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The Ibex range from Stolen Goat comprises a short-sleeved jersey, reviewed here, and these matching bibs. They've got great fit, a comfortable pad and – unusual for summer-weight bib shorts – water-resistant fabric to help you stay dry when the weather turns. On warm but potentially wet autumn days, these could be ideal.
It's been said before here on road.cc, but a good pair of bib shorts is arguably the single most important piece of cycle clothing you'll buy if you're riding longer distances. A well-designed pair that fit you can be the difference between ending an all-day ride with a smile or a grimace.
Stolen Goat gear is mostly made by Bioracer, a well-respected Belgian manufacturer, and we've been pretty consistently impressed with it to date, especially as it's well-priced too. These Ibex bibs are a bit more pricey, though – they're the most expensive bibs in Stolen Goat's range, £3 more than its Orkaan winter bib tights.
What do you get for your money, then? Well, the Ibex is based upon the AS Stratos bibs from Bioracer, which were developed using feedback from some of the pros that Bioracer supplies. The AS Stratos is only available as a bulk order in custom team designs, so what Stolen Goat has done is make it available to the public in its own Goat-flavoured design.
They're made from a material called Aquaracer, which has the usual sort of properties that you'd be looking for: multi-directional elasticity, UV protection and breathability. Rather more unusually, the fabric has a water-resistant treatment on the outside, and a hydrophilic treatment on the inside (to help draw sweat away from your skin). There are quite a few bib shorts with water-resistant finishes, from the likes of Castelli, Sportful, Giordana and others, but with only one other exception they are all winter-weight bibs, with Roubaix lining to keep you warm as well as drier.
The only other water-resistant bibs I'm aware of in a summer weight are from Ashmei and considerably more expensive. Aquaracer is also highly chlorine resistant, so particularly well suited for triathletes. I'm no triathlete and I am afraid my research didn't extend to going to a swimming pool in bibs to test this claim.
Aquaracer is also, apparently, lighter than a conventional Lycra, and the pad is also claimed to be a particularly lightweight one. We weighed our large-size bibs at 178g, pretty much the same as the Rapha Pro Team Lightweight bibs. It's also more or less the same as a bunch of other bibs which make no particular claims regarding weight.
The pad is – as far as I could tell – the same as the one used in the Orkaan winter tights. The surface against the skin is smooth, but the top layer of foam underneath has unusually large perforations, designed to enhance breathability and keep your skin comfortable. It worked well for me in the winter tights and it does again here; I was comfortable for rides of several hours in these bibs (and this is by no means a given for me in some bibs).
Sizing was good too – the large size fitted me perfectly, with slightly more length on the thigh than most, which I prefer as I'm really not a fan of the Sean Yates look. As is increasingly common, there are no tacky silicone gripper strips, instead the "power band" is a 2-inch-wide strip of elastic fabric with a slight rubberised finish on the inside. It feels good, sits very flush again the skin and keeps the legs firmly in position faultlessly.
The bib straps are a mesh material, giving decent breathability, and they're wide enough to sit comfortably on the shoulders without digging in. The white colour makes them less conspicuous through your jersey than black, which is good too.
At the back, where they join the main fabric in the small of your back, is a pocket for your race radio. This detail is carried across from the Bioracer shorts on which these are based, and I must admit I think radio pockets are a bit lame. If you're racing at a level where you're allowed a radio, you'll be wearing team shorts, period. The UCI has broadened the categories where radios are allowed, to include races such as the Tour of Britain rather than just the top tier of stage racing (Tour de France, Giro, and so on), but still, really, what's the point (except perhaps that you'd fit a spare tube in there if you wanted)?
So how does the water resistance perform? Remember that video showing the Orkaan winter fabric? Well, it works a bit like that. Pour some water onto these bibs, even when the fabric is stretched tight on your thighs, and it mostly sits there without soaking in, and then rolls off. It's a neat trick for the cafe stop, in fact. Similarly, light showers or spray stay largely on the outside, at least for a while. If the water hits the fabric harder, such as in heavier rain or spray when you're going quickly, it'll get through fairly quickly, but twas ever thus with water-resistant Lycra. I'd argue some water resistance is always preferable to none. It's still working after a few washes, too, although it's a bit early to say whether it will last forever – quite often a DWR coating will become less effective over time.
Excellent summer-weight bib shorts with added water-resistance, ideal for damp but warm autumn days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Stolen Goat Ibex Bib Shorts
Size tested: Large
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?
Stolen Goat says: "These Ibex bib shorts match both green Ibex jerseys perfectly and offer the latest technological fabric available to cyclists looking for speed and comfort on the bike. These shorts have been designed with direct feedback from pro riders and have some incredible characteristics based upon the Aquaracer fabric utilised."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stolen Goat says: "Constructed from 'Aquaracer fabric'. This modern material is 40% lighter than traditional bib short Lycra, has a multidimensional stretch composition, factor 50 UV protection and a resistance to air and moisture despite being breathable!
"Aquaracer is perfectly breathable and yet has a resistance to air an moisture, making it super slippery through the air and most importantly keeping it dry and therefore lightweight all day long. It also has a strong resistance to chlorine, so if you want to use it for triathlon or just jump in the pool after your ride – you're good to go!
"The pad used here is also slightly lighter. Still thick enough to give you all day comfort (I have worn mine on 100+ mile rides), but lighter than a standard pad. Like all our shorts, the pad is perfectly positioned for maximum comfort on the bike.
"The seams are flat stitched and the leg is finished with a thick elastic power band to keep them perfectly in place mile after mile.
"The Ibex bib shorts are a remarkable proposition – lightweight, aero, ultra comfy and incredibly fast."
Hard to fault. Good quality materials, decent pad and all of the stitching is neat and tidy. The important seams are all flatlocked – some of the others aren't.
Take the key elements of summer-weight bib shorts (dialled fit, comfortable pad) and throw in a whole new card – water resistance.
I've had no issues with any Stolen Goat/Bioracer gear despite them being on heavy rotation. No suggestion that's about to change with these.
They're hardly heavy, but neither are they really any lighter than most summer-weight bibs. Loses half a star because they claim to be.
Very comfortable indeed.
£115 is serious money for bib shorts – they're the most expensive that Stolen Goat makes and £3 more than its winter bib tights. You're buying real quality, though; the comfort is on a par with the best, and the added bonus of water resistance is a real surprise on summer-weight bibs.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – kept me comfortable on long rides, and keep light showers or road-spray out.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fits me really well with enough length in the leg, the pad is a winner and the water resistance is a stand-out feature.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, really. If I'm being really picky, I think radio pockets on anything short of pro-level team kit are a bit lame.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
They're not cheap, but they're an unusual proposition – summer-weight bibs with water-resistant coating. They're also really comfy and well made, so they're hard to fault. I'm really impressed – hence the score.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 190cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Commuter – something with disc brakes, drop bars and a rack My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.