BBB's Ultratech bib shorts could easily go unnoticed in our world of snazzy design and slick promotion. Professional in the literal sense, they deliver the goods all day long without fuss or fanfare and I would recommend them for all categories of road and Audax riding from time trials and cyclo cross through to endurance events. Flat seams, twelve-panel construction, silicone leg grippers and the laughably understated 'Premium Performance Padding' is the stuff of boutique brands twice the price.
240g Lycra construction gives some indication as to the quality but in truth it's predominantly derived from polyester (76/24% respectively) with a micromesh bib section,marrying precise fit and efficient moisture management. Our large sample flattered every contour of my frame beautifully without looking as if I'd been poured into them. Four extra panels makes a world of difference, immediately apparent when dis/mounting the bike in motion cyclo-cross stylee, cantering up the climbs or even churning away on the turbo trainer. Flat seams and the tactile, yet assertive grippers keep everything perfectly aligned even worn beneath messenger knickers without painful and unsightly branding. The bibs were equally compliant and unobtrusive whether alternating between tops, drops, tri bars or just heeding the call of nature. Speaking of which, spirited singletrack shenanigans suggests the fabric is genuinely rugged enough for competitive riding and shouldn't falter at the first tarmac tumble.
A distinct absence of reinforcement is my only qualm, since our test pair shows signs of bobbling around the buttocks after a mere six hundred miles and several machine washes. With badge engineering so prevalent these days, it comes as no surprise to discover the insert enjoys a universal mid-upper end feel. The time honoured sandwich design incorporates a top layer for moisture management, retaining a cool, dry inner climate whereas the 'Silver protection' combats bacterial growth and the subsequent nasty niffs. Frankly, these seem competent, albeit no better and no worse than anyone else's, although I've no doubt those with a disturbing underwear fixation might contradict me. However, the generous surface area coupled with carefully tailored padding and pressure-relieving grooves has been music to my derrire, insulating me from road and trail shock with no trace of numbness following several hours sustained effort.
Ridiculously understated, yet extremely competent bib shorts needing some reinforcement of the seat.
road.cc test report
Make and model: BBB Ultra Tech 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?
"BBW-111 UltraTech Bib Short
Top of the range 12 panel bib short". Perforns faultlessly and without fanfare but some reinforcenent at the seat would be welcomed.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Top of the range 12 panel bib short.
PowerLycra. Top of the line stretch lycra. Comfortable and very soft feel. Used for the top of the line BBB Bib-Shorts.
Fine net mesh material upper.
Flat lock stitching seams, no irritating seams.
Multi-stretch padding. Top of the line padding for the best fit and highest comfort. Anti-bacterial padding with horizontal and vertical stretch. Padding is completely made out of one piece, no seams or separate side panels.
Elastic gripper with woven rubber anti-slip.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL and XXL"
Generally to a very high standard.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These have perforned faultlessly, ranking amongst my all-time favourite race shorts. However, several weeks and repeated washings show some evidence of bobbling around the buttocks, suggesting reinforcement is required here.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Hardier seat panel please.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, with a reinforced seat
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in the main
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)