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Verdict: 
Comfortable bib shorts once you're on the bike, but an absolute faff to get on and off
Weight: 
231g
Contact: 
Altura Peloton II ProGel bib shorts
5 10

The Altura Peloton II ProGel bib shorts offer a very comfortable ride and fit when on the bike for a sensible outlay, so it's such a shame that the high-fronted design makes them an absolute pig to get on and off. If you can get them on without ripping them then you're doing well.

The front of most bib shorts sits either just below the stomach or comes midway up, which I must admit is my preferred style, but these Pelotons come up much higher, covering the stomach entirely. Great for chilly conditions, yes, but on a pair of summer shorts it's a little bit overboard.

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The biggest issue, though, is that because the body comes up so high, the bib straps are really quite short and makes it feel like you're trying to get into a really tight vest as they don't offer a whole lot of give. No matter what shape you contort your upper body into, getting these on is an absolute faff and the first two times I put them on I managed to rip the stitching between the outer edging and the mesh on the straps. You could hear it tearing as I was fighting to get my arms through, and I'm not a particularly big build (it's not me in the photos).

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - front full.jpg

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - front full.jpg

Another issue with this high front is that toilet stops are a complete pain unless you are a fan of taking a pee at some sort of right-angled, crunched up posture purely to avoid taking them off again.

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - straps back.jpg

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - straps back.jpg

All of this is a real shame because, once in position, the Pelotons are really comfortable. Altura's Dry technology fabric is good at keeping you feel fresh even when the weather conditions are hot and sticky, plus it offers a decent feeling of support and mild compression.

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - detail.jpg

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - detail.jpg

The sizing is spot on, too, with the medium tested here fitting really well without any bunching of the fabric, and the silicone gripper attached to the skin side of the heavy knitted leg band making sure the shorts stay in place.

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - gripper.jpg

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - gripper.jpg

The star of the show is the ProGel 3D chamois pad which uses varying thicknesses to offer support and relief when sat in the saddle. The central saddle shaped section has various channels to remove pressure, and even though the whole pad is quite soft you don't get any hotspots or rucking up of the material as you move around on the saddle.

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - pad.jpg

Altura Peloton II Pro Gel bib short - pad.jpg

Without the bib issues I would happily say that the Pelotons offer decent value for money thanks to their comfort, overall fit and feel from the Dry fabric. In all of those elements they stand up well against some of my favourites, dhb's Aerons, which are priced just a little higher at £70.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best cycling bib shorts

For me, though, the upper body of the Pelotons cancels all of this out – it just seems like poor design. If I'd had to buy these I'd be left with a pair of shorts that have torn at the bibs after just one wear, and I really wouldn't bother wearing them as they are such a pain to get on and off. It's a real shame, because when you are on the bike they're a really good pair of shorts.

Verdict

Comfortable bib shorts once you're on the bike, but an absolute faff to get on and off

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Peloton II ProGel 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?

Altura says: "Our most popular waist shorts with a multi-density ProGel™ 3D pad delivering ultimate comfort in the saddle, keeping you riding longer."

The shorts are very comfortable to wear but the short, non-stretchy bib straps are a cause for concern.

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

Altura lists these features:

*Altura Dry™ technology is engineered to move excess moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable

* Altura ProGel™ 3D mold construction pad. Featuring ProGel™ and Altura Dry™ technology

* Body mapping mesh zones for enhanced breathability

* Integrated silicon grip detailing delivers enhanced fit

* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility

* Sizes - S to 2XL

* Fitted

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10

Weak seams around the bib straps not helped by poor design.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
2/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

When you finally get them on they are very comfortable.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

As above.

Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Once they're on...

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

A 30-degree wash with no fabric softener saw them wash up fine.

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

In use they are very comfortable, but getting them on is a faff.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The chamois is good.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The front sits too high, which makes the bib straps too short.

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your score

If it wasn't for the issue with getting these on and off, I'd happily give these a 7 or 8, because when in place they are very comfortable; it's such a shame that their design means I couldn't recommend them.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.