Comfortable on the body and in the saddle, with a stylish appearance

New British clothing brand Rivelo offers two bib shorts in its range, starting at £75 and rising to £120 for the top-of-the-range Honister bib shorts that I'm testing here. As bib shorts go, they're very good, providing ample comfort for long distance rides with a good fit. Plus they look stylish too. Well, I think so anyway.

Rivelo uses a gender-specific Cytech (a go-to manufacturer of padded inserts) pad with a high density foam. It's got an antibacterial treatment and it dries quickly, useful on long summer sportives (and under non-padded longs during winter). Rivelo reckons it's suitable for any length of ride; I had no qualms after a five-hour ride, so they happily tick the comfort box.

Buy these online here 

This Cytech insert is held in place with a 70 denier circular knit Invista Lycra (quite a mouthful that) fabric with 360-degree stretch. The panels are all held together using soft internal overlocked stitching, and there are no irritating labels, instead the care labels are made from a soft fabric and sewn flat into the shorts.

In use the material of the shorts is very soft next to the skin causing no irritation, with the stretch helping to provide good support around the thighs with no unwanted restriction. For hot summer days (remember them?) they have a UPF 50 sun protection so you won't get scorched by harmful UV rays. The fabric is also quite breathable too; they're not breezy but they do help to prevent you getting too warm.

The bib straps are wide and supportive over the shoulders, and there's enough stretch in the front of the bibs that comfort breaks aren't an impossibility. The leg openings consist of 5cm-wide striped silicone grippers. They do a really good job of stopping the shorts sliding up your legs when pedalling fast.

As well as having mesh panels to help keep you cool when riding in warm weather, they have reflective details when riding in low light. That's useful because, with knee and leg warmers, you can wear bib shorts right through autumn and winter.

There's no shortage of good quality bib shorts at £120, but the Rivelo Honister bibs stand up to the test well, delivering on every front, with a comfortable fit and padded insert, and a smart design.


Comfortable on the body and in the saddle, with a stylish appearance

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Rivelo Honister bib shorts

Size tested: Medium, Black/Red

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?

Rivelo says: "Premium bib shorts designed to support you through the longest, hardest bike rides. anatomically cut for comfort & performance whilst on the bike and using the best chamois pad technology available, these bib shorts have been designed, tried and tested by cyclists, so you can just focus on the ride ahead. stylish and subtle design details so you look as good as you feel."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

male specific high density chamois pad from Cytech (EIT) in Italy, with bacteriostatic, quick drying and cooling fabric covering – suitable for any length of ride

powerful 70 denier circular knit Invista Lycra for 360 degree stretch and optimal support

excellent breathability & wicking

UPF 50 sun protection

mesh panelled brace section for breathability

reflective visibility details

soft internal overlocked stitching for comfort

5cm wide striped silicone Rivelo leg grippers

ergonomic panel construction gives the perfect fit whilst in the riding position

no scratchy labels – care label is made from a soft fabric and sewn flat

Rate the product for quality of construction:

High quality construction and good attention to detail with the stitching and smooth care labels.

Rate the product for performance:

A high quality Cytech chamois provides good comfort even for long rides, and the material of the shorts is soft on the skin, stretchy and breathable.

Rate the product for durability:

No complaints.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Very good in terms of in saddle comfort and fit around the legs, bum and shoulders.

Rate the product for value:

There's no shortage of good bib shorts at this price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They do everything you can ask of a bib short.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good comfort and good looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Wasn't really anything to dislike.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

There's no shortage of good quality bib shorts at £120 but the Rivelo Honister bibs stand up to the test well, delivering on every front.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking


David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.


Freddy56 [435 posts] 4 years ago

By the look of the bum shot, the material is only 2 way stretch, so Overpriced by £50 of my Queen's own pounds.

ROTMac [12 posts] 4 years ago

Definitely worth the £50 I paid for a pair.

tashlin [5 posts] 4 years ago

My view is that these are up there with the most comfortable and best fitting shorts I have ever tried.

My favourites until now have probably been Rapha's Classic bibshorts. I also really like their Pro Team shorts and Castelli's Aero Race shorts. I recently bought a set of these Rivello shorts (admittedly for a lot less than £120) and was seriously impressed with the quality, fit and comfort - they probably fit my body shape even better than the Rapha Classics and offer more support without the slightly constricting feel of the Pro Team shorts. The leg grippers are outstandingly grippy - almost too much so when trying to put the shorts on! The straps are also a really good mix between support without being too uncomfortable when upright. The pad is excellent. They feel very well made and I expect they will last a long time (albeit mine are still fairly new so this is unproven).

Even at £120, in my view these are a decent value compared to paying £160+ for top branded shorts, which offer no discernible benefit other than a bigger/more premium brand name.

To put this in context, I've been disappointed with top-end offerings from Endura, Pearl Izumi, Lusso, Castelli shorts without the Progretto x2 pad, DHB, Vulpine....etc. (I have never tried Assos kit.) I own quite a big range of bibshorts because I commute for 2 hours each day and also ride at the weekend so I get through a lot of kit each week!

u4mjac [2 posts] 4 years ago

Nice review. May pick up a pair next time I seem them on sport pursuit  4

Cornish1960 [4 posts] 2 years ago

I have a pair of these and have been on several long rides of 6 hours or more. Verdict -after 2 hours you will be in pain and after 4 hours complete agony. The pad is dreadful and the garment has been thrown in the commuter draw where the journey is less than an hour. For the price and watch sportpursuit as they vary it week to week (the companies are tied up) very dissapointed. It took a week for my sit bones to recover from the last outing.