The Hincapie Sportswear Men's Equipe Bibshort is a compressive, sporty short that does a very good job.
Rather than just sticking his name on another manufacturer's clothing range. American pro George Hincapie set up Hincapie Sportswear with his brother. He probably needs something to keep him busy now he's retiring after his 17th straight Tour de France.
It's a proper family affair too, with the factory run by his aunt and uncle in his father's native Columbia. The main focus of the company is manufacturing cycling kit for clubs, federations and charity concerns, but they do also have their own Hincapie branded range.
Pricewise it's fairly mid range with these Equipe bibs at £100 - up to the George Signature model at £180.
The whole range is very much technology based in terms of fabrics; basically it's the same materials and pattern as the BMC Racing Team. If it's good enough for tour riders to spend all day in it should be good enough for the rest of us.
Pull the shorts on and you can feel the compressive nature of the AT2 Tour Power Lycra encasing your legs.
Use of compression garments during sport as opposed to recovery is intended to stabilize muscles, therefore reducing fatigue; beneficial if the surfaces you're riding on aren't the smoothest.
The pressure provided by the Equipe bibs isn't as powerful as a good fitting pair of compression shorts but is enough to feel the effect. Tiredness in the muscle does seem to be offset for a little while longer.
The overall fit is one for the racing position with a high back and lowish bib front which above all else makes pee stops a more comfortable affair.
The bibs are mesh for heat transfer, and wide straps mean they're comfortable thanks to spreading the pressure across your shoulders.
The leg grippers don't need to apply much pressure to keep the bottom of the shorts in position which is another plus in the comfort stakes.
As for the chamois, which is often the most important bit, it's seamless and anatomically designed for your bits with foam inserts and relief channels. Padded, but not overly so, it's comfortable on long distance rides and I had no numbness on easy rides or full intensity efforts.
The Equipes are available in three colours and a size range of S to XXL. If the sun decides to make an appearance the material is 50 SPF+ to keep UVA & B rays at bay.
Overall the Hincapie Equipes are a good quality bib short. The material seems durable and nothing indicates that that is going to change.
The cloth and fit is very similar to the Castelli Velocissimo we tested this time last year and if they are anything to go by you'll have no issues with longevity.
Good fitting and durable bibshort with a very comfortable chamois plus the compressive material worked for me.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hincapie Sportswear Men's Equipe Bibshort
Size tested: Medium
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?
"The Equipes are race ready for any distance or challenge."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Durable, 225g AT2 Tour™ Lycra® Power provides compressive support to stabilize muscles and reduce fatigue
Lightweight AT2 Transition™ Lycra® moves and conforms to the body for the perfect fit
Textured DimpleTek™ speed fabric reduces air resistance over the fabric surface for an aerodynamic advantage
SPF 50+ by construction for superior UVA/UVB protection
Soft, aerating power stretch Diamond Mesh™ upper dries quickly to help regulate temperature
Sleek DimpleTek™ comfort leg band
Seamless, anatomical, multi-density Hincapie Team Chamois with perforated foam inserts and center relief channel moves with the rider
Same material, fabric and pattern worn by the BMC Racing Team
Looks good, as you'd expect for a £100 pair of shorts.
A good performance fit and the compression material adds a nice touch.
Looking good so far and no reason why that'd change.
Very comfortable shorts and chamois.
They are worth it, just.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very good, when you're in the saddle you want comfort and performance, the Equipe's deliver on both.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The compression properties of the material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If they were a touch cheaper they'd be more competitive.
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: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Ribble Gran Fondo
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.