've no doubt at all that they'll stand the test of a whole summer season, and probably more besides. The fabric itself seems resilient to the snaggy wooden surfaces you come across at coffee stops, too, indicating that you can genuinely spend all day in them worry-free.
And you would, too, because they're incredibly comfortable. While not fleece-lined, the internal fabric is a cotton mix that sits snugly against the skin, and doesn't get itchy or irritating at any point during the day. It's also equally resilient to washing too, coming out as new each time.
As ever, however, it's the chamois that makes or breaks a pair of bib shorts and there are no worries in this regard. As you might expect, bearing in mind the quality of the rest of the Classique range, the pad is top notch, too. It's an Arcus inform BioDynamic model, and is comfortable regardless of the distance you ride, or the time you spend in the saddle.
It features graded padding for cushioning where you need it most, and is generous where it's needed without making the shorts look as though a pillow is installed between your legs. In fact, this is one of the most comfortable pads I've ever ridden in.
At £129.99, as with the Classique jersey, the bib shorts aren't cheap but they're great to look at and excellently designed, and equally make a superb matching pair with the jersey as they would function as standalone all-day cycling bib shorts.
Lovely bib shorts for the Classique range, or to pair with your other jerseys
road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager Classique 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?
Bontrager say: "Simple elegance effortlessly combines with modern features in the Classique Bib Short. Sophistication is wisely tempered with timeless style and high performance. The Classique Bib Short delivers superior performance while giving a firm nod to the direction of traditional style. Perfect for a unique look on rides that demand performance."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Arcus inForm BioDynamic™ Chamois - Italian made, OverEasy™ constructed Aircell™ pad
- A strategically-placed Profila Cool™ mesh bib back
- The lightweight, low-profile, luxurious bib straps offer great support and comfort
- Silicon leg gripper
- Reflective elements enhance visibility for maximum safety in any conditions
- 23cm (9") in-seam
- Fitted: A streamlined fit for all-around cycling performance
Solid, and resilient to fraying.
Lovely pad - one of the best I've ridden with, and a great, slightly retro cut to boot.
Resilient to anything I'd normally throw at kit.
Some won't like the slightly shorter leg than usual, but I loved it.
I normally fit a medium, and this was spot on.
Like the jersey counterpart, not built to be lightweight.
They excel at comfort, even though I don't really like prominent silicone grippers on the leg as a rule.
I always think you pay for what you get with bib shorts, and although £129.99 is expensive, I do believe that to be a pretty good deal in this instance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very well, no complaints.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Almost perfectly for me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cut, fit, luxury feel, performance chamois.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only the silicone grippers - those aside and I'd be giving these a 10.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Strong counterpart bib shorts to the excellent Classique jersey. Buy as a pair, although you could get away with using these with any choice of jersey.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,