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New for 2019, the Lusso Synergy Bib Shorts are a competitive price, and the nicely understated design – with added splashes of colour to the inside of the straps and pad – makes for a good looking pair. However, for me they do have a few issues around comfort, and the quality isn't quite as high as I'd expect.
The shorts are made predominantly of two Italian fabrics. Hurricane makes up the front panels, allowing breathability and movement thanks to its high elasticity. It works well for temperature control.
The Speed Plus fabric is used for the side and rear panels and features a textured surface allowing compression, sensory performance and 'technical performance'. Sounds like a bit of marketing speech to me, but the feel is great.
Coolmesh fabric in the middle back allows more breathability and reduces sweating.
One issue in their construction is an excess of material around the pad when off the bike, which seems more exaggerated than other bibs I've worn. I thought it was just poor sizing on my part, but when looking at catalogue images it still seems to be evident. It does stretch out when on the bike, but is a bit irritating off it.
The TeoSport Armadillo pad is said to offer '6h+ comfort and a rapid drying anti-bacterial surface', but for me it seems very rigid compared to others I've ridden in, preventing it from moulding to your form. On longer road rides it was fine if I could find a comfortable position and stick with it, but any riding that involved movement in and out of the saddle proved more problematic.
Off the bike, although of less importance, it was also less comfortable than others. I had hoped it would soften up, but it didn't in the month of testing.
A positive is that the flat seams surrounding the pad caused no irritation at all, including when on the trails and moving around.
The 75mm leg gripper has just the right level of grip on your skin without being overly tacky and difficult to move. The band provides yet more breathability, while the elasticity caused no leg pressure.
A minor downside if you ride with leg or knee warmers is that the grippers aren't tight enough as a last defence if they're falling down. Granted, this is more the fault of the leg warmer than the shorts themselves.
The soft-feel straps are a nice feature. No seams on the outer edges of the 45mm-wide straps make for an almost weightless feel on your shoulders.
It's a shame the inner seams between the fabrics are so large by comparison. They didn't cause irritation as such, more just noticeable compression in a few locations. These same seams looked good from the outside, bar a few thread ends that had pulled through.
Although towards the lower end of the scale for bibs shorts, the Lusso Synergy Bib shorts still have some strong opposition out there. For example, the ever popular dhb Aeron bib shorts are cheaper at £75 and Stu was impressed with their quality, comfort and performance.
As I've said, pad comfort is subjective and the TeoSport used here would put me off choosing the Synergy shorts. If you like to stick to the same position in the saddle then you might get on better with it – in which case they could be worth a look as a good alternative to the higher spec and expensive bib shorts on the market.
Some comfort and minor quality issues detract from an otherwise decent pair of bib shorts
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Synergy Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
The Lusso Synergy Bib Shorts are designed for high performance on all rides and adventures. Lusso claims they deliver the very best both in technical performance and comfort. In reality, I found them a little lacking, with a rigid pad and excess material making for less than ideal comfort.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Pro level Fit
- Made from two Italian fabrics
- TeoSport 6hr+ Pad comfort
- 75mm Leg Grippers
- Bonded Laser Cut Bib with Coolmesh Panel with 45mm Soft Feel Straps
- Anatomic Race Design
- Seams are Flat and Overlocked
- Flat Seam Sewn in Pad
- Reflective Rear Lusso Logo
- 50+UV Ray Protection
- Machine Washable
A few loose thread ends, excess material and some rather large inside seams make it tough to score construction highly.
No issues with chafing or seams rubbing, the leg grippers hold in place well, and the cooling measures worked well against overheating. However, the rather rigid pad detracts from the shorts' overall appeal.
A few loose thread ends, but no issues with durability, even after a number of washes.
The fit is decent apart from the rear around the pad, where there seems to be excess material.
Sizing came out right with a medium pair fitting me nicely.
Although weight isn't a huge factor in a pair of shorts, the materials felt light when on and didn't become clammy when sweat built up.
Pad comfort is a little bit subjective, but the rigid form here wouldn't be my choice. It made movement in the saddle less comfortable and didn't feel like it was moulding to my position. However, the leg grippers and soft straps are good.
Although they are towards the cheaper end for bib shorts, I wouldn't jump to spend £80. Other options, such as the recently tested dhb Aeron bibs, seem to offer better value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The bibs coped well with being washed and no special treatment was necessary. No signs of damage to logos or material.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfort levels were disappointing because of the pad; otherwise, the bibs themselves performed well on both road and trail rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft straps with no outer seams. The leg grippers stayed in place without being uncomfortably tacky.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The rigidity of the pad.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's similar to products like the dhb Aeron bib shorts, and significantly cheaper than many higher grade shorts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Sadly not, they just didn't mould well to my position in the saddle.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd probably point them towards a few other options in the same price range.
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are some nice touches here, but pad comfort plays a big part in a pair of bib shorts and that, sadly for me, is lacking here. They're not bad, and if you know you like to stick in one position on the saddle then you might consider them a 7, but for me they're a 6.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCX My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives