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review

Blackmore Bib Shorts

8
£100.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Very comfortable shorts with a good, supportive fit and a great pad to match
Comfortable for long rides
Great fit
Hardwearing
Front comes up quite high meaning pee-stops might need extra fumbling
Weight: 
190g

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The Blackmore Bib Shorts are stylish and good value, made with a quality compression fabric and firm but supportive pad suitable for long days in the saddle. The high front will likely get you rummaging a little more than usual when nature calls, and the logo might not appeal to all, but the performance will.

Blackmore is a small brand based in Essex, named after the village where the founders grew up. These are its only men's bib shorts, and are made from Easy Rider compression fabric, sourced from Sitip in Italy. It feels high quality, with a medium weight, and strong flatlock stitching holds everything together and in place securely.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - label.jpg

The edges of the fabric are all precisely laser cut rather than hemmed, meaning they lie flat against the skin. I found them very comfortable.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - straps front detail.jpg

I tried a large, and on my 34-inch waist and stocky build they felt a perfect fit. The compression fabric feels supportive but not too tight anywhere. As every edge on the shorts is hemless, nothing digs in anywhere. There's silicone backing at the ends of the legs, and this formed against the back of my knees without any gaps.

I really like the Armadillio AirPlus pad, which is slightly thinner than others I've tried. Its multiple-layered memory foam construction is firm yet still has flexibility to contour against the tender parts. I weigh 92kg so really appreciated the comfort on long rides. The pad also has little multicoloured ducks on it – a cute touch!

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

The 75mm-deep cuff has slightly sticky-to-the-touch silicone dimples on the skin side, which keep the legs perfectly in place. These also secure knee and leg warmers, if you need to use them – they stayed perfectly in place with no slippage.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

I found the front of the Blackmore bibs comes up "belly button high", which made a mid-ride toilet break a little trickier than in other shorts, with a little bit more ferreting around required than I normally have to do. The hemless fabric on the front hasn't shown any signs of overstretching, though.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

I wore these in temperatures ranging from a chilly 5°C with added knee warmers, up to about 20°C, and they felt spot on. I think they would cope with temperatures well into the mid-20s without feeling too hot.

For the kind of riding I do – rides between 60 and 160km, plus some commuting in between – they're ideal, performing well and remaining comfortable throughout. Even on the longest rides I didn't get any chafing at all; I didn't really have to think about them, they just performed, and I could just concentrate on enjoying the ride, which I think is the sign of a great pair of bibs.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - back.jpg

Washing is simple: 40 degrees, and they've come out like new every time. I was wearing these every other day during the test period, and apart from some minor bobbling on the straps, they're lasting really well.

The only thing that I think might divide opinion on these shorts is the Rapha-esque logo. The Blackmore bibs even come with a sticker in the packaging saying "My other shorts are Rapha", which made me chuckle. Personally, I quite like it, though I'm a bit disappointed that there's no duck logo on our test pair, as there is on the Blackmore website.

2022 Blackmore Bib Shorts - legs back.jpg

Value

For £100, the Blackmore shorts are well priced for their quality and fit. I'd definitely put them into a "good value" category, compared to their peers.

Looking at the most obvious competition, with a very similar leg logo, it's got to be the Rapha Pro Team Training bib shorts at £140.

They scored well in our review for their quality materials and style, and are a similar medium thickness fabric, although reviewer Nick did feel they were perhaps a few centimetres too short.

Another pair of medium-weight bib shorts good for all-day riding are the CHPT3 Most Days Grand Tour Bib Shorts. These also cost more than the Blackmores, currently £125. Interestingly, our reviewer George said they also had a high front, making calls of a nature a little tricky.

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

The Lusso Carbon bib shorts are some of the highest rated shorts on road.cc, and come in at a fiver less than the Blackmores at £95, so are also very good value. Our tester Mike raved about their comfort on long rides and awarded them full marks overall.

