The bibshort version of the B'Twin 700 shorts performed well when we reviewed them a few months ago and removing the straps hasn't changed that. These non-bib versions fit well and have a great pad for long days in the saddle.
The cycling market tends to be steered towards bibs but there are still a lot of riders out there who prefer standard shorts whether that be for comfort or convenience. I for one changed to bibs a few months after starting road cycling due to not liking the feeling of a waistband when i was bent over on the bike and if I'm honest I was expecting the same here with the B'Twin's.
The 700 shorts don't apply much pressure here though as the band is tall and flat, spreading the load around the waist. The close fit and multi-panelled shape of the shorts keeps them in place so the waist band doesn't really have a whole lot to do.
Leg length is quite short finishing just below mid-thigh so your shaving routine might need to increase by an extra inch or two but the shorter length does lend itself well to wearing the 700's as undershorts. In fact this is where I have employed the B'Twin's the most, wearing them under a pair of unpadded bibtights. No more doubling up of bib straps and the thin flat nature of the waistband and leg grippers mean no unsightly bumps and ridges.
Pad wise B'Twin have gone for the common theme of varying depths of padding for the different parts of anatomy. it's the same pad found in the Aerofit 900 bibs http://tinyurl.com/mthkgku tested previously. I wasn't a fan of it then for rides over a couple of hours and I'm still not because of its thickness, 15mm at the buttocks and 9mm up front in the groin area. I find bunching is an issue when riding low on the hoods or spending time in the drops which in turn causes numbness.
On the whole though for £29.99 the 700 shorts are some really well fitting and well built shorts let down ever so slightly by that pad. For rides up to two hours though they are fine especially if you prefer plenty of padding. The material is hardwearing and tight enough to offer a small compression benefit and thanks to the large number of panels they move with your legs comfortably throughout the pedalling motion.
Well made, comfortable non-bib shorts for those who like a lot of padding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 700 Cycling Shorts
Size tested: Medium, Black
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?
B'Twin describe the 700 shorts as being designed for intensive cycling which they are, with everything being relative. The cut is good and they are very well built, if the pad suits you they are comfortable too.
USER COMFORT Pad with gel inserts and 3 density levels for superior comfort.
SUPPORT Ergonomic cut, flat seams, elasticated waistband.
MOISTURE TRANSFER Exceptional perspiration transfer.
LIMITS BACTERIA Pad has anti-bacterial treatment.
REDUCED CHAFING Seamless construction limits chafing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* S to 2XL
* Black or white versions
* Antibacterial pad
* 80% polyamide / 20% elastane mix
* 2yr warranty
Everything is neat and tidy and they look well stitched together.
The shorts shape and fit is very good indeed plus I liked the compression feeling of the material. The pad I found a little too thick for longer rides though.
Polyamide is hardwearing plus you get a two-year warranty
For short, hard rides of an hour or so they perform brilliantly but over time the squidgy pad starts to bunch and cause numbness. I reached this point at about the two-hour mark
If the pad suits they are good value for money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As I mentioned above they worked well for short, hard rides mostly due to more of your weight being on the pedals than the saddle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The thin waist band that doesn't dig into your stomach.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Bit of a mixed bag.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, I'd mention the pad though.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I can't emphasise enough how good the cut and feel of the actual shorts is, it was just the pad that I personally didn't get on with. If you prefer a thicker pad or only ride for 60-90 minutes though the 700's are a very good short.
About the tester
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,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.