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Verdict: 
Pro-level bib shorts at a superb price, which they achieve without compromise
Weight: 
204g
BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts
10 10

BTwin continually manages to impress us with its products here at road.cc and these Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts are no different. Ridden in the pro ranks by FDJ, these bibs offer a great fit, superb comfort, and just all-round excellence, all for a penny under 50 pounds. Astounding.

Doing this job you get to wear a lot of bib shorts; as soon as there is a glimpse of spring in the air your testing schedule becomes overrun with Lycra. Despite wearing all these different pairs, as soon as I put on the Aerofits I knew they were right up there. And that was before I took a gander at the price.

> Find your nearest Decathlon store here

> Buy these online here

One of the main reasons they instantly feel so good is the make up of the legs. The bottoms of the legs use a thicker material than the rest of the shorts, and has its threads running around the circumference to create a kind of band. Add a silicone gripper to the mix and this stops them moving.

I have large thighs, so I can find a lot of shorts quite restrictive, especially as time in the saddle increases. The Aerofits have an elasticated strip which runs vertically up the legs, interrupting that leg gripper; it's like an expansion joint, if you will, and means whatever size your upper leg, the shorts are compressive without being restrictive.

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - back.jpg

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - back.jpg

Years ago, bib shorts were split into a few categories depending on how many panels they were made of – six, eight or ten – with the most usually providing more comfort and freedom of movement. It's not something you hear much of anymore, and shorts like the Aerofits are probably why – I got to about 20 before boredom set in, and probably explains why the BTwins fit like a glove.

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts.jpg

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts.jpg

What about the pad – the heart of any pair of shorts? Well, it's a big old chamois to be fair, but that doesn't mean you get a lot of bunching or anything, regardless of the size of your saddle. The main section is made up of six pads, split by channels – three each side and symmetrical, each of the same density, but the rear section of the pad being slightly thicker than the front.

What this all adds up to is a chamois that is supportive and comfortable without being overly squidgy or feeling like there is any excess material. You even get some ventilation holes in the central channels which keep you cool too.

Moving on up, the bib straps are pretty minimalistic, with wide, flat, over the shoulder loops, which means you don't get any fabric cutting in or pressure points.

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

A nod to their professional association is the radio pocket at the rear, which us unpaid weekend warriors can use for a debit card, cash or an mp3 player.

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

Value can be a tricky subject, but I'd love to meet someone who wears these and doesn't think their money has been well spent. When you look at the quality of materials, construction, fit, performance and comfort, the Aerofits are hard to beat at any price, let alone just 50 quid.

> Check out our guide to the best bib shorts

I tested the dhb Aerons a few weeks ago, which are phenomenal shorts, but the BTwins step things up a notch when you consider they are £15 cheaper at RRP. In fact, even at the discounted price of the Aerons I'd still plump for the Aerofits. Overall, they are very hard to beat from any angle.

Verdict

Pro-level bib shorts at a superb price, which they achieve without compromise

road.cc test report

Make and model: BTwin Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts

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?

The simple explanation from Decathlon is, "These men's cycling shorts are used by the FDJ cycling team pros. Optimal comfort guaranteed. Stretch bib to hold the shorts in place, elasticated strips around the thigh hem."

This somewhat under sells them in my opinion – they are a brilliant pair of shorts, made even better by the fact that they are only 50 quid.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

BTwin keeps things simple:

SITTING COMFORT

Ergonomic pad with gel inserts and 3 density levels for added comfort.

MOISTURE WICKING

Excellent perspiration wicking thanks to the technical fabric.

STABILITY

Ergonomic cut. Elastic at the thigh hem.

Ultra-lightweight bib. Very slim fit.

REDUCED CHAFING

Large pad, quick drying.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Feel well put together and finished.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Excellent fit and near perfect lightweight racing performance.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Hardwearing stitching and material.

Rate the product for fit:
 
10/10

As far as a pair of full-on racing shorts go these are excellent – I've not felt much better. Thin, compressive and great proportions.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
10/10

Spot on.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10

A bit heavier than the excellent dhb Aerons but not so much that you'd notice.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
10/10

I could ride in these for hours and hours.

Rate the product for value:
 
10/10

£49.99 for pro-level bib shorts.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Like most, a simple 30 degree wash. A few mud spray marks didn't wash off the blue band at that temperature.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I love them. Excellent fitting, quality bib shorts.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Err...

