Pella Ergo bib shorts are costly but supremely comfortable shorts made to standards that maintain the reputation of quality Italian cycling wear.
Pella Sportswear is designed and built in Italy. I say 'built' because it's a word that does justice to the construction excellence of these particular bibs.
In case you didn't know already, Italians have a fine reputation when it comes to making clothes to ride bikes in. There are exceptions, but Pella lives up to the expectation of quality.
Pella Sportswear is used by many European pro cycling teams and it's easy to see why. These shorts are nicely tailored using 215gsm Power Lycra (gsm = grams per square metre, 215 is dense but light), flatlock-stitched and with just the right amount of shaped panel compression where it matters. It's 20% Lycra, 80% polyester for those who want to know their fabric details.
The vest-backed bib section uses a cool mesh with a low enough elasticated front to make wee breaks easy and the pad is apparently constructed using a technique called 'skiving'. That means something else to most of us but in this case it refers to a manufacturing method that results in all the surfaces of the pad remaining smooth despite its anatomical shape and padding.
Pella say the pad material itself has anti-inflamatory properties that help avoid friction at the usual pressure points... it incorporates a 'natural algae'. I certainly haven't had any comfort problems in the first few hundred miles, and the shorts have survived the first dozen or so 40 degree washes and the inevitable accidental couple at 60 after particularly filthy rides. They still look and feel new, but the tiny (and ultimately unnecessary) Pella logo peeled off the right leg after half a dozen washes.
Thankfully the Pella designers don't assume that every rider is blessed with a racing snake pro athlete physique. I was surprised and pleased to find that a medium sized pair of Ergo bibs conformed snugly enough to my 80kg bulk to avoid the emotionally charged bondage experience of almost every other item of Italian bikewear I have in medium.
Like all the best bibs they're initially tight to pull on but satisfactorily comfortable, even flattering, once in place, with no instant need to pull in your lazy belly or pull out your cowardly testicles. Image wise, inevitably not everyone will like the white leg trim or 'Pure Made in Italy Since 1980' graphic but there are more subtle red and black trim versions too, and even a couple of white lycra options for the brave.And that trim actually performs a great job of gripping your leg efficiently without feeling tight.
£150 is a lot of money to spend on shorts, but these are certainly among the very best fitting and most comfortable in use.
Expensive but supremely comfortable bib shorts made to standards that maintain the reputation of quality Italian cycling wear.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Pella Ergo Pro Bib Shorts
Size tested: Black 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?
Race and quality all-round shorts that do the job superbly.
Excellent fit, more realistically proportioned for average build riders than most Italian shorts.
Small logos on right leg came off after a few washes, but otherwise perfect.
Among the most comfortable shorts I've tried, up with other top of the range offerings from leading brands.
Still a lot of money for shorts, but worth it for the extra comfort on 'big day use only'.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The light feel of the material and in particular the light non-constricting touch of the leg grippers was a highlight.
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: 58 Height: 181 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Merlin Ti My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
<p>Steve's passion for riding started around fifty years back with blatting about in the woods, closely followed by CTC rides, touring, schoolboy track league, a brief obsession with time trials then onto road racing, touring and cyclo cross... roughly in that order. Mountain biking and triathlon got a look in later. He tested and wrote about bikes for over 25 years and rode about 2000 of them. Steve also rode for the British team in three World Championships in the very early days of mountain bikes. He left us after <a href="http://road.cc/content/news/115389-cycling-journalist-steve-worland-dead... a heart attack at the Ashton Court Parkrun</a> in March 2014, and is fondly remembered and greatly missed.</p>