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Kalf has stuck with its highly rated design formula of performance fit, good chamois and great value to create these excellent Flux Print bib shorts, with subtle colour tweaks to match them to the Flux Print jersey.
Exclusive-to-Evans Cycles brand Kalf emerged last year with its debut range of jerseys and bib shorts, which I reviewed, commenting especially on their very good performance and quality for a very reasonable asking price.
The Flux Print bib shorts largely mirror the Flux Chevrons of last year in all but name and some colour tweaks.
To save repeating myself verbatim from that review last year, let's go over the highlights briefly. An Elastic Interface Flux chamois provides good high-density padding for century rides, the leg grippers are textured in the distinctive chevron design that doesn't result in chafing, and the legs are cut slightly higher than most models – perfect for summer use.
Flatlock stitching throughout is high quality, resilient and well positioned to improve comfort, and the design continues to feature Kalf's distinctive iridescent branding.
The bib section is the same too, with plenty of elasticity and a crossover design that distributes tension very nicely across the shoulders without cutting inwards.
In fact, there's lots of elasticity throughout the entire construction while remaining supportive, helping boost their performance-orientated feel.
So what's changed? Essentially, the colour. The bib section features a more subtle blue chevron design on the inside of the straps, while the thin hems that protrude the bottom of the legs are navy blue too (in place of the coral of the Chevron bibs). As a result, you could argue that the new design can match more subtly with other pieces of kit – it certainly does with both the green Flux Chevron jersey I reviewed last year and this year's matching purple Flux Print jersey (full review to come).
Given the similarities in construction, it's reasonable to assume quality will be the same as with the Chevrons, and I've still got no complaints with those. They've lasted really well into this summer with fairly regular use in warm weather. In this job, you get exposed to lots of kit, but it's testament to their quality that they sit alongside other bib shorts from the likes Rapha and Castelli in my wardrobe.
Happily, unlike the jersey range that has seen a price increase, the bib shorts continue to cost £85, which still represents excellent value given the performance they provide. And, with the experience of wearing the Chevron bib shorts before them, I can vouch for their durabilty: they're going to last for longer than one season – there's no downside in resilience and quality that I can see.
At this price, the level of quality and performance is astonishing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kalf Flux Print Men's Bib Short
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Kalf says: "Back in black with a new Bright Navy colourway for SS18. The Kalf Flux Chevron Men's Bib Short is the result of hundreds of hours of development both on and off the bike. The unique bonded bridge on the bib straps is designed to pull the fabric of the shorts into the body without pressuring the rider's neck. The newest warp knitting technology in the Lycra provides compression, durability and moisture wicking at a minimal weight.
"Any short is measured by its pad and the Elastic Interface Flux pad with its dual layers of X-TRACT fabric and high-density foam is designed to keep you both dry and comfortable. Detailing on these shorts includes reflective logos and internally printed straps."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Evans lists these features:
Flux Chamois - The Elastic Interface Flux pad has been developed through extensive testing, resulting in a uniquely curved and comfort-enhancing chamois. The proof is obviously in the sitting, but if you want to know the details here goes. It's made from a double layer structure of EIT X-TRACT fabric to help collect and expel moisture, and combines all-way stretch with a special high-density foam to maximise comfort and performance. The pad has a central channel to relieve pressure from the perineal zone and allow for unimpeded blood flow.
Reflective details - Moving away from the recent trend to all things fluoro, our designers have added reflective details – often very discreetly – to bring visibility without visual assault.
Like last year's Chevron bib shorts, there's nothing to raise eyebrows here.
Very high standard all round.
I've been very impressed with how the Chevron version have lasted in the past year – no reason to suspect anything else here.
Shorter leg will appeal to many in the face of a growing trend towards near-knee-length bib shorts.
A medium fits very well on me, with a slim silhouette throughout.
192g is very light. A 3g increase can be attributed to manufacturing tolerances and variation in road.cc's Scales of Truth.
The bib section is a particular highlight, while the chamois is very impressive for the price. The leg bands remain, but I've got used to them.
For the quality on offer, £85 is excellent value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I've had no trouble in this area.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's almost impossible to fault, to be honest.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cut, performance, comfort, design, value.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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 overall score
One of the best value pairs of performance bib shorts around in my view.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding