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.
Thor Hushovd and co on the Garmin-Cervlo team are currently wearing Castelli's Body Paint bib shorts in the Tour de France, so I was expecting them to be nothing short of superb on test. And they are. These Body Paint shorts really do deliver, in all aspects of their design and function. Enough to justify that eye-watering price tag? Well...
Sugoi's Evolution bibshorts are at the lower end of their performance orientated range but the quality and ergonomics belie the price tag.
The eight panels are stitched together using flat seams providing a close contoured fit. The 'Evoplus' material made up of 68% Polyamide (Nylon), 18% Polyester and 14% Elastane (Spandex) feels soft to the touch but also has a solid, close knit feel to it minimizing stretch.
dhb offer some incredibly good-value clothing and while £75 on a pair of bib shorts might not seem to be the bargain of the year, for the quality you get here it really is a great deal.
These are made from Fieldsensor fabric (69% nylon, 16% polyester, 15% elastane) with a slightly raised inner surface that helps shift moisture outwards to keep you feeling comfortable. It's a middling weight fabric that provides good support while the well-cut 10-panel construction makes for an excellent fit.
BBB's Ultratech bib shorts could easily go unnoticed in our world of snazzy design and slick promotion. Professional in the literal sense, they deliver the goods all day long without fuss or fanfare and I would recommend them for all categories of road and Audax riding from time trials and cyclo cross through to endurance events. Flat seams, twelve-panel construction, silicone leg grippers and the laughably understated 'Premium Performance Padding' is the stuff of boutique brands twice the price.
Northwave's Evolution bib-shorts are a technical and race ready accompaniment to the Evolution jersey we tested recently and together they form a really comfortable and high performance outfit suitable for long mountain days or short races alike... or indeeed just a good day out on the bike.
If you've not heard of Sumattory before, that's probably because the Spanish brand is a recent arrival on the cycle clothing stage. The Hermida Signature Series is named after 2010 world champion mountain biker Jose Antonio Hermida, although there's not a massive difference between a lot of cross-country MTB clothing and road wear.
Rapha's Pro Team bib shorts are very, very good shorts that put in a strong performance across the board... although the price tag might be enough to make you yelp.
Where shall I start? How about the seat pad, on the basis that if the pad is no good, you might as well not bother with the rest. Thankfully, Rapha use a top-end endurance pad from Cytech, chamois builders to the stars.
Polaris' Pursuit bib shorts are the top of their range, and they're well made with some high-quality features. The multi-panel construction and the 80% nylon/20% elastane fabric make for a comfortable, consistent fit throughout. Virtually all the seams are flat-lock stitched so there's no chafing even when you rack up the miles on a big weekend ride.