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Verdict: 
An excellent choice of bib shorts for all-day rides, and very good value
Weight: 
181g
Contact: 
Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts
9 10

Once again Manchester-based Lusso hits a home run in value, understated style and long-distance performance with the Carbon Bib Shorts. I like to think of Lusso as the Volvo estate of cycling apparel.

Last year Stu gave the previous incarnation 4.5 stars. For 2016 there are a few changes – now only the front thigh seams are flatlock stitched, and the leg grippers are black instead of grey, really improving the look. Other than that, it's steady as she goes.

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In preparation for the 300km Mighty Corinthian ride, the choice of bib shorts loomed large in my mind. This was on a vintage bike with a Brooks saddle I was new to, there was nearly 5km of vertical gain, and I was going to be out there from dawn to dusk at midsummer. When the £80 Lusso Carbon bibs arrived for review I was sceptical that these could be the ones for the day – surely of the other brands kicking about in the bike kit draw, one closer to the £200 mark would be better?

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - riding.jpg

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - riding.jpg

Lusso doesn't even describe what the Carbon bib shorts are for beyond 'usage: long distance'. That's it. No hyperbole, no marketing waffle. Not even an explanation of what the 'Carbon' does. Branding is limited to a red 'L' roundel on each leg and a reflective one on the bum. Someone's going to have to look rather closely at your thigh to pick out the black-on-black 'Lusso' set in the generous leg grippers. All this means they pair pretty much perfectly with any jersey, leg warmers or jacket.

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

The bib section is made from a light mesh material that feels identical to Lusso's excellent Dryline Base Layer. They support the shorts section well, but aren't flatlocked at the top so you might notice them (I wear a baselayer all the time so didn't).

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

The pad feels thick initially, but unlike some others I never felt it pinch or bunch. As the pad-arse interface is such an individual issue, all I can say is that over a 300km ride on a not-broken-in Brooks saddle, I was perfectly comfy. On fast training runs aboard the carbon racer and modern saddle they were perfectly good as well.

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - back.jpg

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts - back.jpg

The panel fit and the leg gripper did a great job holding everything in place, despite many, many out-of-the-saddle efforts to muscle a 52-year-old bike over Lake District climbs.

In temperatures ranging from 8 to 23 degrees the Carbon bibs stayed comfortable, never feeling too hot or that they were letting a breeze in to chill the legs. They held up well in pretty heavy rain, too, despite no water repellency to speak of.

> Check out our guide to the best cycling bib shorts

All in all I cannot think of a reason – technically, sartorially or value-wise – not to make these your next pair of bibs. In fact, if you slapped a boutique brand logo on it and added a 1 to the front of the price tag, I reckon they'd still sell well.

And they're made in the UK. Paaaarp!

Verdict

An excellent choice of bib shorts for all-day rides, and very good value

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts

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?

Lusso lists the Carbon Bib Shorts for 'long distance'. It isn't wrong.

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

Features:

* Fabric: Italian CoolTech

* Bib Fabric: AirTech Carbon

* Leg Grippers: 42mm SC-9 Carbon

* Seams: Flat and Overlock

* Antistatic & 50+ UV Ray Protection: Yes

* Machine Washable: Yes

* Made in UK: Yes

 

Pad:

* Usage: Long Distance

* Thickness: 16mm

* Layers: x5

* Fabric: Microfibre Carbon

* Padding: H.D. Perf Foam

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well put together. No flatlocked seams.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Very, very good indeed.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

After a few months and a thousand or so miles, still looking great.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Can't really fault them.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Just right.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Strangely, I felt they started comfy, felt a bit thick after 40 miles, then just faded into the background. Great.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

For 80 quid they are very good value.

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

Very well indeed, 30 degrees no problem.

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

Great. Can't fault them, really.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The minimalist branding and leg grippers.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, really.

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

For the £80 price tag, the stylish look and the comfort across long rides and varying temperatures, these are an excellent choice.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

3 comments

Avatar
Curly [66 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I'm 5ft 10" 73kg and the medium size is snug fit to start with but after a few washes the pad and shorts feel super comfy, the grippers are really comfy and dont move about which is a bonus. The pad is the best i have used - top shorts - great price.

Avatar
poppa [62 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I really like Lusso kit, but sometimes I find the visual design not to my taste. I reckon with a little bit of finessing they could be a real contender. Certainly the quality and funcitonality has been up there with other, more popular, brands, and being made in the UK is a pretty rare thing nowadays.

 

 

Avatar
wrevilo [108 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I purchased a set of these a couple of weeks ago for less than RRP. I can compare them to the Lusso Pro Gel bibs, which I really like. I am 180cm and 78kg at present and have size M in both. The Carbon bibs are a more snug fit than the Pro Gel and I do get a bit of rubbing. I hope after some more wearing in and washing they become a little more comfortable, as the Pro Gels win in that regard for me right now. However, they are very well made and the pad is very, very good. I think these look great, but there are some Lusso products that would benefit greatly from a more up to date design.