dhb offer some incredibly good-value clothing and while £75 on a pair of bib shorts might not seem to be the bargain of the year, for the quality you get here it really is a great deal.
These are made from Fieldsensor fabric (69% nylon, 16% polyester, 15% elastane) with a slightly raised inner surface that helps shift moisture outwards to keep you feeling comfortable. It's a middling weight fabric that provides good support while the well-cut 10-panel construction makes for an excellent fit.
The four-row stitching inspires confidence - catch a thread and you'll not immediately end up with a gaping hole - while the sturdy white band around the bottom of each leg comes with little silicone dashes inside that prevent them from riding up. I've not had any trouble on that score; they've stayed exactly where required. Of course, the white will show the dirt more easily than a darker colour but after several trips through the washing machine it's still looking new. It hasn't turned grey like you sometimes get when manufacturers mix black and white on the same item of clothing.
The upper section is made from carbon-fibre mesh. Carbon fibre? In a pair of bib shorts? Really? Apparently so. We've seen it used in other garments we've tested too recently Northwave use carbon fibre in their Evolution jersey where they reckon it helps reduce odour and static and ups UV protection - dhb make no such claims. And of course it't not in the same form as you'll find it used for bike frames, clearly; that would just be uncomfortable. On the Aeron Pros it's used in the mesh fabric 'to regulate body temperature and reduce stress on the body when compared to conventional fabrics.'
Well, that's the story from dhb. All I know is that the bib section is secure and comfortable and it feels airy and, to be honest, that's all I care about.
[Hey, while we're on the carbon thing, here's a little fact for you. Fieldsensor - that fabric used for the lower section of these shorts. You can't have forgotten already? - is made by Toray, who also produce T800 carbon fibre and all those other flavours that are used in bike frames. Same people. You can have that little nugget on us. Tuck it behind your ear and use it to fascinate your friends later. No thanks necessary.]
Anyway, back to the story... The chamois comes from Italy's CyTech. If you don't know about CyTech, they've only been about for a decade, but they've produced pads for loads of the big name brands: Assos, Gore, De Marchi, Rapha and a ton of others. The range is huge and the one used here is called the Tour Air which is a top-level option. It's actually not my favourite but it puts in a good performance. Most of the cushioning comes from 10mm-thick perforated foam, while you get 3mm material in the areas that don't need to work as hard.
It's a very stretchy pad and channels down the centre and between the different areas of padding allow for good airflow. The microfibre fabric next to your skin is very soft and comfy too. Personally, I prefer higher density cushioning through the centre section of the pad, and more of it, for long days in the saddle, but for rides up to, say, three or four hours - the vast majority of them - I've found this pad to be great.
Available in sizes XS-2XL and in a women's option at the same price.
Well-made shorts with a very good seat pad - high-quality option, especially considering the price
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Pro bib short
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?
dhb say, "Premium cycling bib shorts from dhb at an astonishing price. Top-level 'Tour Air' Elastic Interface cycling pad from CyTech for serious sessions in the saddle. Moisture management 'Field Sensor' fabric deals with perspiration fast."
You couldn't call £75 for a pair of bib shorts cheap, but the quality here is very good. They're easily worth the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. The one limitation being that I felt I wanted more and higher density cushioning for very long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Overall build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not much. I'm a bit wary that the white bands around the legs are going to get stained sooner or later, but so far, so good.
I guess brand snobs might want something with more heritage than upstarts DHB, but that's really not an issue for me.
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: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.