BTwin has always offered great value for money and does no less with its 700 Women's Cycling Bib Shorts. One of my favourite things about these shorts is the colourful design – which led to several friends admiring my legs as I was testing them! Their black and grey body with a bright splash of colour on the thigh grippers is both simple and stylish. It also means they can be worn with just about every jersey I own without totally clashing.
The fit of the shorts is very good around the thighs and bum with no excess material, but the bib straps do carry some extra length. I sit on the fence between a small and medium and found the straps of the medium just a little long. I fear the straps also lack extra give were you to find them too short.
The bib straps are also wider than most, which I found makes them more intrusive around the shoulders when riding, though not uncomfortably so. The unusual crossover strap design at the front of the shorts sits around the bellybutton area and is extremely comfortable.
The rear of the bibs features a ventilated mesh panel which added little to the feel of the shorts except an extra design feature; I didn't find it noticeably well ventilated, but neither was it at all uncomfortable. Also on the rear of the bibs is a small pocket to hold a key or a couple of extra gels should you need to.
The legs are shorter than some, finishing mid to lower thigh as opposed to just above the knee. I don't like my shorts too long, so was a big fan of these. The thigh grippers are made of an unusual material with a thick and effective silicone band inside the hem. They sit securely and comfortably in place on your thighs with no more chance of riding up than if you'd glued them there.
BTwin says these shorts are designed for rides of three hours or more. While I did find the padding thick and cushioned, the comfort just doesn't compare to that of some of the top of the range, more expensive brands. However I was content to ride in them for three or four hours before I noticed any real discomfort, and even then could have continued for a while longer.
I have spent far more on far less in the past, so if you want a good looking, comfortable pair of shorts for an afternoon's ride, these do the job just fine.
Comfortable enough for the Sunday morning ride and great value for money
road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 700 Women's Cycling 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?
BTwin says these shorts are "designed for intensive cycling (rides of three hours and over)".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ergonomic pad with gel inserts and 3 levels of density for added comfort.
Thigh hem lined with wide silicone gripper to hold shorts comfortably in place.
Breathable fabric and ventilated mesh panel on the bib.
Large pad and flat seams. Quick Drying.
Nothing extra special but the flatlock seams are a great touch.
The shorts are a good fit on the bum and thighs, but the bibs are a bit long for me. I imagine they would be a better fit on taller or bustier women.
The shorts come up as you would expect based on the size chart, but the bib straps are quite long, so if you're longer in leg and shorter in body these probably aren't for you.
The bib straps were too long for me, leading to a little discomfort. The pad in the shorts is thick and has plenty of cushioning for most day to day rides.
With a price tag of just under £35, it's hard to fault these for value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The shorts washed well on a standard 30-degree cycle and held their shape and colour.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These shorts offer a lot for the price and are certainly comfortable for most general riding. However, BTwin says they are designed for long rides upwards of three hours, and while they were not especially uncomfortable after three hours, they weren't as pleasant as other, albeit far more expensive, shorts I have tested.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad is thick in all the right places and I love the splash of colour on the thigh grippers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The bib straps are quite long and not very stretchy.
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
These are by no means the best pair of bib shorts I've every worn, but for under £35 I never expected them to be. What they do offer is great value, comfortable padding and a stylish splash of colour.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.