If you're looking for a pair of high quality shorts for fast riding then the dhb Aeron Speed bibs certainly deliver. They're well made, with an excellent pad, and they're pretty comfortable too, with the odd proviso. They're good whether you're riding quickly, or for a long time, or even both.
The shorts are constructed using "coldblack®" technology and "Revolutional® Energy fabric". Lots of registered stuff, then. The fabric is very compressive and stretchy, offering 'perfect muscular compression as well as an aero fit'. I'm not sure how much more aero they are than any other shorts – Lycra shorts are generally skin tight, after all – but they do feel very comfortable for the most part.
The only proviso to that is that I found the sides were cut slightly short; I'd have liked them to extend higher up, and I found that they dug in a bit around the sides of the waist on longer rides (4+ hours).
It's not a deal breaker though, and there's plenty of comfort in the pad for rides much longer than that. It's a CyTech Comp HP chamois, and it's really good, with a complicated construction using various thicknesses and densities of padding, with a central channel to alleviate any pressure.
It's in exactly the right place and it offers really good levels of comfort. The maximum I rode the pad in one go was five hours; Cytech reckons it's good for six hours plus, and I'd have no issue with that.
The flat shoulder straps are nice and comfy and they stay put, as do the legs with their silicone particle gripper.
The Coldblack tech is designed to keep you cool in the heat, and although it hasn't been especially hot around here during testing they've been comfortable in the usual UK spring/summer conditions.
They wash well too, and they've proved very resistant to scuffs and bobbling where they're in contact with the saddle.
Overall they're excellent, and for £80 they're great value. I've had better shorts than these but I'm not sure I've tried better at this price. You're getting very high quality construction and a top-level pad for entry-level money from some other brands I could list.
Aside from being slightly off in the cut for me around the sides of the waist, it's hard to see how they could be improved for the money.
Super quality and a superb long distance pad, a really excellent pair of shorts for the money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Speed Bib Shorts
Size tested: Extra Large
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "Shorts for riding fast, the Aeron Speed bibs are perfect for riders looking for the next advantage. Combining technical fabrics with a pad designed for all day comfort, these bibs are ideal for racing, long days in the saddle, and everything between.
"dhb Aeron is all about all day performance, whatever the conditions. The Aeron Speed bibs take that to the next level, with a feature set designed for riding fast in hot weather."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb sweat the details. You just do the sweating.
In order to perform at your best in hot weather maintaining a stable temperature is key. That's why dhb have chosen to use coldblack® technology. It's designed to keep you cooler maximising your effort without overheating. Taking the Aeron Bib shorts and adding coldblack® technology adds a new dimension to hot weather riding.
The Revolutional® Energy fabric used for the Aeron Speed shorts offers a high compression action, with incredibly stretch providing perfect muscular compression as well as an aero fit - helping reduce fatigue and improving efficiency of movement. Not only this it is also highly breathable making it the perfect choice for hot weather cycling. To maximise moisture management still further you will also find an open mesh back panel greatly increasing ventilation and breathability. Designed to keep you feeling dry and cool in hot weather while avoiding wind chill in cooler weather or on breezy descents - having worked hard uphill we don't want you chilling on the downhills.
The bib straps are a super stretchy and lay-flat design that once on you'll barely notice are there. Shaped leg elastic with silicone particle grippers keep the legs in place securely but without squeezing the leg excessively.
coldblack® finishing reduces absorption of heat rays in dark colours. The result is tangibly better heat management: all the fabrics with coldblack® finishing heat up less, even in direct sunlight. The 195g/m2 fabric fits like a second skin, dries rapidly and offers exceptional breathability, helping you remain fresh even when pushing your limits. You also have the benefit of UV protection making the shorts perfect for those intending to ride in intense sun and heat.
CyTech Elastic Interface Comp HP Seatpad
Thermomoulded pad with a minimalist and flat design
One of the most successful Elastic Interface® cycling pads ideal for very long distance rides
Revolutionary fabric offering excellent temperature control and breathability thanks to the combination of soft polyamide and quick drying polyester threads
In-lay construction with a 60k g/m3 density foam frame which allows for a soft transition from the highly protective 120k g/m3 central foam insert to the 2mm padded wings
Central channel to support male anatomy relieving numbness and allowing blood flow
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They wash very well on a normal cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're excellent shorts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort from pad, high quality construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sides of the waist were a bit low for me.
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
Really well constructed shorts and very comfy, especially given that they're only £80.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.