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System Integration, that's what Cannondale call it when they tie things together, and their Performance 1 Bib shorts are designed to create an unflappable aero combination with the matching Performance 1 Jersey, something you never knew you needed until you gave it a try.
The poppers you find on both jersey and bib shorts are mainly an advantage to the jersey, as they allow you to fully undo the zip on a sweltering climb and not have the jersey flap around once the road levels out or starts sloping downwards. The other benefit, though, is the aerodynamic style the combo takes on once you're in the drops. No more of that jersey creeping up your back, because they're fastened to the shorts.
The shorts themselves are a great fit. Designed with the performance rider in mind, they use multiple panels to get the shape just right without any bunching or rucking up of material. They fit like a second skin.
The Speed Save pad is quite simple to look at; other than the single pressure-relieving channel running from front to back, there are no attempts to spread weight around, no varying foam thicknesses or anything. The main part of it is literally a narrow race saddle shape and this sits perfectly in position, providing loads of comfort while, again, not allowing any bunching. It absorbs the majority of road buzz even on a hard riding race frame and will easily see you through a century ride with no ill effects.
The Performance 1 Bibs certainly live up to their name, but because the cut is designed to work in the race position they do feel short in the body when you're off the bike. This is something to bear in mind when you're putting them on; the mesh bib straps offer plenty of breathability, while being wide enough for comfort as they pass over the shoulders, but it's best to stoop as you lift the straps over your shoulders otherwise you'll pull and possibly rip the mesh fabric.
That aside, they really are a top notch performing pair of bib shorts. They're super-comfortable on the bike, with silicone bands keeping the legs in position when you transfer from riding in or out of the saddle.
Just shy of £100 buys you a lot in terms of shorts these days, and I reckon the Cannondales are worth the outlay. The fit, quality and performance all help to justify the cost and the pad means you can use them for all sorts of riding, from short blasts to sportives and the like.
Impressive performance bibs that are worth the money, though they're short in the body when you're off the bike
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Make and model: Cannondale Performance 1 Bib Shorts
Size tested: Black/green/white, 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?
A pair of bib shorts that are designed to be used with the rest of the Cannondale System Integrated range. They offer a performance level fit with plenty of comfort.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*SPEED SAVE chamois
*System Integration system to attach jersey and bibshorts together
*Silicone leg grippers
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliant shorts for when the effort and speed increases.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Risk of ripping the bib material if you fully stand up when you are putting them on.
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?
The comfort of the Performance 1 Bibs is really good and they are a joy to wear even on harsh bikes and saddles. The cut is great when you're on the bike but you just have to remember to crouch when putting them on.
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
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!