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The Hincapie Power Bibshorts are a no-nonsense option with a good seatpad for rides of up to about three hours.
The Power shorts are made from three different types of fabric. First of all there's the ABR Resistor fabric that runs through the saddle-wear areas and up the front. This is a slightly ridged mix of nylon, polyester and Lycra and it's designed to be resistant to abrasion. A few weeks in and there are no worn or fuzzy patches so it seems to be doing its job okay.
The sides and the lower back panels are AT2 Force Lycra Power with a Schoeller Coldblack finish. This is technology used by several clothing manufacturers to help reflect heat away. It does make a difference in strong sun, but it's marginal given all the other factors influencing your temperature when riding.
The bib section is made from VelociTek, which is a stretchy polyester/elastane mesh. It's highly breathable stuff and the straps are wide enough that you don't get much noticeable pressure over your shoulders.
The seatpad is an Elastic Interface one from Cytech, dual density and up to 11mm thick. I found it good for short to medium rides although I'd want a higher density option for longer days in the saddle – over two or three hours, say. It's well ventilated, though, thanks to the use of perforated foam, and the fabric next to your skin moves sweat away well and dries fast.
The Power shorts are billed as offering compressive support but I didn't find these particularly supportive, and I definitely had the right size according to Hincapie's size chart. Fit will obviously come down to the individual, I just think that Hincapie are a bit generous in their sizing here – more everyday bloke than beanpole racer, which is fair enough because that's who the Power clothing range is aimed at.
My only real criticism is the lack of a leg gripper inside the band at the bottom of each leg. I found that the shorts would sometimes crawl upwards slightly more than I'd expect if there was silicone inside.
A couple of reflective logos – one on the front, one on the back – will help you get seen, but that's about yer lot in terms of features. There are no 'look at me' extras to convince you that you're getting more for your money, which will be a plus point for many people.
Good, medium distance shorts made from high-quality fabrics
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Make and model: Hincapie Sportswear Power Bibshort
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?
Hincapie say, "The Hincapie Power II Bib shorts' body contouring design provides durable and compressive support.
Fabric: Durable AT2 Force Lycra Power, Proprietary Schoeller Coldblack, ABr Resistor Lycra, VelociTek
Fabric Properties: Provides unsurpassed structure and elastic retention for a compact fit reflects heat away from the body to regulate temperature, Comfortable, quick-drying VelociTek mesh upper wicks moisture away from the body
Padding: Anatomical Power Chamois with E.I.T. Max fabric and high density foam inserts
Reflectivity: Reflective treatments for high visibility
Protection:SPF 50+ UVA/UVB protection"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Coldblack is designed as "a special finishing technology for textiles which reduces heat build-up and provides reliable protection from UV rays."
The manufacturer says, "Normally black textiles without coldblack® absorb up to 90% of the heat rays – and heat up accordingly. Textiles with coldblack®, on the other hand, reflect up to 80% of the heat rays and therefore stay noticeably cooler."
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're good shorts for short and medium length rides and they look like they'll stand the test of time.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The seatpad is really comfortable, although I wanted denser padding for long rides (3hrs +).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I felt the legs could have done with silicone grippers to stop them from inching up.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, but there's a hell of a lot of competition.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
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, club rides, 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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.