dhb's range of Aeron shorts come in three flavours (maybe 'flavours' isn't quite the right word when referring to shorts): the basic entry-level version - the Aeron; the top-of-the-range Aeron Pro (already reviewed here on road.cc); and the Aeron Race, which comes mid-way between the two. Most are available in male and female styles, with or without bibs. The pair of shorts I'm testing here is the male version Aeron Race, with bib.
Despite the name, you don't have to be a racer to wear them. They're ideal for anyone doing regular riding or for events such as sportives.
The fabric on the main part of these shorts is called Action 205g; it's stretchy and close fitting but without feeling too tight. The cut is anatomic, so the shorts are already in the shape your body will be when riding your bike (ie, lower torso bent forward).
The bib is made from a mesh which has some carbon fibre in the weave. According to dhb, this is to help 'regulate body temperature and reduce stress on the body'. I've got to be honest and say I didn't notice any difference over other mesh bibs that don't contain carbon. For warmer conditions, mesh is always preferable though, so it's good to see it on these shorts.
My medium size test pair fit perfectly around my thighs and rear-end, with no rucking or bagginess, and they've been very comfortable from the first mile. At first, I found the bib just slightly on the small side, pulling up the shorts with a tad more force than I'd like. But after an hour of riding, the shorts settled in (or I did) and they felt perfect all over. I'm 5ft 10in and 70kg - so if you're a bit taller (or longer in the upper body) and wider than me, then I suggest going for a size Large. If you're tall and thin, I wouldn't suggest going up a size just to get the bib right, as the fit of the shorts is so good everywhere else.
All the shorts in the Aeron range come with padded inserts from Italian manufacturer CyTech. The pad in these Aeron Race shorts is the Giro Air, which is a medium thickness. It stretches in all directions and has 'valleys' between the padded areas to improve airflow and cooling. Overall, I found it just right - providing the right amount of comfort and protection where needed, with no surplus fabric to get in the way and cause chafing.
The shorts are mainly black, with a coloured flash (blue on my test pair) on the side of each leg. Other colours for the flash are grey, white and red. Stitching the same colour continues from the flash around the back of the shorts to meet another panel of coloured fabric that runs across the lower back (although this won't show beneath your jersey).
At £59.99 the Aeron Race shorts are not cheap by any means, but if you compare them to shorts of similar quality from other brands they certainly are good value for money.
Very comfortable mid-range shorts ideal for long rides and sportives, at a good value price.
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Race 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 is the in-house brand of on-line store Wiggle; their website says 'The all-new Aeron Race Cycling Bib Shorts [are] for the serious cyclist.' Other features highlighted on the website include: 'Action 205g performance stretch fabric from Italy (80%Nylon-20%Elastane) ... dhb elastic leg opening with silicone gripper ... Contrast colour paneling, with contrast flatlock seams ... White dhb logo on right thigh and rear.'
The website goes on to say: 'The dhb Aeron Race cycling bib shorts are ... constructed from 'Action 205g' performance fabric. The slight increase in weight from the Aeron shorts means more compression on the legs. Greater compression provides a feeling of strength and security whilst also improving blood flow and reducing stress on the muscles.' Too be honest, while I'd totally agree the shorts are nice and tight, without being too tight, I'm not convinced by this 'compression improving bloodflow and reducing stress' stuff. But there again, there's a whole range of compression clothing out there that some cyclists swear by, so maybe even a snug-fitting pair of shorts CAN help you go faster. I have to say, during my test rides, these shorts certainly didn't seem to slow me down.
"The all-new Aeron Race Cycling Bib Shorts for the serious cyclist. Fluid, anatomically designed bib shorts with 'Action 205' and Carbon Fibre performance stretch fabrics. Contrast styling and state of the art Elastic Interface 'Giro Air'cycling pad.
The dhb Aeron Race cycling bib shorts are one step up from the Aeron. The shorts are constructed from 'Action 205g' performance fabric. The slight increase in weight from the Aeron shorts means more compression on the legs. Greater compression provides a feeling of strength and security whilst also improving blood flow and reducing stress on the muscles.
The braces and abdominal area are constructed from a unique mesh fabric containing a carbon fibre yarn. This fabric helps to regulate body temperature and reduce stress on the body (when compared to conventional fabrics). The shorts feature a Cytech Elastic Interface 'Giro Air' cycling pad within the package. The dhb customised air pad offers anatomical shaping, an excellent level of comfort and has been engineered to give improved airflow.
The pad is designed to be comfortable for 3-5hrs riding with an indisputable reputation for durability. Intense White, Blue or Red contrast colour panels give the shorts dynamic styling yet keeps them subtle enough to complement an array of jerseys."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
'Action 205g' performance stretch fabric from Italy (80% Nylon/20% Elastane)
Carbon fibre mesh fabric on braces
CyTech Elastic Interface 'Giro Air' chamois (cycling pad)
dhb elastic leg opening with silicone gripper
Contrast colour paneling, with contrast flatlock seams
White dhb logo on right thigh and rear
I haven't been riding in these shorts for long enough to comment on durability, but based on other dhb shorts I've used, these Aeron Races will be good for a few summer seasons of regular use.
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: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,