The Primal Trimotif Men's Evo 2.0 Bib Shorts offer a race fit and feel thanks to some decent fabrics and plenty of panels. The quality is good for the money too but the E6 Carbon Chamois isn't the best that I've used from Primal.
- Pros: Well made; great fit
- Cons: Pad isn't the most shock absorbing
I've worn loads of Primal clothing over the years and I've also been impressed with the overall finish and quality. The stitching throughout is very neat and tidy and robust too. These shorts are going to stand up to many miles in the saddle.
If you like to stand out when on the bike then you are certainly going to like the bright colourway of the Trimotif shorts, especially if you go with the matching jersey and gilet. And if the style of the Trimotifs isn't for you, Primal does offer quite a range of other Evo 2.0 kit.
The company has used Vero fabric for the main parts of the shorts. It feels soft against the skin, and with 20 per cent spandex added there is a fair amount of compression, which is great for keeping your muscles fresher, if you believe the claims.
Primal uses multiple panels to create a close and tailored race fit, giving the shorts a sort of shaped cut that suits when in the saddle, so there is no bunching or stretching of fabric when you are crouched in a race position. More panels means more seams, but Primal has done a good job of keeping them all out of the way of anywhere that is likely to rub or chafe. Although wide, the seams are flatlock stitched and you don't feel them giving any pressure points when wearing the shorts.
For the bib section, the Evo 2.0s use a stretchy mesh fabric with nice wide shoulder straps that remove any chance of pressure points and irritation when worn directly against the skin.
It's quite a fine mesh but does a good job of clearing moisture when you are riding very hard or are out on a hot day.
For the pad Primal has specced the E6 Carbon Chamois and it is a pretty decent one. It uses Resistex anti-static carbon fabric which is said to promote blood flow and reduce lactic acid, although I never really felt any noticeable difference, it has to be said. The fabric is also antibacterial and antimicrobial.
Made up of four layers, there is plenty of padding of different densities to cosset your sit bones, with a slight central relief channel. The padding is quite firm and while I had no real discomfort when riding, I didn't find the pad as supportive as the HX8 Carbon pad found in Primal's Helix 2.0 bib shorts I was testing alongside.
The E6 pad takes out the worst of the road buzz, but if the surface was really rough it did feel almost like the padding was bottoming out. I found it best for shorter rides of a couple of hours or so.
There are some very good shorts available for less, though, like Cycology's Logo shorts, which are just £70.
Overall, the Evo 2.0s are an all-round quality pair of bib shorts. Highlights for me are the fabric and the cut, plus how well finished they are. The E6 pad isn't my favourite, but as with saddles, everyone is different and if it suits, you won't be disappointed with your purchase.
Excellent quality and fit but not the most supportive pad for rough roads
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Primal Trimotif Men's Evo 2.0 Bib
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Primal says, "Primal Custom Evo Collection is made for cyclists that push themselves to the limit. Using our elite Vero fabric, known for its superior compression and abrasion resistance, this short has redefined comfort on the bike. A duo base paneling system eliminates undesirable seams and the anatomic, race specific fit allows for superior flexibility and compression while promoting blood flow. A laser cut FlexPro leg band features hypoallergenic silicone microdots that keep the bib secure throughout the entire pedal motion while promoting blood flow and wicking moisture from the surface of the skin."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 9 Inch Inseam
* Contour Race Fit
* E6 Carbon Chamois
* Flatlock Stitching
* Promesh Bib Upper
* Silicone Leg Gripper
* Vero Fabric
Primal offers pretty realistic sizing in my mind. If you are a medium in real life then a medium in Primal kit will fit you well.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing has thrown up no issues over the test period.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A very good fit on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent material choice.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pad wasn't right for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Looking at the opposition from the likes of Lusso and Altura mentioned in the review, the Primal shorts look to be about the right money when you take everything into account. Brands like dhb do make some very good shorts for less, though, like the Aerons.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
For the money, the shorts deliver great quality and an excellent fit on the bike; the only thing that takes the edge off for me is that slightly squidgy pad.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!