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Verdict: 
Well made and superbly comfortable... if the pad position works for you
Weight: 
192g
Contact: 
RedWhite Apparel The Bib
7 10

RedWhite's The Bib bib shorts are beautifully made and potentially supremely comfortable. For me, the fit was excellent everywhere bar the pad – I found it positioned too far forward. RedWhite made me a second pair, with the pad positioned where I wanted it, and these performed as well as any bibs I've tried, comfortable for 10-hour rides when paired with the right saddle. Unfortunately, RedWhite can't offer custom-pad placement. If the pad position suits you, they're an excellent option, but you might want to make certain before you remove the labels.

A couple of years ago, we ran a "People's Choice" feature for readers to vote for their favourite bib shorts. Any keen cyclist is guaranteed to have a view on this, the most important element in your riding comfort. The usual brands showed up, but there was a surprise at number one in the poll: a small company from Singapore called RedWhite, which only makes bib shorts. It sent in some bibs for us to test and here they are. The Bib, as they're called, are designed to offer plush comfort for extended days in the saddle, with a thicker than average pad and a number of comfort-orientated features.

> Buy these online here

RedWhite was founded by two guys from Singapore who felt that there was the potential to improve upon what was available, specifically in terms of all-day comfort. They say, "We sat down and started designing a bib short for riders like us. Riders who enjoy going the distance and those who want nothing short of the best technical bib short for that specific purpose." If you like to know the background to your cycling gear then RedWhite is your kind of brand; there is a lot of detail on the website about the development of these bibs. (Warning: contains the phrase "cupping men's genitalia".)

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - riding.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - riding.jpg

Going back to the original pair, I tested a large, which was what the sizing chart suggested, and co-founder Yuva was happy to offer advice on this too. That level of service isn't just restricted to journos – the site has a "Need a human to help with sizing?" section, which is a nice touch. Sure enough, when I clambered into The Bib for the first time, it fitted very nicely indeed, with wide mesh straps sitting lightly on the shoulders and a gentle compression on the thighs.

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - straps front.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - straps front.jpg

All of the fabrics used are from Miti in Italy and they feel expensively slinky to the touch. Wide silicone microdot grippers are used around the leg openings which stay glued in place without the slightest constriction.

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - gripper.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - gripper.jpg

As ever, the heart of any cycling shorts is the pad, and RedWhite developed its own here, working with an Italian supplier which manufactures in Croatia. It's notably plush and thick, second only in my experience to the crazy-thick Ortholite memory foam pad (used by Mavic in some of its shorts) in this respect. Again, there's a lot of detail about the pad on RedWhite's site. The pad uses varying density and thicknesses of foam, fused together in a "proprietary Thermic Moulding" process (whereas some manufacturers glue the layers of the pad together).

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - pad.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - pad.jpg

To the touch, the pad certainly feels plush and luxurious. For me, however, there's a question mark over its positioning in the shorts. Customarily, the thickest section of a pad is located directly between the sit bones and the saddle, and that was not the case here for me – it was further forwards. Different bodies are different shapes, and your position on the bike certainly comes into play here too, but my normal riding position is hardly an extreme one.

I found that my sit bones were instead perilously close to the back edge of the pad and the thickest part of the pad further forwards on the saddle, with the result that there was less comfort than I would have wanted under my sit bones and the pad felt quite bulky between the tops of my thighs.

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - back.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - back.jpg

I discussed this with RedWhite and it offered to send a pair of shorts with the pad located further towards the back. This certainly worked better for me, but unfortunately custom placement isn't something it can offer to market at the moment.

With the second pair, comfort ranged from good-for-four-hours-or-so to genuinely-all-day-plushness, depending primarily on which saddle I was on; I found they worked best for me with a saddle with a central cutout channel, such as the excellent Fabric Line. This combination saw me safely home on a 10-hour ride without any discomfort to speak of, which is as good a performance as any bibs I've tried. All well and good, but that's a custom pair of shorts that you can't actually buy, so is less than germane here.

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

I can think of two or three other bibs I've tested where I found the pad positioning to be out, always further to the front than I wanted, with the remaining vast majority being positioned to suit my body shape. That said, I know of plenty of folk who get on very well with these bibs and find the pad positioned where they'd like it.

Whereas initially the products were only available direct from Singapore, which would make returns an unappetising prospect, they are now available in the UK from Always Riding, so I'd argue it's definitely worth considering them, but I would try to gauge whether the pad positioning works for you before removing the tags and going for a ride.

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - front full.jpg

RedWhite Apparel The Bib Long Distance Bib Short - front full.jpg

Since launching The Bib, RedWhite has brought out another similar pair called The Race, where the pad is a little less thick but (as I understand it) positioned the same. Both models are also now available in different colourways – a rather garish KOM-themed polka-dot-trimmed version and a more muted 'Stealth' model which would be my choice. It's also brought out a women's version of the Bib with a female-specific pad.

All models are priced at £125, which is upper-mid in terms of bib short pricing. You can pay hugely more than that, but it's likely towards the upper limit of what the average cyclist would spend – on a par with mid-range Castelli, but cheaper than almost all the Rapha range. Those are prestige brands, and it's an ambitious upstart that takes aim thus, but RedWhite isn't coy about its aim to make the most comfortable bibs available on the market. The quality of the fabrics is certainly on a par with other high-end bibs, so if the pad positioning suits you then they are definitely worth a punt.

There's also a crash replacement programme – send in a photo of your crash-damaged shorts and RedWhite offers a discount on a new pair.

Verdict

Well made and superbly comfortable... if the pad position works for you

road.cc test report

Make and model: RedWhite Apparel The Bib

Size tested: Large

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?

RedWhite is (to date) a company solely focused on making bib shorts. Here's its story:

'When we started RedWhite in April 2014, we wanted to create a no-compromise BibShort for everyone.

We had returned from a long tempo ride and our sit-bones were sore, and we couldn't get back onto the bike the following day. We thought to ourselves, 'we could do BibShorts better.'

Many months later after countless design iterations and chamois and lycra samplings, we had in our hands what would become our flagship long distance model – The BIB. Why The Bib? Because this is meant to be your Go-Tos from here on."

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

These are discussed at huge length on the RedWhite website – take a look if you'd like more information.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

The fabric feels high quality and the pad is very plush. For me there's a question mark over the positioning of the pad.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

There's so much to like here, but if the pad positioning doesn't work for you then it's a bit of deal-breaker. It wasn't right for me but lots of others love them.

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

No issues at all in an extended test period.

Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

A hard one to score. In every other respect, the fit is spot on. The pad positioning works for lots of people I know of, but not me, and I'm scoring based on my experience.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
10/10

As per the information. The website even offers the email address of Yuva, the company founder, in case you need help getting the right size. How's that for customer service?

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
4/10

Based on my experience, with my saddle and my riding position. I'd score much higher with the repositioned pad.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

These aren't cheap bibs but in terms of quality they are on a par with high-end shorts at higher prices than this.

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

Zero issues.

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

I'd have to say it didn't perform as well as I'd like, and that was solely down to the pad positioning not suiting me. In all other respects, they are great – but that's a big stumbling block.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort of the bib straps and gripper strips.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I found the pad placement didn't suit me.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not in their stock form.

Would you consider buying the product? Not in their stock form.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

I found these really hard to score. Others have reported finding these to offer unparalleled comfort, but for me the pad positioning meant this wasn't the case. They're nicely made, and with the custom pad position (something not available to consumers, sadly) they are among my most comfortable shorts on the right saddle; if it was those I was scoring I'd be tempted to give them a 9, but I have to score them on the basis of my own experience of the standard product, and for me that was a less stellar performance.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 188cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh  My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels.  His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding. 

8 comments

Avatar
peted76 [714 posts] 1 month ago
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A mate of mine has a pair of these and raved about them.. which I previously ignored.

However if Jez is saying the pad is further forward, than that suddenly brings these into my sphere of interest..

I ride a racey bike and need a cutout in my saddle or I get 'numb bits', my hips are considered flexible.. (too much info?) I often note that my sit bones are sometimes to far forward of the main padding on bibs and have to 'adjust' them a bit.  These could be what I'm looking for!

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [225 posts] 1 month ago
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Quote:

I found that my sit bones were instead perilously close to the back edge of the pad

I have this problem with a lot of brands of bib shorts: The pad is placed too far forward, so my sit bones are on the rear edge of the pad.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I don't find any appreciable difference in pad placement on these, the Red White Race, or any other of my shorts (numbering about 5, Assos, dhb, Parentini, Craft, Rivelo).

Though, interestingly, the Red White are by far the most comfortable combo when sitting on my Brooks Cambium C15

 

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [225 posts] 1 month ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

I don't find any appreciable difference in pad placement on these, the Red White Race, or any other of my shorts (numbering about 5, Assos, dhb, Parentini, Craft, Rivelo).

You are probably in the middle of the bell curve and your sit bones are probably well on the pad of all those, so you haven't noticed the difference in pad placement. However if your sit bones are on the edge, you would notice that there is a big difference in pad placement.

The difference in pad placement between brands/models is huge:
http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/bend-in-the-road-proper-ch...

Avatar
Leviathan [2776 posts] 1 month ago
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Can we stop using the term 'sit bones.' It makes me cringe from its stupidity; worse than Egg Plant. It is your Pelvis.

Avatar
dottigirl [799 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Leviathan wrote:

Can we stop using the term 'sit bones.' It makes me cringe from its stupidity; worse than Egg Plant. It is your Pelvis.

It's a specific part of your pelvis - the ischial tuberosity. 

"The ischial tuberosity (or tuberosity of the ischium, tuber ischiadicum), also known informally as the sit bones, or as a pair the sitting bones is a large swelling posteriorly on the superior ramus of the ischium. It marks the lateral boundary of the pelvic outlet."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ischial_tuberosity

 

I'm thinking 'ischial tuberosities' is a bit of a mouthful though, yeah?

Avatar
thelighterthief [44 posts] 1 month ago
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I have a pair that, combined with a cut out cambium saddle, are good for 5+ hours in comfort. I doubt they'd be good on a plush saddle though. Only real snag is the lack of matching jersey (they partnered with stolen goat for a while and i have the "matching" sg top)

Avatar
bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
thelighterthief wrote:

I have a pair that, combined with a cut out cambium saddle, are good for 5+ hours in comfort. I doubt they'd be good on a plush saddle though. Only real snag is the lack of matching jersey (they partnered with stolen goat for a while and i have the "matching" sg top)

There's one coming. They're just going through the last of the prototypes.