These 7Mesh Mk3 bib shorts are the best shorts I have ever worn. That's a bold statement as I have a drawer full of good shorts, but these are incredibly comfortable regardless of the length of time in the saddle because of their hammock chamois lining, material choice and cut, and the luxurious, wide shoulder straps. True, they cost £150, but they're worth every penny.
- Pros: Amazing comfort for long and short rides; wide and comfortable shoulder straps; brilliant moisture management; subtle branding
- Cons: Umm... they are £150
7Mesh was already onto a good thing in my books with its Mk2 bib shorts, but these new Mk3s really are a huge improvement. Buying shorts is a worrying experience as it's not like you can take them back to the shop after four hours of testing and say, erm, no thanks. If you take the plunge and purchase these Mk3s, I think you will be very pleased.
7Mesh has been making very distinctive yet subtly branded kit since 2015 and is slowly but surely developing a name for great looking, no-nonsense, well-made and comfortable cycle clothing. It might look a little plain compared with many others, but the proof is in the wearing, and boy do these shorts perform.
I must have ridden thousands of miles in my life, and one thing I can say of a lot of those miles is that I have never been quite comfortable downstairs. Over many years, my friends and riding pals have got used to me doing the 'cyclist shuffle' mid-ride and at stops – everywhere in fact. I used to feel bad about it but noticed I was far from alone in this department. I assumed it was just the way things were – until now.
The Mk3 shorts are a revelation. After putting these on I have almost never had to make any readjustment because of the comfort provided by the 'floating chamois', or hammock as 7Mesh calls it. These have transformed my riding experience and enjoyment. For those of you who don't want to have to adjust or do that little dance any more, check these shorts out.
It's not just about the reduction in 'shuffle', either, the overall fit of these shorts is simply superb. 7Mesh has chosen Gravity Interpower fabric from Miti, which is hydrophilic; it allows moisture to pass through easily and spread out and evaporate quickly as you ride. The fabric is also anti-odour, and although I'm not sure how it's achieved that as there are no specifics given, they are pleasingly low odour at the end of a long day in the saddle, so that's a bonus on multi-day trips for sure.
The new fabric is also much more abrasion-resistant than the material used in the Mk2s (and is especially good at coping with Brooks saddles, according to 7Mesh). Interpower also provides a greater amount of compression, which can instantly be felt when comparing the Mk2 shorts with the Mk3s in the way it cossets your muscles beautifully in use. Yes, they feel pretty tight initially, but they feel great after an hour or two in the saddle.
7Mesh has also paid close attention to removing as many seams as possible in areas where you might feel them, in its pursuit to reduce chafing.
The shorts' pièce de résistance, though, is the floating chamois hammock, which is attached at the top of the rear of the shorts under the bib yoke strap and the front of the shorts about where the waist would be, but nowhere else. The idea is that it allows you a little bit of movement on top of the saddle without rucking up or pulling the outer short, and is undoubtedly the reason for the superb comfort.
The chamois itself is from Elastic Interface and is its Space2 model. It's designed specifically for long distance riding and features a wider central channel to reduce numbness and improve blood flow downstairs.
The shorts are held up by 45mm-wide straps which are soft and comfortable against your skin or baselayer, and are easy to adjust into position with no need to readjust during the ride.
The material is lazer cut at the bottom of the leg, meaning no need for an extra panel and it produces a clean, seam-free opening.
Inside this is a wide silicone gripper band to keep the shorts secure. I find that the leg moves a tiny amount up my thigh and then sits perfectly still, mile after mile, which I suspect is them finding the perfect position against my quads.
I've used these on the road and off, wearing them for the Dorset Gravel Dash in pretty high temperatures this year, followed by the frankly ridiculously hot Bristol Bike Fest event, and I have absolutely no complaints about their ability to move moisture away to stop me feeling sweaty and to keep me comfortable hour after hour. I cannot think of two harder tests for a pair of shorts.
This is a hotly contested market and while my previous favourites from Hommage au Velo are no longer available, there are many really good shorts out there for around this sort of money. PEdAL ED's Odyssey Bibshorts are £145 and scored highly back in June; they're certainly ones to look at if you need storage with your bib shorts. If you want lighter, more race-orientated shorts then take a look at the Pearl Izumi Pros, which at £190 are certainly pricey but Stu thought they were the most comfortable he'd tested. If your budget is smaller then the excellent Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts V2 are definitely worth a look, scoring a perfect 10 back in July last year.
These 7mesh Mk3s are the most comfortable cycling shorts I have ever owned. Their unique chamois hammock, which allows the Space2 pad to float over the outer fabric layer, provides an incredible level of comfort that I have simply never experienced before. That they also feature soft wide straps, look smart and provide excellent compression to your muscles is an added bonus. A really fantastic pair of shorts.
Fantastic shorts – their unique design provides incredible levels of comfort mile after mile
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road.cc test report
Make and model: 7mesh Mk3 bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
7Mesh says, "The MK3 is a refined, long-distance road cycling bib short, built to take you further in total comfort.
"At the heart of the bib is a custom Elastic Interface® chamois designed to our exacting specifications with High-Density Foam through the centre channel, and a completely air permeable perforate top layer. Which means that from hoods to drops, the MK3 breathes, cushions and feels amazing on sensitive in-between areas, delivering unmatched comfort across the saddle, no matter how long, or low you ride.
"Throughout the MK3, Clean Finish tailoring places seams and sewing lines away from action points to present smooth surfaces at every turn. Including at the straps, where soft, shoulder-friendly material blends with the bibs to create a supportive fit that melts away out on the road.
"In combination with a slightly more compressive body fabric compared to previous versions, the MK3 also sports seamless raw edges detailed with printed silicon grippers. By extending the body fabric to the hem, the MK3 does away with overeager grippers, helping the bib to fit smoothly and evenly across the leg."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Elastic Interface Space2 Chamois
Miti Gravity Interpower fabric
So far showing no signs of wear but it's only been a few months. The quality of construction suggests they'll last very well.
I'm 6'1" and 80lbs and the mediums fit perfectly.
At 202g these are pretty light; not as light as the Performance Pearl Izumi ones, but I'm not sure you can feel 40g.
The most comfortable I have ever used.
Expensive, but what price do you put on comfort? They're pricier than some, less than others, but are worth every penny.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30, no conditioner, and they are looking perfect still.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They perform brilliantly at what they've been designed for – long distance road, gravel, adventure or mountain bike undershorts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The chamois, the wide straps and the compression on the thigh after three or more hours of riding.
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?
PEdAL ED's Odyssey Bibshorts are £145 and scored highly back in June, and are certainly ones to look at if you need storage with your bib shorts. If you want lighter, more race-orientated shorts then Pearl Izumi's Pro Bib Shorts are certainly pricey at £190, but Stu thought they were the most comfortable he'd tested. If your budget is smaller then the excellent Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts V2 are definitely worth a look, scoring a perfect 10 back in July last year.
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
The most comfortable shorts I have ever owned in my whole cycling life. The floating hammock holding the excellent Elastic Interface Space 2 chamois is just fantastic. They're not cheap, but they're worth every penny.
About the tester
I usually ride: Fairlight My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, bikepacking/adventure/gravel riding