UK brand Wearwell doesn't look to have skimped on the quality when it comes to these Revival Collection Bib Shorts. The fabrics feel soft and durable and the Cytech pad is pretty good on the comfort front. There are a lot of good shorts on the market for less, though, so do they do enough to get picked over the competition?
- Pros: Well made, good quality fabric
- Cons: Pricey, pad doesn't have the wow factor of some I've tested
According to its website, Wearwell has been around as a company in various guises since the end of the 19th century (established 1889) with this latest iteration of the brand being launched just last year.
The Revivals are the only pair of bib shorts in Wearwell's lineup so far and it's not a bad start.
The main parts of the shorts section are made from an 80% polyester/20% Lycra mix from specialist Miti, and it offers plenty of support for your muscles without restricting movement.
It's very soft to the touch and feels a bit thicker between your fingers than that used on a lot of shorts, so durability shouldn't be an issue. All of the stitching looks to be tight and tidy too.
The fit is definitely on the performance side of things, with multiple panels making for a close cut when you are on the bike. The side panels of the legs have plenty of stretch to accommodate pretty much any thigh diameter, all held in place by the silicone grippers at the bottom.
The bib section uses a fine mesh fabric to cover your back and does a decent job of keeping you cool when paired with a lightweight baselayer and summer jersey. You even get a little pocket that you could use to stash an mp3 player as I'm guessing most of us don't ride around with a race radio linked to our team car.
For the pad Wearwell has turned to Cytech, which owns the likes of Elastic Interface, maker of a massive amount of chamois pads for a lot of the big brands, Berenis and Bikepad.
The pad found in the Revivals uses plenty of channels and varying density foam sections to create a comfortable place to sit while avoiding numbness. It does a good job; I certainly didn't suffer any discomfort and it's pretty good when it comes to bulk, or lack of it, too.
The only thing I would say is that lately I've been riding in quite a few pairs of shorts that have done away with this channelled design and just gone for a simple one-piece pad. The KISS Air found in the Castelli Velocissimo IV bib shorts is one and, as good as the Wearwell's is, it doesn't match that sublime comfort.
Those Castellis are £28 cheaper too, costing £100, which I said in the review I didn't think was excessive, especially when it comes to quality and that comfort.
I've also tested the Northwave Extreme 3 bibs which have a very similar and very comfortable smooth pad design, and they cost just £89.99.
While I can understand that Wearwell will be moving a much smaller amount of stock and will probably have a much higher, small batch production cost, you can see that they don't quite offer the same value for money.
Overall, I think the Wearwells are a very good pair of shorts, and very well made, but they are up against some equally good but cheaper competition.
A very good all-round pair of bibs but there are cheaper – and, subjectively, more comfortable – out there from the big brands
road.cc test report
Make and model: Wearwell Revival Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Wearwell states, "Anyone that has done serious miles on the bike knows the importance of good shorts. And when those rides occur with significant regularity, they demand the very best. The Wearwell Revival bib-shorts are a modern take on a classic designed to meet these requirements.
"Only the highest quality and most modern fabrics known to pedal-powered man are used as the basis for the design. Ergonomic panels ensure both comfort and closeness of fit. The built in chamois is made from a dense foam compound and provides support and comfort for the rider. Meanwhile the laser cut bib-straps are constructed using a soft, moisture wicking fabric that help to minimise rubbing and irritation across the shoulders and chest. The radio pocket at the rear can comfortably hold a phone, keys or, unsurprisingly, a radio."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Jet black colour with distinct Wearwell logos on sides
* Ergonomic cut to ensure closeness of fit during rides
* Soft, breathable bib fabric
* Miti Fabric construction
* High density Cytech seat pad
* Soft silicon grippers at base of short
* Radio pocket
Sizing is spot on to the website guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing was simple and the shorts came up clean each time with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A very well made pair of shorts that are comfortable for the majority of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I've worn cheaper shorts that have a more comfortable pad.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, depends on the price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Revivals are a very good pair of shorts, but they're up against some cheaper competition which, for me anyway, have more of a wow factor in terms of pad comfort. I'd say they're a very good 7, and if the pad really suits you, an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike 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: 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.