Storck's Pro Bib shorts are a comfortable choice for getting in the big miles.
These are from the German bike brand's first collection of clothing and they're a really good start. The lowers are made from three different fabrics that are flat-stitched together so you're barely aware of the seams.
A decent seat pad is vital to any pair of cycling shorts and Storck have chosen wisely by calling on CyTech's Elastic Interface brand. Rather than using the same pad in all of their shorts, Storck have gone for different sizes and densities for different short sizes on the basis that larger riders will tend to weigh more. Seems like reasonable logic.
The pad is based on CyTech's Endurance HP Super-Air which, as the name implies, is intended to keep you comfortable on long rides. There's a good depth of foam padding in there along with a central channel to relieve pressure in the perineal area. It's very breathable thanks to perforations in the foam and the microfibre layer next to your skin dries really quickly. It's a very good, no-nonsense pad that feels great even on your 100th mile of the day.
The bib section is unusually stretchy – there's loads of elastane in there – and it holds on to very little no moisture. The shoulder straps are very wide so they don't cut in, holding the shorts in place comfortably.
The only features that I didn't get along really well with were the leg grippers. The external band at the end of each leg did a great job of holding onto my quads without being too tight but I didn't find the silicone print on the inner surface particularly effective. Rather than a continuous strip, the silicone is just repeated lettering (it says 'Handcrafted perfection'). In most conditions this worked fine but I didn't find it enough to stop the legs gradually inching up on really sweaty climbs. It's not the biggest problem in the world, admittedly, and I'm tall; it might not be an issue for you.
Comfortable shorts with flat seams and a good high-mileage pad, although pricy.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Storck Pro Bib Shorts
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?
Storck don't do big write-ups on their clothing although they've told us in the past that they're aiming largely at the sportive market.
They do give details on the technical aspects of their products:
"COMBITECH bib short with ultra ergonomic cut. Proportional, anti-bacterial, hand sewn premium padding. AA+ Premium Material with enhanced functionality, and built in semi-compression effect.
"Our most luxurious materials of choice. Quality and functionality way beyond your expectations with some added technical bling.
* 70% Nylon / Polyamid
* 20% Elastane
* 9% Polypropylene hollow fiber
* 1% Carbon"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Here's what Storck say about the seatpad:
"Our Seat pads are different, innovative and unique. We could have gone to various suppliers and chosen seat pads from their catalogue, in any size, density and with numerous questionable 3D or 4D features. In true Storck ideology, we just followed our own idea of a perfect pad and asked the best Italian supplier to help us to create it. No fancy details, just different sizes and densities for different pant sizes, and therefore rider weights. What's our secret of unrivalled comfort you can expect from each of our pants? A very cosy and costly micro cloth material on top, durable,breathable, quick drying high tech padding beneath and some experienced hands to cut and sew it together. Yes, our pads are handmade luxury products.... and you can feel it!"
They look like they're built to last. The heat-on logo is bound to come off sooner or later, but that's the same with the vast majority of shorts out there.
Shorts at this price are really unlikely to get a high value mark.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do a really good job.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad is good and so is the all-round comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found the legs could ride up a bit. I think more silicone gripper would stop that happening.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yep.
Would you consider buying the product? Perhaps.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yeah, though at this price they should try before buying.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
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, club rides, 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.