The Sugoi RS bibshorts are among of our favourites, offering top-end performance and comfort at a mid-range price. For 2013, the RS bibshorts are virtually unchanged which isn't a bad thing in our books.
The Power Mesh fabric is an open weave, perfect for summer days when wicking and sweat management becomes a priority. It's stretchy too, which is handy since the fit is on the more compressive side of things. Compared to the Sugoi Icons (the next level down in the Sugoi range) of the same size, the RS shorts are much tighter around the top of the thighs and glutes. The compression isn't so extreme that it becomes uncomfortable, but it's definitely noticeable and may restrict the shorts to those with more 'athletic' physiques. Going up a size (compared to usual Sugoi sizing) is recommended for those with more 'meat' in this area.
Elsewhere, the 10 flatlock stitched panels ensure a perfect fit and reduce the potential for skin irritation. Again, comparing the RS's to the Icons, the former are an inch shorter in leg length, bringing them more in line with standard. A full strip of silicone is used on each leg which holds things firmly in place and prevents any bunching up from occurring further up the shorts.
The Formula FX pad used has proven itself to be comfortable in the long run, ensuring many comfortable miles in the saddle. Areas of higher density and thickness foam are positioned just where you want them and perforations do a good job of reducing clamminess down there too.
It's a testament that I opted for the RS bibshorts when embarking on a recent two-day bikepacking trip, involving 11 hours of saddle time each day. Though I can't claim that everything was always hunky-dory down there, I don't think I could've expected much more from a pair of shorts and I walked away without any lasting effects.
The trip also proved a good testing ground for assessing the durability of the RS bibshorts. Brambles, rocks and plenty of saddle bag rub (I had a dry bag strapped to the back of my seatpost) meant that any shortcomings would soon be exposed.
Post trip and four months into testing, the only apparent signs of wear are a couple of loose threads around the front of the chamois pad. All of the major panel stitches are still intact and there's no visible damage to any of the fabric on the back of the legs either. A single Sugoi logo has started peeling a bit, but it's one positioned high up on the shorts and covered by the jersey when in use.
The RS bibshorts are a great option for those who prefer a more compressive fit and want something good value which will last the distance.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi RS 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 RS bibshorts are aimed at any cyclist looking for a top quality set of bibshorts in the sub £100 price bracket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- 10 panel construction with flatlock stiches
- "Power Mesh" fabric used throughout
- Formula FX Chamois Pad
- Radio pocket
- Silicone legs grippers
The main flatlock stitches look bombproof and have held up well in testing. Some of the stitching around the chamois pad is a little flimsy however and a few threads have come loose.
The Formula FX pad and the overall fit makes these a comfortable pair of shorts. The fabric does a good job of wicking moisture away in warm conditions.
A couple of loose threads around the chamois pad, but overall, the RS bibshorts have held up very well despite some difficult conditions.
Those who prefer a more compressive fit will find the RS very comfortable. The chamois pad is well positioned and provides plenty of support for long days in the saddle.
The comfort and durability make this a great option in the sub £100 price range.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The chamois pad and the durability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They might not be the most stylish shorts around.
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
I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,