The Aldi Men's Performance Bib Shorts are a basic option but they put in a reasonable performance and they're very cheap.
Let's start with the gel-insert seatpad that's made in Italy by Dolomiti. The cushioning in the perineal area is thin but it's much more generous further back under the ischium. That meant that I was much more comfortable when sitting upright than I was leaning a long way forward onto the drops. It's quite a breathable pad and the face fabric feels perfectly okay next to your skin.
Aldi says this pad is 'perfect for medium-distance rides of about four hours'. Personally, I'd not want to use it for that long. I found it comfortable enough for a couple of hours, but I'd want something with more depth for riding further.
The six-panel body of the shorts consists of two different fabrics (they're not just different colours): one's polyamide/elastane and the other is polyester/elastane. The different materials are equally stretchy although I didn't find them particularly supportive. There's not much compression to them so they went more baggy than usual at the front of the hips on every upstroke, rather than shrinking to sit close to the body, if you know what I mean. Part of that is down to the generous cut. I always take either a medium or a large. I went for medium here and they were still a touch roomy.
The fabrics are quite thin, although not so fine that you'll put anyone riding behind you off their lunch. They're fairly breathable and dry out reasonably quickly when you sweat.
The leg grippers are a highlight, silicone in the mix helping to keep them in place against your skin. I found them to be close fitting without being over-tight.
The polyester/elastane bib section is both stretchy and breathable, and the straps are wide enough to be comfortable over the shoulders.
All in all, these shorts probably aren't going to be anyone's Sunday best but they do a basic job reasonably well.
Basic cycling shorts that put in a reasonable performance for a very low price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Aldi Men's Performance Bib Shorts
Size tested: 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?
Aldi says, "With light-mesh bib and braces, these high-performance shorts will take your ride to the next level. A moisture management system will keep you dry and comfortable, while reflective details will help make you visible on the road. They feature a Dolomiti seatpad, with a gel insert and antibacterial fabrics - perfect for medium-distance rides of about 4 hours."
These are basic shorts for all-round cycling use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Aldi lists these features:
* Optifit braces and anti-slip bands to keep the shorts securely in place.
* Ergonomic-shaped pad with integrated gel cushions, offering comfort, freshness and antibacterial treatment.
* Suitable for medium-distance rides (around 4 hours).
* Reflective details for high visibility.
* Made from PerEffect fabric to keep skin optimally dry.
It's a basic cut and the main fabrics are quite thin and lacking in compression, but the build quality is decent enough.
They fit next to the body, obviously, but not as tightly as many other cycling shorts out there.
I found the sizing large.
The seatpad is okay, but I wouldn't want to use it for more than a couple of hours at a time.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple. It just goes in the machine with all your other bike stuff.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Reasonably well, but you'd have to say that these are basic shorts as opposed to high-quality shorts, as you'd expect at this price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
If only all bike shorts were this cheap.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The main fabric of the shorts doesn't feel particularly high quality.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I don't think so.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend to someone just getting into cycling who wants something basic, or to someone doing short rides only.
Use this box to explain your score
Not convinced they deserve a 7, but their price certainly helps lift them above average.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.