De Marchi's lightweight Contour shorts are aimed at racers, whereas the Pure Classic is made from slightly thicker material and cut in a style that’s slightly more traditional – or ‘sober’ according to De Marchi’s own website.
Sober or not, these are a fine pair of shorts, ideal for summer training or sportive riding. Many riders will find them perfectly good for racing too. I’ve done a few hundred miles in them so far – including two rides over 90 miles – and they’re very comfortable, with no pinching or chafing.
The heart of a pair of shorts is of course the pad or insert (still often called the ‘chamois’, even though most are synthetic material theses days). The De Marchi's chamois stretches with the shorts as the body flexes within them, using what De Marchi call ‘Genuine Elastic Interface’, which avoids chafing and improves comfort. I find the pads in some shorts too bulky a layer between the saddle and me, but this one feels just right.
The legs don’t creep up when riding thanks to strips of silicone gripper while the bib straps are mesh and fit snugly over the shoulders, and don’t slip off.
The panels are well put-together. All the stitching is neat, and we had no loose threads - maybe explained by the label on the inside proudly declaring that the shorts are 'Hand-made in Italy'.
Little touches include some reflective flashes in the seams on the back of the leg to be picked out by car headlights if you’re riding after dark. There’s also a little label at the back of the right leg - a slightly darker version of the Italian flag. There’s no zip at the front of the bib, but you don’t need one as the top of the fabric just comes up to about navel height.
The De Marchi name has a legacy that goes back to the 1940s, and their website plays on this a bit, with some grainy B&W pics of old-time Tour and Giro stars. But to be fair, this company has maintained its quality over the years, and still sell fine products. Priced at £60, these shorts are good value for money.
Very comfortable shorts, ideal for summer training or sportive riding, at a good price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: De Marchi Pure Classic bib short
Size tested: M
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 49 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,