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Verdict: 
Based around a great pad, these are well made and super-comfy – highly recommended
Weight: 
185g
La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic
9 10

The Summer Bib Shorts from Italian brand La Passione appear relatively simple at first glance – with a relatively low panel count and a chamois that initially looks like nothing particularly fancy. However, they really surprised me – offering hours of comfort and a great fit. With La P's direct sales policy, they are pretty keenly priced too.

If you're prone to searching for bike-related things on the internet, and as you're reading this then I'm going to take a guess and say that you are, then there's a pretty good chance you'll have seen adverts for La Passione on places like Facebook – that's how I first became aware of it. Its products aren't available in stores and this allows it to offer quality Italian-made apparel at keen prices. There's some crap advertised on Facebook, let's be honest, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I got these bibs and the matching Summer Jersey (review to follow).

> Buy these online here

These are a medium, and I tend to be either a medium or a large in bib shorts. When I first put them on, they felt like quite a snug fit around my thighs, but with a good length. I'm 6ft 2in and I prefer bib shorts to come down close to my knee, and these did just that. The elastic grippers were perhaps slightly tighter than I'd want, but in use I didn't find any issue with comfort.

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic.jpg

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic.jpg

As you can see in the pictures, the grippers do give a bit of a sausage-leg effect – that's not me in the pictures, but it was similar when I wore them. There are small silicone dots inside the leg openings, but I suspect it's the tightness as much as the silicone that keeps them locked in position. In recent years, bib shorts are tending to use wider bands of lighter stretch fabrics, which spreads the compression better than here.

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - gripper.jpg

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - gripper.jpg

The general construction is of very good quality, using Italian fabrics and a chamois from market leader Elastic Interface (aka Cytech). Stitching is neat and flatlocked around the legs. The pad is pretty different from others that I've tried from Cytech – the first impression is that it is quite big, extending further out around the saddle than most. It seems of relatively simple design too, with constant thickness across and just a central cutout.

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - back.jpg

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - back.jpg

Looking at or even squeezing a chamois knowingly between finger and thumb is no real guide to how they'll fare out on a ride, and this was strikingly the case here. I really got on well with this chamois, finding it flawlessly comfortable for all-day rides. For me, at any rate, I'd say this is as comfortable as those in bib shorts I have that cost twice the price of these. You can see the chamois on La Passione's website.

The bibs are well designed too – wide enough to spread nicely across the shoulders and with enough stretch to fit a range of body shapes. At the rear is a 'radio pocket' for all you wannabe pros out there. I've been rude about these in the past, as anyone pro enough to be given a team radio will also be given team bibs, but my view has softened a little now and I've been known to bung a spare inner tube in there from time to time.

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - straps front.jpg

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - straps front.jpg

Other details are neat and well designed – I like the little Italian flag tag at the rear, and I'm always happy to see well-positioned reflectives, especially if – as here – they are sewn in and so won't peel off a few months down the line.

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - logo.jpg

La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic - logo.jpg

La Passione's initial modus operandi is to offer a relatively small number of distinct garments in quite a wide range of colours and graphic designs. These bibs are available in plain black or dark blue as well as with other colour highlights, including some very 2016 camouflage colours. Our blue test bibs match the white and navy check jersey that I'm also testing. The blue is fairly dark, such that onlookers don't get confronted with a great deal more detail than they would in black, which is a blessing.

> Read our guide to the best summer cycling shorts

At £81 these have no shortage of competition – this is the upper end of the dhb range and around the lower end of the Castelli range, for example. Being made in Italy isn't itself a guarantee that something will be good, but La Passione has obviously chosen its fabric suppliers, pads and factory carefully, and these are cracking bibs.

Verdict

Based around a great pad, these are well made and super-comfy – highly recommended

road.cc test report

Make and model: La Passione Summer Bib Shorts Classic

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?

La Passione says:

A good pair of bib shorts is the single most important product in your wardrobe as a cyclist. Performance, fit and comfort are the three key characteristics when choosing the best available performance materials, and when combined with timeless, classic design our Summer Bib Shorts Classic are suitable for all your needs and is an elegant completion on any stylish rider's kit. Designed to worn over long days of training the Summer Bib Shorts Classic uses two types of Italian made performance Lycra. Externally we use a highly technical 44 Super Light Power Lycra guaranteeing exceptional compression and shape retention. Combined with the latest version of Lycra Lab fabric, in the middle section, this thicker, intensified structure of the weave will minimise saddle slide. The anti abrasive properties of Lycra Lab fabric provides an innovative solution to reduce saddle movement and enhances greater rider stability. Our Chamois, The Pad, is manufactured by leading market E.I.T. A top-of-the-range Chamois enabling you to remain comfortable for more than six hours in the saddle. With needle flat-stitched seams, non-slip silicone leg grippers and a race radio back pocket you are fully equipped with a high level bib short for racing or long rides. Available in classic Black and Blue.

