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To go with the warm and sunny weather the UK has been experiencing recently, Ekoi's Gel Nation Evo2 bib shorts (matching its patriotic range of Evo2 jerseys – review to come) feature a particularly thin Lycra that is very good at helping you regulate your body temperature. The downside is it can make you feel slightly exposed. Don't worry, I checked to see if this was actually the case and it's not – but throughout my test rides I couldn't quite shake the feeling.
That's a personal issue, though, and will affect some more than others. Elsewhere, quality is good. The pad is gel-based and features a few perforations for added ventilation. It's not particularly bulky, but is good for long days in the saddle.
The grippers around the leg follow the aero style of the range, with a textured fabric that holds fast and comfortably to the skin. Leg length is about average for a pair of bib shorts.
The bib section is also of good quality – comfortable straps with the entire upper made of a black mesh fabric, and long enough to accommodate a long body too. However, while the fabric itself is good, there's far too much of it for my liking. Considering the apparent summer weight pretentions of the shorts, it's surprising there should be so much material here; while cycling, it reaches almost to the base of my sternum, covering my entire midriff, and then some – much like you'd expect of a pair of winter bib tights.
The extra fabric means heat tends to be retained here – not ideal. Furthermore, it makes going to the toilet difficult. Pulling down the front is genuinely quite difficult, and it's not like there's a zip to help with access. Ekoi could certainly do better here.
Out of the wash they return as new, so signs are good for longevity, despite the thin feel of the fabric. Additionally, the pad – probably the best part of the shorts – is also hardwearing in the face of detergent.
Ekoi is currently promoting a lot of its products at 50% off, these bib shorts included. At full price, I'd say £92.05 is too much for what you get – certainly I'd hope for a better-thought-out bib section – but at £46.03, it's a different story. Match them with the jersey counterpart and it makes for a good value set at the current price point.
A good pair of bib shorts but a bit too much fabric up top for my liking, and on the pricey side
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ekoi Gel Nation Evo2 Angleterre
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?
Sporty summer bib shorts with a patriotic touch; matches the Evo2 jersey.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Gel-based chamois
- Textured grippers
- Black mesh bib section
- Union Jack colours
No faults have emerged, although it is made with thin Lycra.
Cool performance in warm conditions. Very good here.
No problems out of the wash, although the fabric does feel thin and fragile.
Comfortable fit, complete with very good textured grippers.
A medium was perfect for me, as I'd hope.
Feels lightweight, though the bib section is needlessly bulky.
Comfortable to wear, although the fabric feels like it only just about covers you up.
Average value at full RRP (but there's currently a 50% off deal).
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine, and the chamois returned as new each time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Leg grippers, decent pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Way too much fabric in the bib section.
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
Decent bib shorts, but for me the bib section needs rethinking.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding