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The Alé R-EV1 Future Race Lady Bibshorts are a very comfortable and breathable option for racers. The pad keeps you comfortably fresh during hard efforts, and is supportive for long rides. Silicone grippers on the elasticated leg band certainly ensure the ends stay in place, but you may find they squeeze your thighs a little too tightly.
Alé has used a soft, supple blend for the front and rear panels (61% polyamide, 39% elastane), and a different one (58% polyamide, 23% polyester, 19% elastane) for the side panels.
These panels have aerodynamic advantages, claims Alé, and while we have no way of testing that they're certainly impressively breathable. These are great for riding in the summer heat.
The sides are slightly see-through, but there are no transparency issues with the fabric front and rear.
I normally fall into small for shorts, but according to Ale's size chart I'm a medium in these bibs – make sure you check their charts. The resulting fit around my thighs and hip is excellent, and the leg length is decent too. However, the leg ends come up a little tight, even in medium.
The leg band is another blend again – 75% polyamide, 25% elastane – and inside it's fully covered with sticky silicone. There are also some reflective dots neatly arranged at the rear for a touch of visibility.
The silicone grips effectively and doesn't leave marks, which is great for the post-race change to casual shorts – which tend to be a lot shorter.
While the legs do stay put exceptionally well, the tight squeeze causes some bulging. It's not uncomfortable by any means, it's just the squeezing doesn't look so flattering.
The 4.5cm wide bib straps join into a mesh section at the rear. There's plenty of stretch at the front so these accommodate riders with longer torsos, while also providing enough support to keep the shorts perfectly in place.
They're a touch thicker than some straps, so they lay flat easily and quickly, and the soft fabrics mean baselayers aren't necessary.
The mesh section of the straps is a little less stretchy, but instead it's very breathable and quick wicking, so there are no issues with overheating here.
By using these two different fabrics for the straps, Ale has made these bibs both a good fit and pleasant to wear for sweatfests.
In-the-saddle comfort comes from Velocity's W8H chamois designed specifically for women. The fabric is pleasantly soft against the skin, its density gives a good amount of support, and it moulds well to your shape.
The foam itself is quick drying, and perforated with 3mm wide holes which really help with ventilation. Even during intense efforts the chamois wicked well and I felt fresh.
With a pad that can comfortably support you for over four hours in the saddle, these are a very good choice for endurance rides as well as hard interval rides. That said, there's no comfort break feature, so you'll be taking off your jersey when it's time for a mid-ride pee stop.
At £170, these are at the pricey end of the market, but they are not alone. For instance, Gore Wear's C7 Women's Bib Shorts, which will cover you for long endurance rides, are £179.99.
While Velocio's Women's Ultralights are a similar price (£168) and deliver similar breathability and comfort, they add a pull-down comfort break system for easier mid-ride stops. The Iris Signature Bib Short IIs are considerably cheaper at £119 though, and Lara was very impressed with the performance and quality.
The R-EV1 Future Race Lady Bibshorts are a fantastically comfortable pair of shorts that continue to deliver as you up the intensity. They're very breathable, and the high quality materials are showing no signs of wear. You may find the leg cuffs a little too tight, though.
Very breathable bibs with great straps, though the legs are a little tight
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Alé R-EV1 Future Race Lady Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Alé says: "A lightweight and fast garment designed for skilled and demanding women cyclists. The mesh braces are increadibly breathable and the "open bib" technology at the back optimizes the evaporation of sweat. Speedy fabric on the crotch area offers ventilation and minimises abrasion whilst the sidebands in Aero Flash Wave, with Flash technology, promots optimal aerodynamics and freshness."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Speedy - mesh dragon
Aero Flash Wave
Make sure you check Ale's size chart, as these are a size larger than I usually pick. Following Alé's sizing recommendation these fit very well, apart from the slightly tight leg bands.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 30°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well for hard interval workouts and endurance rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The strap system: plenty of stretch combined with very effective breathable sections at the rear
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The squeezing leg band - it's been cut just a little too tight, which doesn't look so flattering. That said, it doesn't feel uncomfortable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are at the premium end of the market, at a similar price to Velocio's Ultralights (£168) and a little cheaper than Gore Wear's C7 Women's Bib Shorts (£179.99). There are comfortable, high-quality performance options for less though, such as the Iris Signature Bib Shorts II at £119.
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
The Future Race Lady bibs are well made and have usefully breathable side panels and straps. The upper construction is also perfectly supportive and comfy. The leg band is cut a little too tightly, but other than that – and the price – there's little not to like. They're good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track