The dhb Aeron Speed shorts are very good value for money with no compromises, and come highly recommended if you want a long-lasting, tech-packed pair of bib shorts for training and racing in the warmer months.
dhb says the Aeron Speed is its most technical bib short to date, with 'over ten years of experience and development' going into the finished product. They're at the top end of its apparel range, and for a brand more associated with budget clothing its technical performance wear really holds its own with pricier products.
They're intended for spring and summer riding, coming with Coldblack technology to help with cooling, which works by detracting the heat away from black/dark fabrics. A mesh panel on the back also helps with ventilation.
They're made with 'Revolutional Energy' fabric, which offers a tight fit that is also purported to be compressive, although I didn't feel any compressive benefits myself – I found that they're fairly close-fitting but not necessarily compressive tight. The wide silicone grippers grip the legs nicely without squeezing them too much – this should be the way forward with all cycling shorts nowadays in my opinion, there's no longer the need for tight squidgy silicone when the wider, more subtle stuff fits so well.
I did find these shorts a little longer in the leg than most bib shorts, so if you like your shorts shorter it might be worth erring on the smaller size if you're in between. Most of the seams are flatlock stitched, and the only place where I saw any weakness in construction was where the bib straps are stitched onto the body of the shorts; these stitches are exposed and could wear over time.
Performance-wise, the shorts were great in warm conditions, with the Coldblack technology really getting to work. They also dried quickly after some wet rides, and provided plenty of comfort on rides of four hours or more with no chafing to report.
The chamois pad is thermomoulded and has a minimalist, flat design and soft polyamide construction; it's big enough without feeling at all weighty or cumbersome. It's nice and dense, too, so it won't lose its shape or degrade over time. The seams around it are flatlocked to avoid annoying saddle sores, and it's built with a 'wing' arrangement with a central pad to assist with blood flow to your nether regions. Good news all round!
The red lining has kept its colour in multiple washes, and I've not experienced any bobbling or bunching up of the fabric in the legs as I've experienced with some bib shorts.
In terms of price, they're good value compared to bibs with similar performance benefits – Endura's Pro SL II bib shorts are £119.99, and although I can't vouch for the latest update I found the previous version of these shorts weren't as comfortable as dhb's offering here. BTwin's Aerofits are a very good shout at £55 – if the sizes available suit you. Elsewhere, you're looking at £139.99 for a pair of Castelli's Free Aero shorts, and £149.99 for Gore's Oxygens – both of which offer similar moisture management properties and highly engineered chamois pads.
Overall, I was really happy with the fit and comfort offered by the Aeron Speed shorts, and at £80 they're comparatively good value for technical race shorts.
Competitively priced technical bib shorts that provide all-day comfort – a class leader at this price point
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Speed 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?
dhb says the Aeron Speed is its most technical bib short to date, with 'over ten years of experience and development' going into the finished product.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wiggle lists these features:
'Revolutional Energy' fabric offers compression as well as a race fit.
Coldblack technology to help with cooling and reduction of heat absorption on the dark colours.
Soft polyamide and quick-drying polyester threads in the chamois pad to offer temperature control, and high density foam with protective central insert provides male-specific protection and helps with blood flow.
Weight - 175g
Sizing - XS to XL
Most of the seams are flatlocked, and the only potential weakness is where the bib straps are stitched onto the body of the shorts, as these stitches are exposed and could wear out over time.
They performed really well in warm conditions, with the Coldblack tech really getting to work. They also dried quick after some wet rides, and provided plenty of comfort on rides of four hours or more.
The padding has kept its shape completely and all of the brand lettering is still intact – no problems here.
The Aeron Speed shorts offer a slim, flattering fit and I really like the cut.
The legs were a bit longer than most size medium shorts, but the waist size is what I'd expect.
There's no excess bulk in the Aeron Speed shorts, and the chamois pad is a good size.
They're very comfortable, highly breathable and caused no irritation at all. The back mesh panel also helps to keep you cool.
There's cheaper out there, but few bib shorts offer this quality at comfortably under the £100 mark.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The red lining has kept its colour in a mixed wash, and I've not experienced any bobbling or bunching up of the fabric in the legs as I have with some bib shorts.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Aeron Speed shorts are intended for performance riding, and on fast training rides they worked a treat.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The bib straps are very comfortable, perhaps up there with the best I've tried. You really do forget they're there.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing – my only slight concern is about the durability of the seams on the straps.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – they provided me with hours of comfortable riding.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – they fit well and look great.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They're difficult to beat at this price point, and come highly recommended if you want a long-lasting tech-packed pair of bib shorts for training and racing.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 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, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.