Alé's PRR Ponente bib shorts are a high-quality option with some really neat features, and the racing fit is excellent.
Alé (pronounced allay or allez) is an Italian brand – based in Verona – from APG, the same people who produce Giordana. If you're a fan of kit that's made in Italy, this is a range for you.
The PRR clothing is Alé's high-end lineup of performance-led clothing. It won't surprise you to learn that these shorts are made from a combination of nylon and elastane – nothing unusual there – but there are actually (hang on, let me count them) five different fabrics used here.
The shorts are cut so that there are virtually no creases anywhere when you're in an aggressive position on the bike, and all the seams are flat stitched to minimise discomfort. Although it'll depend on the sizing you go for, I found these shorts to feel lightly compressive without being over tight.
The leg grippers are wide (50mm) so they distribute pressure and they hold the shorts in place well thanks to thin strands of silicone woven through the material. The braces are made from a similar fabric and they do the job equally effectively. Other neat features include reflective rear seams (though you barely notice the reflective material in daylight), printed-on graphics that are never going to peel off, and a super-stretchy waist band that'll hold the shorts in whatever your shape.
The seatpad can make or break a pair of shorts, and the 4H chamois fitted here is a pretty good one. It's not the most contoured pad ever but it's a high density and reasonably thick. The microfibre face layer is very comfortable next to your skin and perforations in the foam add to the breathability. I'd want more cushioning for super-long rides but for everything else it's a good option.
Comfortable, high-quality shorts with some very good features
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Make and model: Alé PRR Ponente bib shorts
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?
Alé's PRR clothing is their high-performance lineup. These have a racy fit and feel to them.
They're extremely well made from excellent fabrics.
I thought the seatpad was very good but not quite up to the standard of the rest of the shorts.
A price of £95 puts these among the more expensive shorts (there are plenty priced higher) but the high quality helps to justify the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are great shorts with some very good features.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the leg grippers, the flat seams... Plenty!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Don't get me wrong, the seatpad is good for all but the longest of rides, but I feel it should be excellent in shorts of this quality.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
£95 puts these very much towards the more expensive end of the price spectrum for bib shorts but I'd still be tempted by the quality throughout. It's a relatively small thing but the fact that the graphics aren't going to peel off over time means these should stay looking good for a long time. Some shorts definitely have a short shelf life in that respect.
Age: 43 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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.