The Nalini AHS Marmotte bib shorts perform well on the bike, are comfortable over long distances, and offer good wicking and ventilation.
- Pros: Comfortable pad, nice stretch in the material for ease of movement
- Cons: Nothing major to note
The Marmotte shorts sit below the Italian brand's top-of-the-range Tourmalet Black and 'Vintage' designs. The main difference between the Marmotte and Tourmalet shorts is the pad, with the Tourmalet using the '1nt3gra' insert and the Marmotte using the Tiger Long.
I found the Tiger Long pad very comfortable; I didn't feel any real discomfort even after four hours out on rough roads. It offers a good level of wicking and ventilation, while also having enough cushioning to deaden most bumps in the road.
Elsewhere Nalini has used a 'four-way stretch' Lycra with UV protection. It allows plenty of freedom of movement, making them very comfortable on the bike. Each leg is made up of four panels, using flatlock stitching to prevent chafing while pedalling. The fabric is also good for wicking and quickly moved sweat away from the skin, something that was much appreciated when testing these during the recent heatwave.
At the bottom of each leg is a 60mm wide hem, of which 45mm is built-in silicone grippers. This holds the hem firmly in place; there was absolutely no movement up the leg during sustained use, even when I was particularly sweaty.
On the left leg Nalini has also included two high-vis logos, which are subtle during the day but offer a nice bit of visibility in low-light conditions, though it would be better if this was on the right for UK customers.
Up top, the bib shorts have wide, comfortable straps made of mesh across the back and from around halfway up the front. The cutout on the back allows for better ventilation and heat dissipation.
The straps have a fair amount of stretch in them, which adds to their comfort.
One of the key selling points of these bib shorts is their compression qualities. You do notice a bit of a compression effect, but without a lab it's hard to judge exactly how much impact this has.
Build quality is very good, with the flatlock stitching used throughout holding strong through a month of almost constant use and the logos on the legs not looking like peeling even after going through several washes.
With an rrp of £110, the Marmotte shorts aren't cheap but with the quality of construction, the pad, and the fabric choices, I'd say it's a fair price. That said, they're a tenner more than Rapha's Core bib shorts and Castelli's Velocissimo IVs, and £20 more than the very highly rated Lusso Carbons.
They're cheaper than dhb's Aeron Lab Raceline bib shorts, but those do offer a few more technical features for the extra £20.
Overall I'd say these bib shorts are very good; they have a very comfortable pad, offer a good amount of stretch, and wick moisture well.
A very good pair of bib shorts that are comfortable over long hours in the saddle
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nalini AHS Marmotte bib shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Nalini says, "Bibshort ergonomically shaped on the ride position, with high features muscle support fabrics and UV protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Nalini lists these features:
· Main fabric is Lycra Sport with good muscle support, recovery features and UPF+50
· Braces in soft peach hand stretch mesh
· Bibs in breathable stretch mesh
· Braces system with central back opening, designed to improve comfort and ventilation
· Microfiber lightweight elastic band at bottom leg with silicone gripper inside
· Reflective logos
· 4 ndls flatlock stitchings
· Lycra fabrics muscle support features and UPF +50, stretch mesh, Heat Performance
Well made with strong flatlock stitching throughout.
Performed very well throughout the review. The material allows for ease of movement while also having strong wicking qualities.
Seems well made with a good material choice, so likely to last a long time.
They fitted well, thanks in no small part to both the stretch in the fabric used and the strong leg grippers which kept everything in place well.
The mediums I tested fitted well and along the lines of what I would expect from an Italian brand.
The pad used was perfectly comfortable even after several hours on rough roads, plus the wicking qualities of the fabric quickly moved moisture away from my skin.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy: I washed them several times at 30 degrees without any issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, they were comfortable, breathable, and wicked moisture well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The leg grippers were particularly impressive, holding the bib shorts in place really well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There was nothing major that jumped out as noticeably negative.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are £10 more than Rapha's Core bib shorts and Castelli's Velocissimo IVs, and £20 more than Lusso's Carbons. Although the dhb Aeron Lab Raceline bib shorts are £20 more, they offer a few more technical features.
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
They're very good: comfortable for long rides, high wicking, with good fabric choice and excellent leg grippers.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.