Polaris' Pursuit bib shorts are the top of their range, and they're well made with some high-quality features. The multi-panel construction and the 80% nylon/20% elastane fabric make for a comfortable, consistent fit throughout. Virtually all the seams are flat-lock stitched so there's no chafing even when you rack up the miles on a big weekend ride.
You get external elasticated bands at the bottom of each leg, and they hold everything in place just fine. They don't feel over-tight and I've not had any problems with the legs riding up, thanks to soft silicone grippers next to the skin. Very comfy.
The anti-bacterial seatpad is pretty good too. It's a multi-density one and although I wouldn't say the foam front and mid sections are anything special, the gel area at the back - the wide part of the pad - offers really effective cushioning, damping out road vibration and softening any big hits to keep you sitting pretty in the saddle.
The Coolmax face to the pad shifts sweat well so you stay comfortable, and several channels between the various sections of cushioning help with this too, allowing the air to circulate. I've done a couple of century rides in these and come home without any particular saddle soreness.
The mesh uppers allow plenty of breathability and don't retain much moisture at all when you work up a sweat while the soft binding around the edges is all neatly done. In terms of durability, the only issue I've had is with a thread that snapped at the front, which required a quick repair with needle and cotton - although, to be honest, that was more to do with me being clumsy than any reflection on the workmanship.
The logos on the sides are printed on, which made me think they'd quickly get stretched and tatty and start to peel, but a few weeks in and they're still looking good. I'll let you know if that alters as time goes on.
As for the sizing, I found it a little larger than usual and the leg length generous, so try before you buy or check the size chart on Polaris' website.
High-quality shorts with effective gel padding - a good price too
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Make and model: Polaris Pursuit Bib Shorts
Size tested: Black, Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
These are classic-style stretchy shorts
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.