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Neon Velo's Pro Fit Bib Shorts are great for performance-minded riders. They feature a lightweight fabric, a very close and supportive fit from the material and the bibs, along with wide leg grippers. My only gripe would be the finish around the chamois. A small issue, but at this price you'd be expecting perfection.
Let's move swiftly past the fact that they're blue. Neon Velo does a black version so you can stop panicking. These ones are designed to match the jersey and together I really like the colour. But for most, the black version will be better as it just goes with more kit. Apart from that, the styling is very clean and understated.
Riding in these has been a pleasure; whether it's been over some leg warmers, or with the knees exposed to the first warmth of spring, I've been comfortable on longer rides. There's no better compliment than to say that I forgot that I was wearing them. Thankfully I still remembered to wear them... Anyway.
To my mind, at the heart of a pair of bib shorts is the fit. The pad can be brilliant, but if it's out of place, or the shorts don't support properly, they're not going to work for you. Here, on my rather skinny legs, the Pro Fit that gives these shorts their name is brilliant. I'd say that they're very similar to Castelli and Santini's race kit.
That close fit is achieved through effective panelling, with flatlock stitching holding everything together very well. The small that I was sent was perfect and matched the recommended size on the chart. With so many shorts getting longer, I was pleased to find that these rested a nice distance above my knee. And the bib straps were tight when I was stood up, relaxing slightly when on the bike to be supportive but still comfortable.
Those bib straps are made up in two parts. The back section is a mesh material that is designed to aid breathability and moisture transfer. The front sections are a flat elastic material that feels quite grippy against the skin or a baselayer. The join is well stitched and comfortable and together they provide good support.
For the main part of the shorts, lightweight Italian fabric has been used. It's basically very nice Lycra and doesn't change around the shorts. The only change comes with the wide leg grippers that are less stretchy. They do a great job of keeping the shorts in place.
The chamois is from Oeko-Tex and I found it to be perfectly comfortable on longer rides. It was positioned perfectly for my forward riding style. I'd like to see a touch more density in the sit bone areas to bring it closer to the – for me – perfection of Castelli's Progetto X2 Air seatpad. I'd also like to see the stitching used around the rest of the shorts used to secure the chamois. It's a very minor point, but for £170, perfection is key.
That brings us on to value, and how they compare with rivals. Castelli has a brilliant pair in the Free Aero Race Bibshorts; they're cheaper at £140 and perform very well. I do prefer the simpler styling on Neon Velo's shorts, though. You can still spend more, just. Le Col's HC bibs are a tenner more at £180, though the weird hex pattern won't do it for everyone.
Value, then, is okay. You're getting a pair of shorts that fit brilliantly and are comfortable for longer rides. But there are rivals that do the same for a bit less.
In conclusion, you're getting a great pair of shorts that suit racer body types perfectly. The bib straps are supportive, but I'd like to see a slightly denser pad to justify the price tag. The styling, though, is elegant and clean.
Stylish and perform brilliantly, but a big price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Neon Velo Pro Fit Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
From Neon Velo:
"A lightweight Pre-dyed Pro-Fit Bib Short with stylish rubber print graphics. Developed by our pro cyclocross and road teams using compressive Italian fabric with lightweight mesh braces for added breathability. Includes our proven high-density OEKO-TEX® chamois to ensure superior comfort with antibacterial, hydrophilic properties. Features include: multi-panel dynamic fit construction with enhanced ergonomics for a seamless bunch-free fit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pre-dyed Italian made fabric
Neon-Velo signature stamped OEKO-TEX® chamois
Lightweight mesh bib braces for added breathability
Made in Italy
Warmer spring/summer rides
Temperature range +8d
Only thing I'd take issue with is the stitching around the chamois.
Absolutely excellent, as long as you're a racing snake.
Bang on with the size guide.
Forgot that I was wearing them.
You'll be pleased with what you've paid for, but Castelli's Free Aero Race bibs do similar for much less.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 30 and line dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They're brilliant on long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit is fabulous for racers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Castelli's Free Aero race bibs are the big rival in my opinion. At £140, they're much cheaper and offer brilliant performance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if the pad was improved.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Very good performance and an excellent fit. The styling is clean and I like the bibs, but the pad could be slightly better and there are cheaper alternatives that are fantastic.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.