Northwave's Evolution bib-shorts are a technical and race ready accompaniment to the Evolution jersey we tested recently and together they form a really comfortable and high performance outfit suitable for long mountain days or short races alike... or indeeed just a good day out on the bike.
If you've got a carbon fibre bike the next step is obviously to get some carbon fibre shorts, obviously. Well, if that's what you have been waiting for so that man and machine can ride together in perfect harmony wait no longer - these shorts may not be totally carbon fibre (that might not be so comfortable) but the fabric does contain carbon fibres which say Northwave add UV protection and have anti bacterial properties. Sounds useful, better still though the race fit of these shorts make for a comfortable, highly breathable pair of shorts that were a pleasure to wear throughout the test. The Blaze Air EIT pad provided an excellent contact at the saddle, without seeming too bulky or over the top. After plenty of decent length rides the pad still functioned admirably and didn't seem to be degrading noticeably.
The shorts have thick elastic leg grippers with silicon dots to prevent them bunching up as you ride. On the whole this worked very well, although at one stage a friend did point out that the elastic grippers made me look like I was wearing long underpants! The seams are stitched in highly visible red and white thread, which you'll either love or hate, and the Northwave logo appears in white on each thigh and around the leg grippers.
I was impressed with the cut,(the 'Evolution' bit in the name) and feel of the shorts and Northwave -according to Northwave the Evolution cut is supposed to offer maximum performance when you are in a stretched out riding position and Northwave have done a good job of getting this right. The black bib didn't show through the red front of the Northwave Evolution jersey also on test, but if you were to wear these shorts with a white or pale-fronted jersey, you could suffer from a visible bib line (if you're bothered by this kind of thing). The Lycra fabric of the inside of the legs of the shorts is quite thin in places and could be prone to wear and tear with extended use.
For racing or all day riding these are decent bib shorts at a reasonable price. Coupled with the Evolution jersey, they make a distinctive and smart set of race level clothes good for a long day on the bike.
Distinctive and well designed bib short with good breathability and a comfortable pad.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Northwave Evolution bib short
Size tested: L
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?
Northwave describe them as a "Technical Bib Shorts for cyclists that responds to meet the bio-mechanical requirements of the body during physical activity". Basically, these are high spec. shorts for road riding aimed at racers or sportive riders.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Main fabrics: Lycra with Carbon Fibers
Pad: Blaze Air E.I.T.
Braces: Mesh - Anatomic design
Vent inserts: Braces
Elastic: Jacquard dots silicon
Reflex inserts: Reflective back logo
Tech: Carbon Inserts
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable and breathable.
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Surly Long Haul Trucker My best bike is: Litespeed Saber
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, Triathlon