Conclusion

In summary, these are quality bib shorts that offer great support from the compression fabric and firm but supportive pad. The only very minor downside is the high front, which might have you fishing around during a pee-stop more than usual, but I can forgive them that. Definitely a pair to consider for your cycling wardrobe.

Verdict

Very comfortable shorts with a good, supportive fit and a great pad to match

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Blackmore Bib Shorts

Size tested: L

Tell us what the product is for

A stylish pair of bibs suitable for long days in the saddle, with a few neat details and some quality fabrics.

Blackmore says: "Using fresh fabric for the body construction and updated strapping these make this another step forward for our overall short construction.

"Once again we are using our custom printed Armadillo pad. Made in Italy it has multiple layers of memory foam which form and react around the rider while also maintaining airflow, improving comfort and reducing bulk. A belting pair of shorts that we are proud to put our name to!"

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

Blackmore lists:

- Compression Sitip's Easy Rider fabric sourced from Italy. (The shorts say "Made in the EU")

- Textured elastic straps.

- 75mm gripper cuff

- Flat lock stitching to avoid chafing

- Custom Printed Italian Armadillo AirPlus pad offers superior comfort, anatomical fit and reduced bulk

- Printed Blackmore cuff branding

- Multi panel construction

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The Easy Rider fabric, sourced from Sitip in Italy, feels high quality, and the panels, pad and shoulder straps are securely stitched in place. The edges of the fabric are all precisely cut, and don't have any hems, meaning they sit flat against the skin and very comfortable.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

I found the Blackmore Bibs ideal for the kind of riding I do – rides between 60 and 160km, plus some commuting in between. They performed really well and were comfortable throughout; even on the longest rides I didn't get any chafing.

I found the front comes up "belly button high", which made it a little trickier than other shorts for a mid-ride toilet break, but the fabric on the hemless front doesn't show any signs of overstretching.

Temperature-wise, I was riding from a chilly 5 degrees with added knee-warmers, up to about 18 degrees, and they felt spot on. The compression fabric I'd describe as a medium weight, and I think would cope with temperatures well into the mid-20s without feeling too hot.

The 75mm gripper cuff has a slightly sticky back to it, which keeps them perfectly in place, and also helps secure knee and leg warmers if you need to use them.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The Sitip compression fabric shows no wear from 700km of testing. There are a few minor pulls on the stitching, and a few tiny bobbles on the gripper cuffs around the legs, but I have practically lived in these shorts for the last month, so I think they have held up pretty well.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

I tried a large, and with my 34in waist, 5ft 11in height, 92kg stocky build, they felt a perfect fit; the compression fabric feels very comfortable. There are no hems anywhere on the shorts, so nothing digs in, and the legs sat against my skin without any gaps. I really liked the Armadillo AirPlus pad which is thinner than others I've tried, but firm yet flexible enough, and able to contour against the skin. The pad also has cute little ducks on it – a nice touch!

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Similar to other quality shorts; medium-weight bibs tend to be 180-220g.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Still felt comfortable even after two 170km rides within a few days of each other.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Good value compared with others; £100 for shorts proven to be great for really long days in the saddle is well worth it.

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

I was washing these almost every other day at 40 degrees and they have held up really well.

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

Superb. I didn't really think about them on the long rides I did, which is testament to how comfortable they are.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The high-quality compression fabric, and quality stitched panels. The fit is excellent and despite my 92 kilo bulk, the memory pad was thin but firm and supportive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The front of the bib shorts comes up higher than other I've tried, making a mid-ride pee stop a little bit more of a fumble than I'm used to.

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

For £100 the Blackmore shorts are good value compared to many of their peers. Rapha's Pro Team shorts are £140, and the CHPT3 Most Days Grand Tour bib shorts are £125, though the Lusso Carbon V2s scored full marks when Mike tested them in 2018, and are a fiver less at £95.

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

Very comfortable, and a good, supportive fit, with a great pad to match. The high front does make access during a call of nature a bit tricky, but overall a very strong 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 181  Weight: 92 Kilos

I usually ride: GT Grade  My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Zwifting

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