British designed and made, Lusso's DRS bib shorts are easily on a par with the well known European brands. They're comfortable, look great, and aren't as damaging to your wallet as some. They might even make you faster, with their 'Drag Reducing Fabric'.
Although this British company has been around for 30-odd years, I'm ashamed to say this is the first bit of Lusso kit that I've tried. Blinded maybe by the big name Italian and Swiss brands, I've never really given Lusso a glance, and that might have been a mistake. Straight out of the bag for a first inspection, these shorts oozed quality, from their low weight to the feel of the fabric (which is actually Italian!), the deep pad and the excellent seam work.
The top billing with these shorts is the DRS – Drag Reduction System – or as I like to refer to it, 'golf ball' dimpling in the main material. The Italian Celona fabric also provides an element of compression. It's used for the whole body of the shorts, with just the very lower leg and gripper being different material, along with a much softer and thinner fabric for the back and bibs – very similar to baselayer fabric.
There's a built-in radio pocket, or for us mere mortals an ideal place to stash a credit card.
The leg gripper is wide at around an inch in depth rather than a single bead of silicone or similar, and works reasonably well.
The pad is described as an 8+ hour multi-layer piece from TMF (Italian again) – in shocking orange – which works well and does indeed stay comfy on rides of more than eight hours.
There is an element of reflective detail too: the logos and grippers are reflective as well as a couple of strips on the sides.
Fit-wise, the size medium suited my tall frame nicely (it's not me in the pics). I tend to find the shorts themselves OK with Euro brands, but quite often the bibs are just too short and dig in to my shoulders. Here they are perfectly sized, with no digging in or rubbing – UK sizing at work.
The pad sits nicely in the right place, too: no sense of rucking up or being too high front or back. The fancy material sits nicely against the skin, too, the excellent flatlocked seams, especially at the pad, meaning no discomfort when on.
On the bike that plush pad is the star. From the minute you get on it feels good – and still does hours later, which is what you really want. No rubbing or hot spots at all from the rest of the shorts either, makes for a comfortable day out on the bike. I quite like the light compression on the legs too. Those deep grippers work well, ensuring the legs don't ride up, although on hot days with a bit of a sweat on they can move a little when wet on the inside (with shaved pins at least).
So, the 'Drag Reduction System'... It has been proven that dimpling does indeed offer aero benefits, and in a race situation with full commitment it *might* make a tiny difference, but it's not something we can prove or disprove. In real world riding I doubt it makes any odds at all – but I think they look great, if nothing else.
Caring for them is a doddle: the usual cool wash and proper detergent keeping them looking as good as new. Even the printed logos are still in good order and not cracked or worn away. They dry super-quickly too, making for a quick turnaround should you want them again the next day.
Value-wise, at £120 they sit in the mid-range of good quality shorts, and for the quality of the garment and performance I would say they justify the cost. They're £20 cheaper than Castelli's Free Aero Race bib shorts, and £30 less than the Santini 365 Mago 2.0s, although the Hommage au Velo Booty bib shorts are £100.
Overall, if you want a British made garment that seems every bit as good as the established big Italian and Swiss brands, with perhaps a little extra speed thrown in, Lusso's DRS bib shorts are well worth a look.
British made, high quality and great performing shorts that rival the Euro brands
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso DRS bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
From Lusso: "DRS 'Drag Reduction System' BIBSHORTS, using the very latest compression and aero fabric from Italy
"They reduce drag using the latest fabrics in hand with Lusso's experience in design and fit.
"On top of that they noticeably cut fatigue by using a new TMF breathable +8hr pad which is unsurpassed in comfort and minimises friction at critical movement points thus eliminating chaffing. Finished with Italian SC75 leg grippers, providing high breathability and elasticity, reducing leg pressure."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pro level Fit
Celona Compression and Drag Reducing Fabric
SC75 Italian Leg Gripper with High Breathability, 75mm wide with reflective elements
New from TMF, an 8 hour breathable pad unsurpassed in comfort and ergonomic fitting
AirTech Bib Top with Rear Pocket
Double sewn in pad
Seams are flat sewn and overlocked
Anatomic race fit
360 degree Reflective Elements
Designed and Made In Manchester
They are really well put together, easily on a par with established big name brands.
They fit well, have a good pad and are comfortable on long rides with no irritation.
They have held up well, there are no see-through areas due to wear, and the logos are all still in one piece after multiple washes.
Really comfortable on, with no rubbing or pinch points anywhere and a really nice pad.
The size M tested fitted as expected, built by a British firm they size as they should – no Italian upsizing required.
Excellent – shorts aren't something you would notice weight-wise really when wearing, but at 203g they are negligible.
Again, super-comfy when on with no discomfort at all.
You can buy similar shorts for less, but equally you can pay more. For the comfort and performance it's hard to say they aren't worth the money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Follow the usual instructions and they wash well, no discolouring or damaged material and dry super-quick too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In all areas they were a great addition to any ride kit – comfort all day long and possibly marginally quicker...
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Subtle design, 'golf-ball' fabric, pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing at all.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The £120 price tag sits in the mid-range and there are no shortage of options, for example the Santini 365 Mago 2.0 sitting higher at £150 and the Hommage au Velo Booty shorts at bang on £100.
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
For the money, these British made shorts are a top choice, performing really well in all areas – recommended.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman AirPro Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives