review

Lusso RS19 Bibshorts

7
£99.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Decently specced bib shorts for the thicker-set rider – check your sizing
Weight: 
202g
Contact: 

The Lusso RS19 bib shorts are aimed at people wanting an all-day racy design without breaking the bank. Fit-wise they seem to be for the thicker-set rider, so even if Lusso kit has suited you well in the past, be aware that might not be the case here.

  • Pros: Typically high Lusso build quality, made in Manchester, understated branding
  • Cons: Fit won't suit all shapes; side panel fabric does show washing

Manchester's Lusso clothing has been knocking out great value, no-compromise kit since 1982. The company isn't resting on its laurels though, and the RS19 bib shorts see it maintaining its 'all-day' focus while moving into compressive fabric technology for the performance-minded. The shorts' four-way stretch fabric certainly conforms tightly to the body, with flatlocked seams down the sides to avoid discomfort.

> Buy these online here

There's no separate leg gripper, rather a line of silicone-ish dots around the inside of the leg hem. As with laser-cut hem-free jersey arms, some may appreciate a lack of restrictive fabric here, but I found that in the absence of a stronger gripper, the legs would ride up over time.

While the fabrics and construction cannot be faulted, the overall package didn't really work for me. Although the shorts were initially comfortable and supportive – for which I'd rate them highly – after an hour or so I found myself wanting to stop and pull the leg grippers down a bit to relieve build-up of pressure in the crotch. Nothing bad per se, but compared to my other Lusso bibs (the excellent Carbon V2) in size mediums, definitely noticeable.

I contacted Lusso and was told: 'The fabric has a compression construction (not as much give) and we tested these on mainly size Medium and Large riders within the test team and they have come to the conclusion they are more compressive then the Carbon V2 fit, I would say the size medium should have been a good race fit for you but maybe a bit tight with your height in the strap length because I am the same stats as you but height is 5' 10 and the medium fit me fine.'

I'm a 32in waist, 6ft tall (it's not me in the photos) and, at 75kg, am on the slimmer side of the pie chart. Going off Lusso's sizing, my waist is a medium but my height is a large, with my 35in inseam being off the end of XXL.

As ever, cycling fit is not prescribed in stone and one company's large is another's small – anyone purchasing Italian brands vs British will know this only too well. Just as with shoes, the designers have to decide which width-to-length or height body morph they are going to target, and with the RS19 Lusso seems to have aimed more at the larger-of-leg-compared-to-height rider, less the slimmer streak like myself.

Leg gripper issues aside, the rest of the bibs are well-specced, with generous, comfortable shoulder straps, and a robust chequerboard material over the front and rear that still looks like new. Side panels are the thin, breathable compression fabric, but they do show inconsiderate washing so be careful chucking them in with anything containing Velcro.

The pad is Lusso's '8 Hour+ Pad Performance with Gill Technology'. It's a multi-density design, and was perfectly good at the job of remaining comfortable, wicking and not moving about. The issues I struck with longer-ride fit were more related to the cut of the shorts overall and prescribed body fit.

Price-wise, their £99 rrp is on a par for other Lusso kit, and – if the shorts fit – represents great value long-term as Lusso stuff in my experience lasts and lasts. They're £20 cheaper than the DRS model and likewise Castelli's Endurance 2.

> Buyer's Guide: 27 of the best cycling bib shorts

With the RS19, Lusso is looking to serve the wider-to-height, more race-orientated community, at a decent price point. The made-in-Manchester build quality is top-notch and, judging from my experience, you can expect years of service. Just watch the sizing.

Verdict

Decently specced bib shorts for the thicker-set rider – check your sizing

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lusso RS19 Bibshorts

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Lusso says: "The RS19 Bibshorts are a brand new race garment which feature a unique compressive fabric. The fabric supports the muscles and encourages blood flow, therefore reducing lactic acid build up, thus aiding performance.

"The fabric has a jacquard woven design and delivers optimum temperature regulation.

"Breathable with flexibility and high abrasion resistance.

"The Seamless leg grippers offer secure grip whilst spreading the pressure evenly and firmly without leaving pressure marks on the leg.

"We are unique as a brand here at Lusso as we design and manufacture this garment at our factory in Manchester."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Lusso lists:

Pro Level Race Fit Bibshorts

8 Hour+ Pad Performance with Gill Technology

Seamless Leg Grippers

Compression 4 Way Stretch Fabric

Flat Seams and Overlocked

Race bib has 45mm Straps with Carbon Rear Panel

50+ UV Ray Protection

Machine Washable

Designed and Made In Manchester

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Typical great build quality from Lusso.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

For me, with my body shape, not great due to issues with the legs riding up.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Most of the shorts still look great, but they may have gone in with something containing Velcro as the sides have fluffed up a bit in spots.

Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

For my bodyshape they just didn't work out. Even in a large.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
5/10

Again, not great for me – I'm usually a medium in Lusso, but that's definitely not the case here – maybe XL.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
6/10

Initially comfortable but the fit means, after a while, not comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

The £99 price is on a par for other Lusso kit, and – if the shorts fit – represents great value long-term as Lusso stuff in my experience lasts and lasts. They're £20 cheaper than the DRS model and likewise Castelli's Endurance 2. 

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The side fabric will show it if washed with other items, so launder with care.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, not that great for my body shape. After an hour or two, I was constantly aware that things weren't perfect.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Supportive shoulder straps.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fit.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for the first hour or so.

Would you consider buying the product? Not for my body shape.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were of a thicker build, yes.

Use this box to explain your overall score

If they fit you, I'm sure you'll find the RS19 to be good value at £99 – certainly Lusso's history with me would suggest that. Given the plethora of body shapes out there, I'm surprised that these are the first Lusso bibs I've not got on with.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

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: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.

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