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Wearing PEdAL ED's Daikann Winter Bibshort with some Giordana leg warmers, I found they did a nice job of keeping my middle section warm and comfortable, but they're better suited to someone a little shorter and stockier than me.
Capitalisation crazy PEdAL ED is a brand that's been running since 2007, founded by a Tokyo fashion designer called Hideto Suzuki. It was created with the aim of making the most comfortable and long-lasting cycling wear on the market, with a Japanese aesthetic running through the range. Originally the gear was all made in Japan, but Suzuki-san later moved some manufacture to Italy, arguably the origin of some of the finest cycling wear over the years.
Generally in the colder months, most of us reach for full-length cycling tights (or the turbo), so winter bib shorts might sound an odd concept. But the idea is that you pair them up with leg warmers, and the Daikann bibs are of a similar weight to Roubaix types.
The inside has a soft and fleecy inner layer which feels very comfortable against the skin. The outside is black and not shiny, with only the reflective text in English and Japanese on the outside of each thigh to break things up a bit. The English text on the right thigh is a bit too reminiscent of Rapha's similar logo on its bibs for my liking, but otherwise it's an uncontroversial look generally that goes well with whatever else you're wearing.
On the inside, there's a Cytech pad – the Italian manufacturer whose chamois are seen in cycling shorts from a vast number of brands. It's an odd-looking one, with the left and right sides faced in different colour material. An obvious consequence of this is that there's a seam right down the middle of the pad, from front to back, in a place where conventional wisdom would suggest you don't want one. I'm happy to report however that this never bothered me in use – the stitching is buried deep enough in the padding that it never caused any irritation.
The pad used goes by the name of the Endurance Anatomic Joker and is made from two different high-density foams. In the main load-bearing areas, there's 12mm-thick 80kg/m3 foam, and around the edges a lower density 60kg/m3 is used in a 3mm thickness.
In short, I got on with the pad just fine. Cytech suggests it's okay for rides of up to five or six hours and I would go along with that. The top layer of the pad is made of a material called EIT X-Tract, designed to allow the skin to breathe and to dry quickly. Unlike some pads, I couldn't detect any perforations going through the foam, but perhaps thanks to that top layer fabric, I found that unwelcome moisture didn't build up when riding hard.
The leg grippers are the same as seen in the Raku bibs we've reviewed previously, designed for sensitive skin, says Pedal ED. They don't seem that unusual; instead of a continuous strip of silicone there are small grippy logos around the inside of the leg openings. The detail is slightly unusual-looking from the outside, with this strip protruding slightly from the main leg for a stepped appearance. The main thing is that they were tacky enough to held onto my leg warmers just fine, and on warmer days they were entirely comfortable against the skin too.
Construction of the uppers is similar to those used on the Raku bibs, which Iwein found got a bit sweaty in the summer. I would agree that a single layer bib strap would be my preference for warm days but here I didn't have any issues for winter use. The straps are made in two layers, of which the outer is a Lycra and the inner layer, which sits against the skin, is a fine mesh. I found them comfortable and they stayed in place without a problem. There is enough stretch in the fabric to make getting in and out unproblematic.
Paired with decent leg warmers, the Daikann bibs were comfortable in a temperature range of around 4-12°C, and without the leg warmers on warmer days. For really cold days, or particularly when there was a biting wind, I wanted something with greater wind blocking, and they certainly wouldn't be my first choice if there was rain forecast – there's no water-resistant treatment to the fabric. If you ride in all conditions then that's perhaps the main weakness here; at this price point water resistance is becoming more and more common.
These are an expensive pair of bib shorts, but measured against those of a similar quality from the likes of Rapha, the price is about what I'd expect from a fairly niche brand (they're €150, so what you pay will depend on the exchange rate; at the time of writing they're around £120). They aren't twice as good as some winter bibs from the likes of Dhb, which you could buy for half the price, but that's how it generally goes, and I'd expect them to appeal to cyclists who like wearing less mainstream brands.
Finally, a word on the fit. I found the leg length a couple of inches shorter than my ideal – but I am fairly tall at 6ft 2in. I felt they would best suit someone a bit stockier than me too; they were certainly not baggy around the thighs, but they fitted a bit more loosely than most of my bib shorts. If you find most shorts tend to come up a bit tight, these are definitely worth a look.
Well-made winter bib shorts that offer great comfort; a good choice, particularly for the stockier cyclist
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pedal ED Daikann Winter Bibshort
Size tested: Large, 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?
PEdAL ED says: "Changing northern conditions in spring and autumn require a warm, versatile, fleece-lined bib short that can be combined with leg warmers to keep you comfortable throughout the ride. Featuring custom elastic at the cuffs for riders with sensitive skin. Outfitted with a Cytech® pad, the top level of padding available on the market, the Frost is sure to keep you as comfortable as it will warm. Made in Italy with reflective details."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Very well put together from high-quality material.
They do a decent if not class-leading job of keeping the top half of your legs warmer on cooler rides – the fleecy lining is really cosy against the skin, but the fabric is perhaps less wind-resistant than the very best. There is no water-resistance.
No areas of concern and the reflective decals are still in place.
They would ideally suit shorter, stockier riders than me. I'd like another inch or two in the leg length and they sat pretty lightly around my thighs; not loose, and certainly no barrier to comfort or aesthetics, but not the most supportive either.
For obvious reasons, this doesn't affect the overall mark.
Winter-weight bib shorts are necessarily a little heavier than summer bibs, but that's for a good reason.
I had an initial worry about the seam down the middle of the pad, but it's tucked down enough that I had no issue with it – they are very comfortable even on long rides.
They are from a niche brand and compared to other niche brands that turn out high quality kit like this, the price isn't excessive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No complaints – it went through on a 40°C cycle with non-bio detergent a bunch of times without any ill-effects.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They did a good job – looking smart and keeping me comfortable on rides of varying lengths. My only issue was with fit – I think they'd be a better choice for a different shaped body than mine.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Left-field looks and decent comfort. I also like that the graphics on the thighs are reflective dark-grey – this looks much smarter in the daytime than conventional silver reflective decals in my view.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fit wasn't ideal for tall thin coves like me. PEDantic caPitalisation.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, but only really because I'm not the right shape for it.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If you're the right shape, then these are a perfectly decent choice of winter leg wear. They are comfortable and warm, with only the lack of any rain protection marking them down against some competition.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh 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.