Home
Verdict: 
Great fit and a barely noticeable pad makes for a really good pair of shorts
Weight: 
180g
Contact: 
Alé Corsa Bibshorts
8 10

After my first ride in the Alé Corsa bib shorts, I was sure I was going to find the price to be double that of their £65 rrp, the fit and comfort was so impressive. With shaped panels, the Corsas can feel ungainly off the bike, but once in the saddle they are very good indeed.

  • Pros: Excellent performance fit, barely noticeable pad
  • Cons: Leg grippers can be a little restrictive if you have large thighs

A simple way of determining whether a pair of shorts are any good is whether you pay them any attention at all while riding; when you put on a new pair and don't notice them for the entire ride, especially the pad, that suggests they're doing their job well – and this is exactly what happened with the Corsas. I had to remind myself to concentrate on what I could feel so that I could at least get some feedback on the ride.

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_riding.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_riding.jpg

These shorts use Alé's 4HF chamois, a saddle-shaped pad of quite a firm density, with a much softer section in the middle to remove perineal pressure and therefore numbness. And that's it, really, no channels or various steps of padding anywhere.

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_pad.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_pad.jpg

I found the whole thing firm enough to take the bumps out of the ride without it ever feeling bulky as your legs move up and down when pedalling.

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_back.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_back.jpg

As the ride length increased, the comfort levels stayed the same.

Alé uses body mapping for its bib shorts, like a lot of companies do, which means that the various panels are cut in a shape that will reflect the rider when on the bike and in position.

ale_corsa_bibshorts.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts.jpg

It works very well here, with no areas of the shorts feeling tight or restrictive when you are riding. The mesh bib section has a snug fit to keep everything in position without being pulled tight over the shoulders, and there is no bunching of the material on the legs as you go through the pedalling motion.

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_straps_front.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_straps_front.jpg

My only niggle would be the 5cm thick leg grippers which are quite snug, and as the rides got over three hours the pressure was noticeable. Looking at the sizing chart, I'm spot on for these mediums across the board so I put this down to the fact that I have quite large thighs, 23.5in where the grippers sit (it's not me in the photos).

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_cuff_gripper.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_cuff_gripper.jpg

For a little bit of visibility you can get the Corsas with either fluoro yellow or white Alé logos, plus they have a reflective band around each leg.

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_cuff.jpg

ale_corsa_bibshorts_-_cuff.jpg

Examine the shorts closely and you'll struggle to find a flaw in the stitching or finish, which is very good for a relatively affordable pair, by Alé standards. They compare well on price with others too: the Wearwell Revivals I tested recently, for example, come in at £128; I appreciate there is a difference in manufacturing scale between the two brands, but I'd say the Corsas have a better pad. And the Northwave Extreme bib shorts, which are also really good, come in at just under 90 quid.

> Buyer's Guide: 22 of the best cycling bib shorts

In conclusion, I'd say the Corsas are great if you want a high-performing pair of shorts at a sensible price.

Verdict

Great fit and a barely noticeable pad makes for a really good pair of shorts

road.cc test report

Make and model: Ale Corsa Bibshorts

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Alé says, "Made for riding comfort above all else, regardless of body type, the new Solid Cracle Bibshort has been made with a multi-panel Comfort Fit. Lycra Performer 210g/m2 fabric is used throughout with its excellent coverage and decent muscle support. The bib is made from an extremely elastic and breathable micro mesh fabric, while the 5cm die-cut Leg Stability System keeps the legs in place without restricting blood flow or freedom of movement."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Alé lists these features:

CONSTRUCTION

Body Mapping / Mesh stability System

DETAILS

– Super comfort Fit

– Leg hem with Security Reflex

– Straps made in micropierced elastic mesh fabric

AVAILABLE SHAMMY

SHAMMY 4H F

Shammy '4HF' made of elastic micro-fiber with padding strategically positioned in the contact points. In the perineal and ischiatic area, the 90 kg/cm2 density padding is calibrated and breathable on all covered points to ensure utmost protection against shocks and stresses of the road.

TEXTILE COMPOSITION

MAIN FABRIC

80% POLIAMMIDE

20% ELASTAN

FRONTAL INSERT

75% POLIAMMIDE

25% ELASTAN

BACK

75% POLIAMMIDE

25% ELASTAN

STRAPS

75% POLIAMMIDE

25% ELASTAN

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

A really nice cut for fast road riding and Alé's sizing is similar to that of the UK brands.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

There have been no issues after quite a few washes.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really impressive race shorts for quite a small outlay.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Performance vs cost.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Tight leg grippers.

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

The Corsas are simple shorts done well with a decent pad at their heart, and an excellent cut for performance riding. Great price too.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

1 comments

Avatar
dartmoorplugger [4 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I've just bought these, from an online retailer at quite a lot less than this price. I'd agree with the review, for the money they are great shorts. I too found the leg grippers a bit tight, the shorts take a bit of getting on and getting the grips in the correct place. Once there, really comfy though, I've not tried them on any long rides yet, but I reckon they'll be good. They've also been good at coping with the recent high temps, I've ridden in all the recent sunny spells, so 30oC+, and they kept me comfortable. I thought my thighs were a bit big for the medium (I'm 1.83m and around 80kg, so a bit bigger than the reviewer, but just in the medium), but wow, 23.5 inch thighs where the gripper is? Really? Measuring mine, they were a measly 17-18 there, and not even 23.5 at the very widest part! Stu, you must have 85% of your bodyweight in your thighs!!! Forstermannesque!