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Craft's Attack bib shorts form part of their top tier 'Elite' range, developed with their WorldTour teams. The idea is that you're getting the very best that Craft have to offer. Does all this make for a good pair of shorts or is it just marketing spiel?
The shorts came in a box: one of those slidey ones more akin to expensive electronics, with 'Hors Categorie' written across it. Apparently, the out of category climbs where 'legends are made and races won and lost' have seeded inspiration for these shorts. Regardless of this fanfare, taking the shorts from said box and putting them on you quickly realise they are a cut above your standard pair of shorts.
Sliding them up your legs, you'll notice the essay of text on the pad. Things like 'exploded foam' and 'gel injection' caused me to read up on the included product card. A nice cut-away image shows the pad is made from three layers of foam, melted to a single piece. It is then lasercut: necessary to ensure any superfluous foam is removed so there is no bunching up, causing discomfort. I understand the lasercutting also means the pad is tailored to each short size, rather than a template simply being carried across.
As I put the medium on, the fit of the pad confirmed all that technology hadn't gone to waste. It moulded around my crotch perfectly, with no creasing or excess feeling like it would hamper my riding. On the bike it felt more like a continuation of the saddle; a unified bond between my derrière and the bike, an area that few shorts get quite right but these were hitting the mark. Carbon fibres are included in the fabrics that make up the pad, providing 'enhanced thermal regulation'.
Lightweight fabric is used on the front and rear panels, providing maximum airflow to the area between your legs. It works well as that area can often get a bit sweaty. The remaining material is elasticated, providing an element of compression that also makes for an excellent fit. All held together with flat-lock stitching that was not intrusive to my riding.
At the leg, silicon print is applied rather than a bulky strip. This held well, although it could be a bit more elasticated as it did flap a small amount at the back of my thigh. A few washes and it was still holding fast, so durability does not appear an issue.
The bibs are an extremely lightweight, polyester mesh. Again, similar to the leg straps, there are no thick edges holding this together. Instead, soft material is bonded along the edges. It also holds well and feels very comfortable.
All these top-tier technologies do come at a price: an RRP of £100. It may be a lot but compared to other top level shorts, it's positively good value. I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of materials used, the fit and feel of the chamois and the seamless connection to skin in the gripper and bib design.
£100 is a bargain for what are some of the best shorts on the market.
Impressively good shorts, not cheap but a bargain even so
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Make and model: Craft Elite Attack bib shorts
Size tested: 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?
A top of the range short for those who want Pro level kit without being a billboard
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Body-control fabric with 4-way elasticity that reduces muscle vibration and focuses power for optimal comfort and control
- Extremely lightweight fabric with excellent moisture transport
- Fabric combination with different structures for extra ventilation and body control
- Coldblack® fabric at the back reduces the absorption of heat rays and protects against UV rays
- Features CoolMax® fabrics for a lighter construction
- Ergonomic, smooth and durable flatlock seams move with the working muscles
- Taped, elastic and raw leg endings with silicone print on the inside keep the bibs in place
- Upper bib provides freedom to move and support to keep moving
- Craft Elite Pad with carbon fibers provides fantastic support and excellent thermal regulation
Excellent quality of materials used and manufacture.
A comfortable pad and superb fit.
They are lightweight but dont feel like they are going to fall apart.
One of the best pads I've had the pleasure of wearing.
£100 is about right for shorts which compete with those that can cost a lot more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a breathable and extremely technical pair of shorts they hit the mark.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The well moulded and comfortable pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The grip around the back of the thigh could sometimes feel a bit loose.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
An excellent and stylish pair of WorldTour level shorts.
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,