BTwin continually manages to impress us with its products here at road.cc and these Aerofit Cycling Bib Shorts are no different. Ridden in the pro ranks by FDJ, these bibs offer a great fit, superb comfort, and just all-round excellence, all for a penny under 50 pounds. Astounding.
Doing this job you get to wear a lot of bib shorts; as soon as there is a glimpse of spring in the air your testing schedule becomes overrun with Lycra. Despite wearing all these different pairs, as soon as I put on the Aerofits I knew they were right up there. And that was before I took a gander at the price.
One of the main reasons they instantly feel so good is the make up of the legs. The bottoms of the legs use a thicker material than the rest of the shorts, and has its threads running around the circumference to create a kind of band. Add a silicone gripper to the mix and this stops them moving.
I have large thighs, so I can find a lot of shorts quite restrictive, especially as time in the saddle increases. The Aerofits have an elasticated strip which runs vertically up the legs, interrupting that leg gripper; it's like an expansion joint, if you will, and means whatever size your upper leg, the shorts are compressive without being restrictive.
Years ago, bib shorts were split into a few categories depending on how many panels they were made of – six, eight or ten – with the most usually providing more comfort and freedom of movement. It's not something you hear much of anymore, and shorts like the Aerofits are probably why – I got to about 20 before boredom set in, and probably explains why the BTwins fit like a glove.
What about the pad – the heart of any pair of shorts? Well, it's a big old chamois to be fair, but that doesn't mean you get a lot of bunching or anything, regardless of the size of your saddle. The main section is made up of six pads, split by channels – three each side and symmetrical, each of the same density, but the rear section of the pad being slightly thicker than the front.
What this all adds up to is a chamois that is supportive and comfortable without being overly squidgy or feeling like there is any excess material. You even get some ventilation holes in the central channels which keep you cool too.
Moving on up, the bib straps are pretty minimalistic, with wide, flat, over the shoulder loops, which means you don't get any fabric cutting in or pressure points.
A nod to their professional association is the radio pocket at the rear, which us unpaid weekend warriors can use for a debit card, cash or an mp3 player.
Value can be a tricky subject, but I'd love to meet someone who wears these and doesn't think their money has been well spent. When you look at the quality of materials, construction, fit, performance and comfort, the Aerofits are hard to beat at any price, let alone just 50 quid.
I tested the dhb Aerons a few weeks ago, which are phenomenal shorts, but the BTwins step things up a notch when you consider they are £15 cheaper at RRP. In fact, even at the discounted price of the Aerons I'd still plump for the Aerofits. Overall, they are very hard to beat from any angle.
Pro-level bib shorts at a superb price, which they achieve without compromise
road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin Aerofit Cycling 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?
The simple explanation from Decathlon is, "These men's cycling shorts are used by the FDJ cycling team pros. Optimal comfort guaranteed. Stretch bib to hold the shorts in place, elasticated strips around the thigh hem."
This somewhat under sells them in my opinion – they are a brilliant pair of shorts, made even better by the fact that they are only 50 quid.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
BTwin keeps things simple:
Ergonomic pad with gel inserts and 3 density levels for added comfort.
Excellent perspiration wicking thanks to the technical fabric.
Ergonomic cut. Elastic at the thigh hem.
Ultra-lightweight bib. Very slim fit.
Large pad, quick drying.
Feel well put together and finished.
Excellent fit and near perfect lightweight racing performance.
Hardwearing stitching and material.
As far as a pair of full-on racing shorts go these are excellent – I've not felt much better. Thin, compressive and great proportions.
A bit heavier than the excellent dhb Aerons but not so much that you'd notice.
I could ride in these for hours and hours.
£49.99 for pro-level bib shorts.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Like most, a simple 30 degree wash. A few mud spray marks didn't wash off the blue band at that temperature.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I love them. Excellent fitting, quality bib shorts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Absolutely!
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
An absolutely brilliant pair of bib shorts, pure and simple. Everything from the fit and the material to the performance has been considered and then made to work at this price point. Brilliant. If they were £70 or £80 I'd give them a 9, but for less than £50? It has to be full marks.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike 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
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.