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review

Altura Icon Men’s Cycling Bib Shorts

7
£70.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Quite a thin pad, but comfortable nonetheless
Minimal pad doesn't bunch up
Breathable on warm days
Good amount of sizes
Pad is on the thin side for really long rides
Weight: 
200g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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For the money the Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts are decent performers thanks to a comfortable chamois – provided you don't want anything too padded – and a breathable, fast-wicking material.

Seventy quid is a busy price point for cycling shorts, and I wouldn't say the Icons are offering anything ground-breaking for the money over their competitors, but what they do deliver is a solid build with plenty of comfort.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - back.jpg

The Icon pad is made exclusively for Altura by Elastic Interface, one of the biggest brands when it comes to cycling pads. One neat thing is that Altura specs thicker pads on the larger sizes of its shorts to compensate for a bigger rider's weight, though it's still quite a thin pad, with not a huge amount of padding.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

That generally suits me – I'm not a fan of having loads of padding as it can bunch up and cause overheating. Here, I found the pad comfortable for around two-and-a-half to three hours of riding, but any longer and I would have appreciated just a little bit more padding.

The material used in the shorts feels good against the skin. There is nothing flash going on like compression or anything, but there is plenty of stretch in the fabric which is supportive as you ride.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - legs front.jpg

The shorts are breathable, too, and for added effectiveness the rear panels are made of a carbon fabric which is said to reduce bacteria.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - legs back.jpg

Though the shoulder straps are wide, they can spin and twist as you put them on so it's worth spending a few seconds making sure they lie flat before you head out for a ride.

Large grippers keep the legs in place and it's good to see reflective detailing on both legs rather than just the one.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - cuff gripper.jpg

Like most, Altura has a size guide on its website and it's well matched to the shorts, and to UK sizing in general. If you are a medium in most brands, then you'll be a medium in these.

2022 Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts - cuff detail.jpg

The overall quality is impressive. The shorts are well made throughout and durable, too, holding up against general wear and tear and their interaction with the saddle.

Value and conclusion

As I mentioned, £70 puts the Icons in a busy part of the market, and though they hold their own against other quality shorts, there is some tough opposition from the likes of Orro with its £69.99 Pyro Line bib shorts, which scored well (and are currently £49.99), and the Galibier Equipe 2 Aeros which, though a couple of quid more, have a better pad in my opinion.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best cycling bib shorts

Overall, the Icons are good all-round performers for all types of riding, although you might find the pad too thin for epic rides.

Verdict

Quite a thin pad, but comfortable nonetheless

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Altura says, "Fit and comfort across all areas is everything when it comes to a pair of bib shorts you trust and want to wear every ride. It is for this reason that we designed the Altura Icon Men's Cycling Bib Shorts. Working closely with Elastic Interface we have developed this exclusive pad design which focusses on comfort to body weight ratio with denser foam used in the pads for our larger sizes to ensure a comfortable ride for every rider. For added comfort we have used clever, Italian Miti carbon fabric placed in key areas to draw toxins away from the skin for a fresh feel. This accomplished all-rounder is completed by soft touch bib straps which help to prevent chafing, a high wicking mesh back to help maintain freshness and reflective detailing to keep you seen by others making this a feature-packed, iconic design."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Altura lists:

- Exclusive Elastic Interface™ Icon Pad

- High wicking stretch fabric

- Italian carbon fabric back panel to reduce bacteria and sustain freshness

- Soft elasticated bibstraps

- Highly wicking mesh back panel

- Reflective print detail

- Fitted

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Sizing is spot on with Altura's guide.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No issues with washing.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They're comfortable bib shorts for a range of riding disciplines.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The material stretches well and gives a good fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The pad didn't suit me for rides longer than three hours.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They are similarly priced to the Galibier and Orro shorts mentioned in the review, though they have the edge on performance.

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

Solid performers and well made for the money, from a good choice of materials.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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