Designed to be paired with the jersey of the same name, these Saikel Segments bib shorts are Italian made and provide impressive comfort on the saddle for short and long rides, with a great fit and a nice dash of style around the wide elastic hems.
Saikel is a new company on the scene with an ambition to inject a bit of style and boldness into the marketplace. Segments is one of two designs currently available, with men's and women's versions and matching sets. While the jersey is very much in your face, the shorts are much calmer, with just a little colour around the hems.
Two things are important in a pair of bib shorts: seated comfort and the fit. The first is taken care of here by an Italian made Elastic Interface padded insert. It's a simple looking thing but provides good comfort, with seamless edges and plenty of foam padding in three densities to suit the areas where it's needed.
Fit is also really good. The multi-panel design sees a really nice shape around the legs and hips, with enough stretch in the fabric to ensure they don't feel overly compressive.
The wide elasticated hems, very much in vogue at the moment, ensure good comfort without squeezing the legs too tight. There's no silicone gripper, though, and on the first ride I found the hems riding up a bit, though they've been just fine on all subsequent rides. The legs are also a bit longer than some.
The front of the shorts comes up quite high, which helps tuck everything in (ahem) and nature breaks were easy enough.
Likewise, the rear comes up high, with a mesh panel joining the bib straps all the way to above the shoulder blades. The bib straps are wide and stretchy and provide the necessary support without any discomfort at all.
The Italian-sourced Lycra has a reasonable degree of stretch to it, which helps with the fit in combination with the multi-panel design. It's good in high temperatures as well, never feeling too hot, so it clearly breathes.
You could pair these shorts with another jersey, but you're risking a colour/design clash. They're best served up with the matching Segments jersey (review to come), which might limit their appeal somewhat.
Ignore that, though, and they are very comfortable shorts – not something that's in short supply in the cycling market right now, though, and many are at much lower prices and easier availability.
Saikel only sells direct and in euros, and the €170 price converts to about £150 at the time of writing. That puts them up against some stiff competition. You could, for example, buy the excellent Sportful Bodyfit Pro Ltd shorts, which offer comparable performance and save yourself some money, and for a tenner less there are the also excellent Castelli Free Aero Race bib shorts.
Quality shorts with great fit and comfort, but best served with matching jersey, and the price is high
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Saikel Segments Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Saikel says, "Our segments bib shorts perfectly complement the jersey with a subtle pattern detail on the leg gripper while offering a unique and practical design which moves the seams away from the pressure points to keep you in the saddle for longer.
"Our chamois was developed by the leader in Italian manufacturing using three different foam densities to reinforce stability, comfort and blood flow for those long training rides. Our bib shorts are high waisted with a rear mesh panel to keep you feeling snug all day. Wide bib straps add to comfort levels across the shoulders no matter which riding position you're in."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The wide cut leg gripper continues the clean lines throughout the whole kit and reduces the likelihood of the famous 'sausage leg'.
Manufactured in Italy from high quality Italian fabrics.
During spring and autumn's fresher days, complete the kit with leg warmers.
Nicely made shorts.
Decent performance with good fit and seated comfort, up there with other shorts in this price bracket.
Thus far, durability has been fine.
Size medium shorts fitted perfectly and compare nicely to more well-known brands.
The material is soft next to the skin, the fit is good and the padded insert is top notch.
The performance, fit and comfort compare well to other shorts of the same, or similar, price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Goes in the regular wash just fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provides the level of performance you'd expect at this price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable chamois and good fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Goes best with the matching jersey.
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 overall score
Very good shorts but at a high price, which stops them scoring higher. Other than that, there's nothing really to dislike here – although the colourful hems need careful jersey pairing.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.