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Verdict: 
A well made and fairly priced pair of performance bib shorts
Weight: 
184g
Chapeau! Pave Red Pad bib shorts
8 10

The Chapeau! Pave Bibshorts are well made, good looking and perform really well. The Red Pad version tested kept the pressure in the right places and was comfortable after several hours in the saddle.

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The Pave shorts are Chapeau!'s top of the range design and come with three different pad variants – green, red and blue. The red on test is designed for racers, with more padding towards the front; green is for more casual/relaxed riding, and blue is more for long distance riders.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - riding.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - riding.jpg

The pad – from Elastic Interface – did everything I expected from it, providing decent comfort to the more sensitive areas when in a stretched out riding position. The extra padding towards the front is certainly a nice thing to have in the latter hours of a longer ride. It is also relatively good at wicking away sweat, meaning it was comfortable to use even in higher temperatures. I used the shorts for a hilly 100km ride in about 28-degree heat and didn't get any kind of chafing or irritation from excessive sweat build-up.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - pad.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - pad.jpg

Chapeau! has used an eight-panel design, all held together by zig-zag stitching which it claims allows the fabric to stretch more than flatlock stitching would. I can't say I noticed a huge amount of difference, especially as the material itself doesn't have too much stretch in it anyway – a deliberate move to hold your muscles in place more firmly in order to reduce fatigue over time – presumably countered slightly by the zigzag stitching... Again, not something I could accurately judge.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort.jpg

Up top, the shorts have comfortable mesh straps with hems to prevent twisting. The back is also a mesh construction which helps with ventilation. The straps are comfortable, and although not the stretchiest will suit riders of various sizes.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - back full.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - back full.jpg

Ventilation and heat management throughout the shorts is pretty good and I never found myself wishing for more. Wicking is pretty good and they also dry fairly quickly once they get wet, which was particularly useful in some of the changeable weather we've seen over the last couple of months. Comfort is also helped by the external labels, meaning fewer things to cause chafing.

Everything stays in place well thanks to both the close fit of the shorts and the silicone dot grippers at the bottom of the leg. They are subtle, too, so you don't end up with them pulling on the skin too much – something I have noticed on other shorts. Sizing is about what I would expect from a British brand – I suspect the medium I tested would be a large in Italian sizing.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - gripper.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - gripper.jpg

I think the shorts look really good too, with an understated design throughout. Mainly black, they have just a few subtle design features such as the white line and Chapeau! hat logo around the hem, a small reflective logo just above the bum, and a small reflective tag on each leg.

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - back.jpg

Chapeau! Pave bibshort - back.jpg

RRP is £139.99, which isn't a bad price given the quality of the pad, the workmanship and fit. The material choice is very good and similar to what you would find in more expensive pairs. That said, there are some very good options out there for a lot less – check out our buyer's guide below.

> Buyer's Guide: 22 of the best cycling bib shorts

Overall I was impressed with the Paves. They bring together good looks, technical elements and a strong performance in a package that is relatively good value for money.

Verdict

A well made and fairly priced pair of performance bib shorts

road.cc test report

Make and model: Chapeau! Pave Bibshort Red Pad

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?

A pair of performance bib shorts, designed for racers or those who like to ride in a more racy position.

Chapeau! says: 'Featuring a multi-panel design and a full mesh back, the Pavé's snug fit provides stability and essential ventilation. Designed and tested on our famously rough British roads the Topazio fabric has less elasticity than regular lycra to hold tired leg muscles more firmly and reduce fatigue.'

I couldn't test the fatigue elements given my lack of scientific equipment (and cognitive quality) but this seems pretty accurate, they have decent ventilation and are very comfortable.

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

Chapeau! lists these features:

Anatomic cut

Lightweight

Moisture wicking

Reflective

Slim fitting

UV protection

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made with a good material choice combined with strong stitching and a comfortable pad.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Performed well, used in multiple terrains and temperatures.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Decent material so they are unlikely to rip, and a lack of printed logos means they will take longer to show their age.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Nice close fit, no bagginess when wearing, and enough stretch in the straps to suit most people.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

About what I would expect for a medium from a British company.

Rate the product for weight:
 
5/10

184g is neither particularly heavy nor particularly light.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Really comfortable thanks to a well thought out pad, lack of labels throughout, and good heat and moisture management.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

For a pair of high-performing shorts £140 isn't cheap, but it's more affordable than many.

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

Very well – washed at 30 several times without any adverse effect.

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

Performed well throughout the review, whether on short, punchy rides or longer, slower slogs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

They look great, with subtle design features meaning they work well with a wide variety of different jerseys, shoes, socks and so on.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really jumps out.

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

A well made and fairly priced pair of bib shorts that were comfortable in every situation I put them in.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

13 comments

Avatar
mtbtomo [232 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Are shorts at these kind of prices really nearly three times as good as say some BTwin Aerofit 900 shorts or the equivalent DHB (which also have elastic interface pads).  They're over 50% more than my club shorts including the extra for the top elastic interface pad over the standard basic one.

 

I know its probably diminishing returns but am I missing something?

Avatar
davel [1490 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Really not a fan of pads that make it look like you've got a camel toe.

Avatar
turboprannet [263 posts] 4 weeks ago
1 like
davel wrote:

Really not a fan of pads that make it look like you've got a camel toe.

thats a moose knuckle

Avatar
captain_slog [399 posts] 4 weeks ago
1 like
Quote:

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really jumps out.

Believe me, for a pair of cycling shorts, that's a highly desirable feature.

Avatar
rjfrussell [390 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes
mtbtomo wrote:

Are shorts at these kind of prices really nearly three times as good as say some BTwin Aerofit 900 shorts or the equivalent DHB (which also have elastic interface pads).  They're over 50% more than my club shorts including the extra for the top elastic interface pad over the standard basic one.

 

I know its probably diminishing returns but am I missing something?

 

It is diminishing returns (and fashion).

I use the wine analogy.  A £15 bottle of wine (wine merchant, not restaurant, price), is, to my taste, generally, very good.  Generally, a £45 bottle of wine tastes better.  Three times better?  Three times the enjoyment?  No.  But it is your choice if you pay three times the price for less than three times better.  If you value "the best" you might, if you value "value" you probably won't.

Avatar
mtbtomo [232 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

I must be quite lucky, because never have I once thought "I wish I was wearing better shorts".  So I suppose I value stuff that works [for me] - not necessarily "value" or "the best".    

 

 

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [544 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
mtbtomo wrote:

Are shorts at these kind of prices really nearly three times as good as say some BTwin Aerofit 900 shorts or the equivalent DHB (which also have elastic interface pads).  They're over 50% more than my club shorts including the extra for the top elastic interface pad over the standard basic one.

 

I know its probably diminishing returns but am I missing something?

Only you can answer that question really.

Avatar
BarryBianchi [178 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

This is very tedious.  I can appreciate the market is moving in the right direction, but the time being taken - I mean it's going to be another 6 months at least at this rate - to release the first £500 bibshort is utterly redickyoulose.

There are plenty of over £10k bikes around now - I can't be seen in a pair of shorts costing a mere 1-2 hundred pounds!

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [703 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Prices for cycling shorts are driven by three things... the chamois (not many manfacturers make their own chamois, these are specced by third parties, and costs are dependent on quality),  fashion and market rates.

The last one is interesting... I bet Chapeau will sell more of these chorts at £140 a throw, then they would if they proiced them at £75 a pair. Certain people want to pay for quality... scrap that, we all look at price as a marker of quality... and not pricing these shorts at the premium end will mean they are not seen as quality shorts. 

its crazy!

That said, if you are going to pay money on any item of cycling clothing, it should be your shorts. It is however a one way journey of exploration. if you are happy and comfy in £50 shorts, keep on using those shorts, do not spend more. As soon as you do, you'll realise that yes, there is a very tangible difference between the best and the average.

If you are happy with the average, do not change anything... any time in a top pair of shorts, and you'll hate those £50 offerings you used to love. 

Avatar
BarryBianchi [178 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

 

If you are happy with the average, do not change anything... any time in a top pair of shorts, and you'll hate those £50 offerings you used to love. 

You mean like the £49.99 B'Twin ones worn by FDJ?

 

 

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [544 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
BarryBianchi wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

 

If you are happy with the average, do not change anything... any time in a top pair of shorts, and you'll hate those £50 offerings you used to love. 

 

You mean like the £49.99 B'Twin ones worn by FDJ?

 

 

You mean the ALE ones worn by FDJ? Which are probably the €189 versions (not confirmed).

Avatar
BarryBianchi [178 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

 

You mean the ALE ones worn by FDJ? Which are probably the €189 versions (not confirmed).

[/quote]Not according to this site in the "best bibs" review article.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [544 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

BarryBianchi wrote:

Rapha Nadal wrote:

 

 

You mean the ALE ones worn by FDJ? Which are probably the €189 versions (not confirmed).

Not according to this site in the "best bibs" review article.

[/quote]

They started wearing ALE at the start of the 2017 season.  Not sure of the date of the mentioned article? Btwin annouced the end of their partnership in the middle of 2016.