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New brand Saikel is out to make a statement with its stylish kit and has started out, controversially, with a pair of blue bib shorts. That's right, the Chevrons Bib Shorts are not black, but I rather like them. Not only does the blue make them a perfect match with the Chevrons jersey, but it stands out and makes a refreshing change. They're also very comfortable, but they are rather pricey.
The key element of any good pair of shorts is a great chamois. The Chevrons shorts have a simple looking and minimal feeling chamois. It does its job, though, and I happily spent over four hours riding in the shorts on multiple occasions. Although not the most comfortable shorts I've ever worn, I experienced no major discomfort or chafing.
My only complaint would be that there is less padding around the front of the shorts and when shifting to the front of my saddle and riding in a more aerodynamic position, I found myself wishing for some extra cushioning. That's pretty personal, though, and you might get on fine with it.
The shorts feature wide leg cuffs with a silicone gripper that is extremely comfortable and holds them perfectly in place without squeezing your legs too tightly.
Size-wise, I wore a medium which matches my measurements on the Saikel size guide, so I'd say they come up pretty true to size and were a good fit all-round.
The shorts have a high waist and mesh back to the bib section with wide, extremely stretchy seamless straps. I found them supportive and incredibly comfortable and didn't notice the straps at all while riding.
A price tag of £145 (based on current exchange rates) is certainly a lot to pay and is only marginally cheaper than top brands like Rapha and Maap. You can get similar style and quality for less – take a look at the Santini Women's Volo Bib Shorts at £125, for instance, or for £95, 2XU's Women's Sub Cycle Bib Shorts.
Overall, while I love the unusual colour and design, it's also potentially their biggest drawback, as it does mean these shorts are best paired with the Chevrons jersey and might not match the rest of your cycling wardrobe. They do perform well, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed riding in them.
A stylish and comfortable pair of shorts, but they are expensive and the colour could limit your choice of jersey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Saikel Chevrons Shorts (women's)
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Our chevron 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.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
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.
The wide cut leg gripper continues the clean lines throughout the whole kit and reduces the likelihood of the famous 'sausage leg'.
Lovely fit all round.
Sized up as expected from the guide.
Very comfortable, though I have worn shorts I'd score even higher.
While I loved riding in these shorts, £145 is a lot to spend – up there with Rapha and Maap – and there are quite a few cheaper options out there that do the job just as well. Although very comfortable, they aren't quite top of that tree for me.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems on a 30 degree cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfortable for several hours in the saddle and a great fit; I had few complaints while riding in these shorts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The design means you're a bit restricted on what jersey to wear.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes (although only with the matching jersey).
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I thoroughly enjoyed testing these shorts and loved heading out in the matching jersey and socks too, but they are quite pricey. Overall, I'd say their performance and fit are very good, but the price makes them a 7.
About the tester
I usually ride: Planet X London Road My best bike is: Bowman Palace:R
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.