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If you like to keep your legs exposed for as much of the year as possible then these dhb Aeron Equinox Bib Shorts are worth a look. Using three different fabrics to keep your thighs warm when the autumn temperatures start to drop, they are brilliant either on their own or when paired up with knee or leg warmers. The chamois is spot on for long winter training rides too.
dhb's Equinox range is all about kit to get you through the change of the seasons, and what the company has done here is to introduce new fabrics to its excellent Aeron Bib Shorts (which I tested back in March) to keep you a little bit warmer.
Wearing both pairs in identical conditions (about 8°C), the Equinox shorts were noticeably warmer pretty much everywhere, most noticeably when descending at speed or riding into a chilly northerly wind.
dhb has achieved this by using three different fabrics in the construction from Italian material house MITI.
For covering the glutes and your lower back dhb has chosen a tight-knit fabric which adds wind resistance, and giving it a Roubaix style brushed back means it traps body heat in these areas, too – areas that are likely to be most affected by windchill.
The inside leg and seat panels use a fabric similar to that found on the standard Aerons, with a slight compressive feel to it. The overall fit and feel is spot on. They fit close and move with you when you are in the saddle.
The third material is used in the bib section, with the straps being constructed from a lightweight mesh. For autumn/spring riding you are likely to be wearing a few layers up top, so keeping the straps light and breathable makes a lot of sense.
You'll likely be riding in the dark, too, and there have been a few reflective strips added to the legs and a reflective dhb logo at the rear.
Being warm is one thing, but you need to be comfortable too. The Aeron Equinox use the same Elastic Interface Paris HP pad as the standard Aerons and it is very good. While it is a great choice for riding hard and fast, it really excels when it comes to those longer rides when the pace drops a little and you put a bit more weight on the saddle. In the cooler conditions and in the dark, you are likely to ride a little slower, and those long winter training rides will just be lapped up by the Paris HP pad.
The list price of the Aeron Equinox is £80, a fiver more than the standard version, but that still offers great value for money in my eyes.
The shorts are very well made, impressively comfortable and when paired with a set of leg or knee warmers will work right the way through the winter, giving you plenty of versatility.
For comparison, the thermal Sportful Fiandre NoRain 2 shorts will set you back £100, although you do have the added benefit of some water resistance thrown in.
Lusso still makes its 2-Zero Thermal bib shorts which now also come with a water-repellent fabric; that's nudged the price up to £80, so there is some competition out there for the dhbs.
Overall, though, even without the water repellency offered by some competitors, the dhbs are still an excellent pair of shorts that will get you from autumn through winter and into the spring.
Excellent all-round bib shorts that can take on the chilly temperatures of autumn and winter
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Equinox Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "These dhb Aeron Equinox Bib Shorts bridge the gap between seasons, offering more warmth than your summer bib shorts. Featuring an Elastic Interface Pad, they are perfect for changeable days, and work well with leg or knee warmers.
"Equinox: for the rides between summer and winter."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb lists these features:
Incredibly versatile bib shorts designed for spring, autumn and winter conditions
Recommended temperature range of 6-16 degrees
Elastic Interface® Paris HP Chamois for over 7 hours of comfort
Ideal for use with leg or knee warmers in cooler temperatures
Combination of three performance fabrics for maximum versatility
Wind resistant fabric with warm brushed back used over the quads and lower back
Highly breathable and supportive fabric used for inside leg and seat panel
Lightweight and breathable mesh bib straps for ventilation
Inside: 64% Nylon, 19% Elastane(Spandex), 17% Polyester
Outside: 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane(Spandex)
Sensible sizing and matches dhb's guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems with putting them through the washing machine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable shorts that use the fabrics needed to keep you warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really to dislike in terms of performance, fit and comfort levels.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They offer very similar comfort to some shorts I've tested at double the money, but other thermal style shorts out there such as the Lussos mentioned in the review offer water repellency.
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
They're excellent, with the same great qualities of the standard Aeron bib shorts but added warmth for chillier conditions.
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!