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

Made in Italy

*Tailored Fit for an ideal position on the saddle

*Highly compressive main body fabric

*Moisture wicking

*E.I.T. Italian Pad, naturally bacteriostatic with 4 way stretch

*Four needle flat-stitched seams

*Grip 400 4,5 cm leg grippers

*White La Passione logo on right leg

*Race radio back pocket

*3M Scotchlite rear reflective stripe

Main Body: 78% Polyamide / 22% Elastane

*Mesh: 82% Polyester / 18% Elastane

*Hydrophilic treatment

*Antibacterical treatment

*Permanent wicking treatment

*SPF UV 50+ sun protection factor

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Neat stitching, quality pad - a lot to like.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues - have washed fine and come out looking like new.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

I like the longer legs but I'd be happier if the elastic leg openings were a touch less tight. It's possible that sizing up might have been a good option for me, although fit otherwise was excellent.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

The size guide would suggest I'm borderline M or L and that's probably about right.

Rate the product for weight:
 
5/10

A normal sort of weight for summer bibs.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

I was quite surprised by how comfortable I found the pad, given that it looked quite basic. Generally I found these very comfy.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

They're well made and very comfortable so I think the price is pretty good.

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

No issues.

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

Very well - I hadn't expected these to be all-day bibs but they served admirably as such.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The pad.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'd have liked slightly less compression around the leg openings.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Excellent bibs offering a great fit and hours of comfort at a pretty reasonable price given the quality.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 188cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh  My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

15 comments

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Disfunctional_T... [291 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

La Passione bib shorts have a very good reputation on the forums.

The first photo resembles a dromedary hoof. How much pressure is there in the groin area? Excess pressure is a big complaint I have about most bib shorts. After about 2 hours, the pressure from most shorts gets very uncomfortable for me.

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Freddy56 [313 posts] 1 year ago
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Longest 'shorts' I've ever seen! Nice colour thou

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WiznaeMe [68 posts] 1 year ago
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You're both right in your comments, they are a bit tight about the nether regions requiring a bit of personal adjustment, and they are a little longer than some other bibs.  The quality of the materials they use however is really good.  The front area has a 'textured/embossed' fabric that looks first rate, as opposed to the very plain sheen of some light Rapha bibs.  Would buy again. (I'm going to Lake Garda next week and will pay them a visit if they have any type of retail outlet. I don't think they have).

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userfriendly [621 posts] 1 year ago
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Sorry for having a moan, but ... really now? All the way down to the knees? I realise it's been the fashion for a while now, and I'm not asking every vendor to go back to the 80's, but can we not have some variety? I've found only three bib shorts with my preferred leg length (mid-thighs), and that's the shorter version of the Giordana Forma Red, the shorter version of the Rapha Lightweight, and some dhb which sadly don't have very good pads in them.

As an aside, sausage legs despite such a ridiculous length? It's pretty easy to avoid, just make the grippers wider, then they don't need to dig into the thigh as much, and voila, sausage leg avoided. It's not rocket science!

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KendalRed [172 posts] 1 year ago
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I have two pairs, and for me they are up there for comfort with Rapha Classic at half the price. The pad is just as comfy, but the material on the Rapha is just that bit more 'luxurious'.

I think the size guide for LP is a little on the 'Italian' side of things - for the first pair I went with the recommended XS, but although they were okay, I went S next time and these were better.

Also, there are two different textures of material on the Summer bibs:  "in the middle section, this thicker, intensified structure of the weave will minimise saddle slide." - I found that this area is prone to fraying or 'bobbling' slightly - may have been against the seam of a saddle. It is confined to the pad area, and hasn't worsened over the months, so no real concern.

Overall, these remain my 'go to' bibs for longer distance. I know they will see me through 5 or 6 hours with little discomfort (my legs will start to complain well before my backside!)

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fukawitribe [2253 posts] 1 year ago
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userfriendly wrote:

Sorry for having a moan, but ... really now? All the way down to the knees? I realise it's been the fashion for a while now, and I'm not asking every vendor to go back to the 80's, but can we not have some variety? I've found only three bib shorts with my preferred leg length (mid-thighs)

 

I find the opposite - hardly any with the (longer) leg length I want - perhaps most of them are between what you and I like.  T'were ever thus...

