Vermarc may be a Belgian company but a large proportion of their kit is made in Italy to their design by APG in Verona. They might sound familiar as they also make Alé and Giordana kit among others. It's something Vermarc are very proud off and their Relax bibshorts show why they should be.
Unlike the anatomical cut of their race-orientated shorts the Relax bibs have a more traditional cut for a range of riding disciplines and rider styles. The simple eight panel construction is stitched together using flatlock seams to avoid irritation and builds into a very comfortable pair of shorts. Vermarc say they are basic, standard fitting shorts but they are so much better than that.
The Power Lycra provides supportive compression to your muscles and it feels soft against the skin, as do the bibs which have reasonably wide straps and a full back section. All of this is mesh so breathability isn't an issue. One thing I do like is that the Lycra material comes up over your lower stomach providing plenty of comfort and warmth so you can wear them into chiller conditions when paired with leg warmers.
The legs are kept in place by silicone grippers and don't move at all once your legs have started spinning. The length is traditional too, finishing between mid-thigh and the knee, about an inch or two shorter than the latest fashion for longer race shorts.
The Elite pad is the top of the line chamois in the OmniForm range. OmniForm is a process that uses high frequency sound waves rather than heat to bond the different layers of the pad together, leaving the foam softer because no heat is involved. Enough to notice a difference over more traditional methods? I don't know for sure but its certainly an unbelievably comfortable pad.
There are various sections of differing density foam and channels to apply and reduce pressure plus the central section uses gel as a shock absorber. It works very well as minimal road buzz makes it through to the rider regardless of how harsh the bike or saddle are.
The material is also just the right thickness to take the sting out without being to padded to cause numbness or discomfort.
Overall the Relax bibs are just brilliant, a great fit, well built and the chamois is so comfortable plus when you take the European manufacture into account £63.99 is amazing value for money. I'm yet to wear any of Vermarc's kit I haven't been impressed with and that hasn't changed with the Relax shorts.
Brilliant value for money bibs with quality pad for long or short rides
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Make and model: Vermarc Relax bibshorts
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?
Described as a basic, standard fitting pair of bibs Vermarc are pitching these as a kind of do it all pair of shorts bar racers for which they have their pro cut. The Relax bibs are very good whether you are riding flat out or cruising along.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Standard fitting
* Elite Pad
* Mesh Bibs
* Silicon grippers keeps the shorts in place
* Flatlock seams to avoid friction and irritation to the skin
* Breathable fabric helps you keep cool.
* 100% Made in Italy
* Sizes - S to XXXL
Well stitched and finished.
A nice fit thanks to multi panels.
Material feels hardwearing and the stitching stands up to a good hard pull test.
The pad is sublime.
European design, manufacture and a quality construction for sixty four quid is pretty impressive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really good shorts for a multiple of disciplines.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I wouldn't go as far as 'dislike' for anything.
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?
A really comfortable pair of shorts which is always the most important aspect of any piece of clothing. Other bibs have been comparable on comfort and build quality but rarely for this price. Really impressive.
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!