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The BodyFit Pro range from Sportful is their top-tier line. Developed with Saxobank-Tinkoff, it shares the same material technology, cut and fit as the WorldTour team enjoys. Here on test is the Bibshort Classic, a race short with lots of premium features designed to be paired with the Race Jersey, also on test.
As the name suggests, the design is classic in that it uses a familiar Lycra material throughout the short, flatlock stitched in the usual panel formation. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is my opinion of this and am happy to see a stand out from the ultra lightweight and airy designs at the moment.
That isn't to say breathability is compromised: the material still provided ample airflow and I wasn't left in a sweat suit. In many respects I prefer these Lyrca shorts for riding in the British weather, where the temperature never really warrants the designs of the continent.
A meshed bib strap is to be expected but a radio pocket highlights the pedigree of these shorts. I imagine they've left it in more for marketing than because they've been syphoned off the Saxobank production line. Either way, it is a cool feature and useful for ensuring my team manager, Mr.iPod, gets full say in my riding.
The fabric isn't just your standard Lycra either. Dubbed 'Aeroflow Compress', a dimpled design adorns the thigh to reduce drag across the surface (it looks stylish too). A trickledown of the marginal gains the WorldTour teams are going for, it is nice to see on this pair of shorts. It's not just the material either; the flatlock stitching mentioned above is positioned out of the oncoming air flow for minimal disruption.
The compression part of the name does as it suggests - these are a snug fitting pair of shorts. Sent a large I was a little concerned I'd have to get a size smaller (normally opting for small or medium shorts) but the fit on these is excellent. I probably could have fitted a medium too but the compression element of the shorts mean they mould to your shape, providing an tailored fit. It's just what you want on a racy pair of shorts like this; flapping material is not Pro.
Onto the pad: it is a relatively simple cut foam but it forms the correct shape without any bunching or creasing when worn. On the bike I found it comfortable and inoffensive, just what you want from a chamois. It proved more than capable on any long rides I did too.
The leg gripper is formed by the leg cuff doubling up to form a 1" band; doubling the compression effect of the material. A silicone strip tape grips the skin. It was comfortable, did the job and durability seemed good.
These shorts are a classic brought into the current age of marginal gains. The hybrid created makes for a comprehensive pair of shorts with timeless style, equally as at home on a racier as an enthusiast.
An RRP of £85 I think presents excellent value for what are a very premium pair of shorts, able to compete with those in the £100 and above bracket.
Premium shorts in a classic, cool design, at a good price too
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Make and model: Sportful Pro Bibshort Classic
Size tested: Large
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?
A filter down of WorldTour team SaxoBank, these shorts are Sportful's Formula 1 car of shorts. Designed to give the edge racing with aerodynamic and compression panels.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Race short for maximum aerodynamics and comfort
Legs in AeroFlow Compress for smooth aerodynamics and muscle support
All flatlock stitching placed out of the air flow for maximum aerodynamics
Seamless leg opening
Radio pocket on mesh bibs
Classic and well executed panel construction.
I can't quantify any seconds saved on my rides by the aero dimples but they shorts certainly felt fast.
Don't feel like they will fall to bits any time soon...
The pad has a simple design but worked very well.
They're premium shorts but for less than £100, which makes them good value in my eyes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a pair of shorts I can't fault them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The dimpled effect on the material not only has aerodynamic values but looks cool too.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,