I have always preferred bib shorts over non-bibs, but BTwin's 700 Women's Padded Cycling Shorts really impressed me with their style and fit. Their black/grey design with a bright splash of colour on the leg cuffs means they can be worn with pretty much any jersey too.
The shorts offer a great fit around the thighs and bum, with a thick silicone gripper around the legs holding them securely in place. The leg length is shorter than some, finishing around the mid to lower thigh area; I don't like my shorts too long so this is a big selling point for me.
The high waist of the shorts sat round the bellybutton area and I did find this was a little roomy. However, I know compared with other women with my lower body size and shape, I do have a particularly small waist. Size-wise, the rest of the fit was good so I'd order your normal size. While they didn't fit snugly around my waist, I have other shorts featuring the same thick waist belt and crossover design that I have always found incredibly comfortable when riding.
One thing I particularly liked about these shorts is that I almost felt like I was riding in bibs. There was no unnecessary sagging of material around the bum or in the front of the shorts, despite the extra room around the waist. As an added bonus, it was nice to be able to go to the loo on long rides without having to strip off everything I was wearing!
BTwin says these shorts are designed for rides of three hours or more. I did find the padding with its gel inserts nicely cushioned and denser in all the right places, but while I was content to ride in them for three to four hours before I noticed any signs of discomfort, they just don't compare with some of the more technical shorts I've tried.
Then again, at just £24.99 you'll be hard pushed to find a better value pair of cycling shorts around. For the comfort, fit and style these offer, you could easily pay much more.
Comfortable, good fit and just about the best value for money you'll find
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 700 Women's Padded Cycling 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?
BTwin says the shorts are designed for "intensive cycling (rides lasing 3 hours or more)".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
BTwin says: "The waistband keeps these women's, bibless, cycling shorts comfortably in place. The ergonomic pad with gel inserts and 3 density levels offers excellent comfort."
The shorts were a great fit around the bottom and thigh area, and a lot of the time I felt like I was riding in bibs. I found the waistband a little roomy, but I know I have a particularly small waist in comparison to my bum and hips, so I doubt this is a universal problem.
I found these came up true to size, other than my small issue with the waistband.
Comfortable pad, and leg grippers were very secure so no major complaints here.
Really hard to fault these for value. Four hours' comfort in the saddle for £25 is hard to turn down.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The shorts washed well and don't appear to have lost any of their shape over the course of a few wears and washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pad was very comfortable for several hours in the saddle, and not noticeably uncomfortable upwards of four hours, but equally not the best I've tried.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I love the colourful design on the leg cuffs and the surprisingly comfortable chamois.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No major dislikes.
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
The shorts performed pretty well all around and I was surprised at how comfortable I found the chamois. Fit was generally excellent, though there was a little extra room around the waist, and I just can't fault them for value.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.