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Absolutely!

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

An absolutely brilliant pair of bib shorts, pure and simple. Everything from the fit and the material to the performance has been considered and then made to work at this price point. Brilliant. If they were £70 or £80 I'd give them a 9, but for less than £50? It has to be full marks.

Overall rating: 10/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

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.

26 comments

Avatar
Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Could your reviews also have a picture of the pad please, I find I can look at the pad and see if it's going to be ok or not.

Thanks. 

Avatar
mtbtomo [253 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

There's a picture of the pad on product page for these shorts on the decathlon website

Avatar
KiwiMike [1325 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Charles_Hunter wrote:

Could your reviews also have a picture of the pad please, I find I can look at the pad and see if it's going to be ok or not.

 

Charles, if you are basing your bibshort purchase decisions on how the pad looks as opposed to listening to a reviewer who's done hundreds of miles in them, I have a bridge to sell you. Only used on Sundays by a little old lady on her way to church smiley

Avatar
ashfanman [131 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

These look very good. Will give them a try next time I need some bibs.

I have one suggestion for BTwin, however: Do an all black version without the massive B-Twin logos. While it wouldn't be a problem for me, I suspect a lot of "serious" cyclists would be reluctant to wear shorts from a budget brand that are so overtly branded. Wiggle have got this right with their (excellent) DHB shorts - the branding is very subtle.

Avatar
btwin [20 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Thanks for your feedback ashfanman, this will be fed back to the product design team. 

Avatar
fukawitribe [2132 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
btwin wrote:

Thanks for your feedback ashfanman, this will be fed back to the product design team. 

I'd just like to second that thought from ashfanman - it's not that I would wouldn't want people thinking I was wearing B'Twin, far from it - lovely stuff i've seen so far, but it's just i'm not a logo-type person, from any manufacturer. Wouldn't stop me buying something I needed, but it's a definite, if small, factor when there's a choice. Thanks for your feedback too.

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1691 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Another vote from me for more minimal, classy logos.

But keep it up BTwin - I've got some of the normal (non-Aerofit) 700 bibs (only £40!) and they're simply awesome.

Avatar
longinthe tooth [21 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They are not going to sell many if they only have L & XL in stock on the day a good review comes out !

Avatar
btwin [20 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The S, M and XXL are due back on the 22nd of June.

One word of caution is that they're the Aerofit range (used by fdj.fr and our btwin racin gteam) so they are on the tight side.

32 to 34 waist tends to be fine in "L".

Avatar
fukawitribe [2132 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Oops - wrong shorts.

Avatar
stevie63 [81 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
KiwiMike wrote:
Charles_Hunter wrote:

Could your reviews also have a picture of the pad please, I find I can look at the pad and see if it's going to be ok or not.

 

Charles, if you are basing your bibshort purchase decisions on how the pad looks as opposed to listening to a reviewer who's done hundreds of miles in them, I have a bridge to sell you. Only used on Sundays by a little old lady on her way to church smiley

I'm afraid I agree with Charles on this. The Aeron Shorts came highly rated by you but for me (and that's the key, for me) the pad is horrible. A picture paints a thousand words and takes but a few seconds to add to a review. 

Avatar
KiwiMike [1325 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
stevie63 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
Charles_Hunter wrote:

Could your reviews also have a picture of the pad please, I find I can look at the pad and see if it's going to be ok or not.

 

Charles, if you are basing your bibshort purchase decisions on how the pad looks as opposed to listening to a reviewer who's done hundreds of miles in them, I have a bridge to sell you. Only used on Sundays by a little old lady on her way to church smiley

I'm afraid I agree with Charles on this. The Aeron Shorts came highly rated by you but for me (and that's the key, for me) the pad is horrible. A picture paints a thousand words and takes but a few seconds to add to a review. 

 

Stevie, I can only go off experience wearing and testing probably 15 different sets of bibs in the last year, ranging from under £50 to over £250 in price: there is NO visually-discernable indication of how they perform after 20, 40, 60 or 160 miles that I can see. Even by the squidgy-feel test, you can't pick them. I've had thin pads be both penury and paradise. Ditto fatter ones. With channels or without. Single- or multi-density. Sometimes they are great for 20-40, but go longer than 40 and it's like riding on balled-up socks - and that pair were £160! 

Maybe your or Charles' eyes can 3D-map a timeline of comfort, pressure points, sweat absorbtion, friction, water resistance and a host of other aspects of pad performance not to mention the actual short fabric's ability to hold the pad in place (critical aspect that), but mine sure can't. I'll take the review as 50% sold, then trust the other 50% to luck. And as others pointed out, photos are available on mfr sites, for what they are worth.

 

 

Avatar
nopants [33 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

I've got 2 pairs of these, and the fit is superb. I find bib shorts that fit  well a bit tricky (6 foot tall, long body, 29 in waist, big legs).

I tried both a Medium and a Small, and both fitted well. The straps are worth mentioning - really stretchy, raw edges,  and size Small happily stretches to my long torso without digging in.

A word about the pad - it is quite big & stiff, with a lot of bumps & channels (pic attached). It softens up a bit, but not to the extent of my Sportful & Cytech pads. I found it chafed a fair bit, but having changed my position it is now dreamy! (So I got a second pair on sale for £25 last Autumn).

The shorts have done a lot of mileage (c.8000 miles last year, not all in these) and they have held up really well.

For those worried about the branding, coloring in the white logos with permanent marker doesn't really work....

Avatar
ashfanman [131 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
btwin wrote:

Thanks for your feedback ashfanman, this will be fed back to the product design team. 

You're welcome. Always nice to see a brand listening to customers.

If you'd like to send me some bibs to thank me after your sales increase 20 percent, my email is in my profile!   3

Avatar
PpPete [43 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Have two pairs & pad is best I've used - far superior to DHB, but like others would wish for an all-black version.

Thinking about getting the 3/4 length version also, but horrendously difficult to find on Decathlons website (Doesn't appear in either shorts or tights) and when you do find it there is no certainty that's its the same pro-level pad, and no indication of whether it's the same weight fabric as the shorts or a heavier fleecier fabric suitable for spring/autumn use.

Great products - weak website.

Avatar
pedalierer [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
ashfanman wrote:

I have one suggestion for BTwin, however: Do an all black version without the massive B-Twin logos. While it wouldn't be a problem for me, I suspect a lot of "serious" cyclists would be reluctant to wear shorts from a budget brand that are so overtly branded. Wiggle have got this right with their (excellent) DHB shorts - the branding is very subtle.

 

+1

An all black version would be very welcome. SubItier branding would be plus.

I might still buy a pair now just to try them out, but I will probably only use them during the winter below another pant.

But there seem to be already some plans for a redesign for 2017 and they are asking for user input. Please vote for the all-black version 6 + 7!

http://www.btwin.com/blog/fr/blog-et-actualite/gamme/

Avatar
PpPete [43 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
pedalierer wrote:

But there seem to be already some plans for a redesign for 2017 and they are asking for user input. Please vote for the all-black version 6 + 7!

http://www.btwin.com/blog/fr/blog-et-actualite/gamme/

Good spot ! I have put my tuppenyworth in the comments on that page, dans mon meilleure Francais, naturellement.

Avatar
pedalierer [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
PpPete wrote:

Good spot ! I have put my tuppenyworth in the comments on that page, dans mon meilleure Francais, naturellement.

Meillure? You are kidding?  They seem to remove all comments not written in French!  Just providing the numbers of choice seems to be fine, though. If the short is really that good as advertized, it would be awesome to have a black version for this money. I can't believe the Pros really use these.

 

@BTwin: Any information available about the sun protection rating of the shorts? 

Avatar
Dr. Ko [207 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

It does look very similar to the Decathlon 900 bib I did review back in 2014

Never the less still a thumps up from me!

Avatar
mtbtomo [253 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I've had two pairs of the 700 series shorts and ridden them for the Etape and any other ride I might do. 

 

The pad is quite solid, gel like, rather than springy foam that squidges right down like some other brands.  Its as comfy as any other pair of shorts I've ridden.  Its different, possibly slightly better, than the pad in the Champion System produced shorts that Lampre Merida supposedly ride.

 

So I've ordered some of these.  BTwin make some pretty serious bikes and are much bigger in France, I've no issue with the branding.  However, plain black would make them easier to match with any colour of jersey.

Avatar
Kapelmuur [403 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

That pad looks exactly the same as the one in a pair of waist shorts I bought in France last year and cost peanuts.

And they have a small, discrete Btwin branding.

 

Avatar
nevs [23 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I have been using these, and previous incarnations, for many years and love em.
I also passed over replacing them this year because of the brash logos.

It would be great to see the next winter range match this level of quality and bring back the reflective stitching.

Avatar
Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
KiwiMike wrote:
stevie63 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
Charles_Hunter wrote:

Could your reviews also have a picture of the pad please, I find I can look at the pad and see if it's going to be ok or not.

 

Charles, if you are basing your bibshort purchase decisions on how the pad looks as opposed to listening to a reviewer who's done hundreds of miles in them, I have a bridge to sell you. Only used on Sundays by a little old lady on her way to church smiley

I'm afraid I agree with Charles on this. The Aeron Shorts came highly rated by you but for me (and that's the key, for me) the pad is horrible. A picture paints a thousand words and takes but a few seconds to add to a review. 

 

Stevie, I can only go off experience wearing and testing probably 15 different sets of bibs in the last year, ranging from under £50 to over £250 in price: there is NO visually-discernable indication of how they perform after 20, 40, 60 or 160 miles that I can see. Even by the squidgy-feel test, you can't pick them. I've had thin pads be both penury and paradise. Ditto fatter ones. With channels or without. Single- or multi-density. Sometimes they are great for 20-40, but go longer than 40 and it's like riding on balled-up socks - and that pair were £160! 

Maybe your or Charles' eyes can 3D-map a timeline of comfort, pressure points, sweat absorbtion, friction, water resistance and a host of other aspects of pad performance not to mention the actual short fabric's ability to hold the pad in place (critical aspect that), but mine sure can't. I'll take the review as 50% sold, then trust the other 50% to luck. And as others pointed out, photos are available on mfr sites, for what they are worth

 

 

hi kiwimike, seems like you have taken offence at my simple request? I'd like to see a picture because this type of pad, I found it buy clicking through to decathlon's web site, my bottom does not like, so the picture would have saved me a click through, and I guess helped others also. So even if the fabric and cut etc of the shorts is great, bad pad = no buy.

Do you work for road.cc with you saying you have reviewed many shorts this year?

Avatar
mtbtomo [253 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Having ridden these today for the first time (but having had several pairs of the 700 series before), they were as comfy as I expected.....but I think they have one too many panels.  There is a seam horizontally across the lower back/upper bottom area that to begin with was just tickling.  It kind of faded away as I rode, but I don't think the 700 series have this dual panel rear section.

 

Also, the bib straps seem quite delicate compared to the 700 series.

 

So all in, I'd say the 700 series are similarly good shorts but for slightly different reason.  The fit is similar, the pad is the same and they're 10quid cheaper.

 

I have to say it is good to see a picture of the chammy in shorts reviews not least because the manufacturer/shop website don't always show a picture and also because some pads are just plain rubbish for the money you pay.  I'd have to agree it is still difficult to tell though from a photo, unless its one of the generic designs that find their way into a lot of shorts.  I don't know any other manufacturers that use the same pad as Decathlon though?

 

I also got the matching aero jersey which I don't think is quite as good a standard and relatively not as snug a fit for an "aero" branded product.  Its still  not bad for £50 though.

Avatar
Matt_S [297 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
ashfanman wrote:

I have one suggestion for BTwin, however: Do an all black version without the massive B-Twin logos. While it wouldn't be a problem for me, I suspect a lot of "serious" cyclists would be reluctant to wear shorts from a budget brand that are so overtly branded. Wiggle have got this right with their (excellent) DHB shorts - the branding is very subtle.

btwin wrote:

Thanks for your feedback ashfanman, this will be fed back to the product design team.

Excellent. I just bought a pair the the DHB ASV shorts as they came in all black. I discounted the B-Twin ones for exactly the reason they were a bit 'brandy'

Avatar
kil0ran [698 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Just bought these and a pair of the slightly cheaper non-aerofit bibs. By far the comfiest bibs I've ever worn (Santini Slice previously).

Personally I love the colourway & branding but then I'm not a monumental brand snob - which is probably why I also ride a Triban 3 as my commuting workhorse  1

The whole pink/blue thing looks good on their top end road bikes:

 

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/ultra-740-cf-carbon-road-bike-ultegra-di2-id_8339669.html