Avatar
userfriendly [621 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
userfriendly wrote:

Sorry for having a moan, but ... really now? All the way down to the knees? I realise it's been the fashion for a while now, and I'm not asking every vendor to go back to the 80's, but can we not have some variety? I've found only three bib shorts with my preferred leg length (mid-thighs)

 

I find the opposite - hardly any with the (longer) leg length I want - perhaps most of them are between what you and I like.  T'were ever thus...

Yeah, and we both would be made happier if companies started making their bibs with different length options. Not a massively complicated undertaking, and yet very few are doing it, and only for one or two of their offerings. As it stands, the vast majority of (very good) bib shorts are simply not something I'm keen to spend money on, solely for that reason.

Sure, it's pure vanity, but I've worked too long on my tan lines to compromise on this. -_-

Avatar
fukawitribe [2253 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
userfriendly wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
userfriendly wrote:

Sorry for having a moan, but ... really now? All the way down to the knees? I realise it's been the fashion for a while now, and I'm not asking every vendor to go back to the 80's, but can we not have some variety? I've found only three bib shorts with my preferred leg length (mid-thighs)

 

I find the opposite - hardly any with the (longer) leg length I want - perhaps most of them are between what you and I like.  T'were ever thus...

Yeah, and we both would be made happier if companies started making their bibs with different length options. Not a massively complicated undertaking, and yet very few are doing it, and only for one or two of their offerings. As it stands, the vast majority of (very good) bib shorts are simply not something I'm keen to spend money on, solely for that reason.

 

Pactimo seem good at this - their bib-shorts are generally available in a 'standard' length (old school) and a 'pro' variant with a longer leg band (4.5cm vs 7.5cm in the current mens lot, and older Ascent stuff). Do some nice gear they do.

 

userfriendly wrote:

Sure, it's pure vanity, but I've worked too long on my tan lines to compromise on this. -_-

Well, quite      1

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
userfriendly wrote:

Sorry for having a moan, but ... really now? All the way down to the knees? I realise it's been the fashion for a while now, and I'm not asking every vendor to go back to the 80's, but can we not have some variety? I've found only three bib shorts with my preferred leg length (mid-thighs), and that's the shorter version of the Giordana Forma Red, the shorter version of the Rapha Lightweight, and some dhb which sadly don't have very good pads in them. As an aside, sausage legs despite such a ridiculous length? It's pretty easy to avoid, just make the grippers wider, then they don't need to dig into the thigh as much, and voila, sausage leg avoided. It's not rocket science!

 

Rapha Pro Team bibs come in regular and long. Picked up the regular length and they're maybe not quite mid thigh, but definitely the shortest bibs I've ever had. Wanted them for when it's sunny.. move the tan line up a bit smiley

 

That said, I do think longer length bibs look a bit better (and feel better) for some reason. Not sure why, maybe something to do with proportions?

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s_lim [217 posts] 1 year ago
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I have a pair of these in black, and there are 3 distinct things that make them stand out: 

  1. The pad is massive and gives you a camel toe. 
  2. Theyre really long; I'm 5'10" and I have to pull them up so they're not cutting into the back of my knees 
  3. Theyre the most comfortable shorts I own. 

I also bought the matching green jersey. It's really well made, very comfortable, but it shows up sweat very obviously 

 

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230548 [54 posts] 1 year ago
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have bought a pair of these very pleased  i would say exactly same as the tester very comfortable pad but the leg gripper a bit old style causing them to be slightly tight  but i have found with any lycra short  from assos to santini after repeated washing they all give a bit and these are an excellent product at a very good price

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Miniature Macro [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Niche market, but a radio pocket is great for keeping your insulin pump in!  

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Disfunctional_T... [291 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

s_lim, what do you think makes them so comfortable?

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s_lim [217 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The pad is excellent, and it just works. Lycra is plush and they feel high-quality. For comparison, I've had the following shorts in the last 2 years: 

  1. Santini's GIT & Max2 shorts, (GIT good, Max2 rubbish)
  2. Bioracer (terrible, wore out after 500 miles)
  3. Gore Power (good for short training rides)
  4. B'Twin 700/900 (good for most training rides, but I hated the bib knickers)
  5. Howies (really comfy, but look like tights rather than lycra)
  6. Galibier (excellent pad & lycra, but power band cuts into the back of my knees)
Avatar
s_lim [217 posts] 11 months ago
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Update on these - I bought a second pair of them, as the first impressed me. I checked the size chart, and went down a size, to M (I'm 177cm height, with a 33" waist). These are perfect. I've worn them for several long (5-6hr) rides; they're my go-to shorts now.