Padded bib shorts are by far the most essential product if you're planning to do some decent miles on your bike, and these top-of-the-range Tiger.2 bib shorts from Italian company Parentini are packed with details and perform well on longer rides.
The shorts are designed to offer a slim fit, with lots of compression from the Top Gear fabric, and they are both those things; even getting into them takes a bit longer than most other bib shorts. But squeeze your legs into them and pull everything into position, jump on the bike and pedal down the road, and they're very comfortable, with no restriction on movement or any noticeable tightness in any area.
The GranFondo Light fabric (80% polyester, 20% elastane) used to make the shorts is very soft next to the skin and the stretch helps with the fit. There's a Performer Power fabric of an even higher stretch factor in the side panels that further enhances fit. The shape of the shorts is very good, contouring around the legs and body well. It's a durable fabric as well and resists wear and damage.
In constructing the shorts Parentini has made extensive use of heat bonding, with just a few seams being stitched. It's a technology the Italian company has only recently adopted and it says the benefit compared with stitching is that it allows for the Lycra material to stretch more, which enhances the fit. It's most noticeable in the bib straps, which sit very flat and comfortably against the body, even without a baselayer protecting your skin. The back panel is perforated to help with cooling on hotter rides.
To keep the legs in place, the inside of the short openings have a wide Banda Elastic soft-feel material. It grips the legs well without feeling uncomfortable. On the bike, the shorts don't move about at all. That extends to the padded insert as well, which remains in the optimum position at all times.
The padding is the company's own design, the C6 Flou, which is designed for high-mileage cyclists and uses triple thickness padding in the key areas, such as under the sit bones. The pad has a very soft finish and its curved shape and recessed channel offer enough comfort, without the bulk, for day-long epics or sportives. I wouldn't say it's the best out there – I've ridden in some Assos and Sportful designs which I'd rate higher when it comes to comfort – but it performs just fine.
Overall, they're a very comfortable pair of bib shorts for demanding, high-performance cyclists who put in lots of miles every day, with good compression across the legs and a good pad for long distances. As with most Italian cycle clothing, you doneed to pay careful attention to the sizing because these do come up on the small side, though within acceptable limits. They do come in a huge range of sizes, too, from XXS to 5XL – so you should be covered regardless of your size.
Comfortable Italian-made bib shorts with good attention to detail
road.cc test report
Make and model: Parentini Tiger.2 Shorts
Size tested: Small
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 Tiger.2 NON Bib Shorts is produced using new fabric, TOP GEAR (80%PA 20%EL) one of the finest 225gr/sm which guarantees high performance, with improved characteristics of muscular containment, elasticity and resistance, the Tiger.2 feature a 240 gr/sm PERFORMER POWER fabric on the side panels for extra elasticity.
* New Elastic anti-ride up, is made with new system called BANDA ELASTICA, soft-feel material bonded directly inside, light and flat for improved aerodynamics. Applied with thermal bonding system for more freedom of movement. The thickness of the thermal bonding is reduced, compared to the traditional sewing and thus offers more flexibility. This new system also eliminates any friction with the body.
* As one of our Pro riders said, 'These Bib Shorts fit perfectly. They don't move around and you don't feel it on your body'.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TIGER.2 LYCRA TOP GEAR ANATOMIC SHORTS
80% POLYAMIDE 20% LYCRA SPORT
PAD C6 ELASTIC CARBON
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy; despite the instructions recommending hand wash only, they went through a machine wash just fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Delivered good comfort for long rides as advertised.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good attention to detail and smart construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Padded insert isn't the best at this price, but it's marginal.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
The Italian designed and manufactured Tiger.2 shorts are a decent alternative to better known choices at this price, and have a lot going for them, just check that sizing carefully...
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.