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dhb's Blok bib shorts have been around for a while – Jez reviewed them six years ago and liked them a lot. The current incarnation is just as good, and, in my opinion, looks better too. In those six years, the RRP has gone up by only a fiver to £65, which still makes them great value for money.
I like the design brief of the dhb Blok range: decent performance at a sharp price but looking a bit different. I'm not generally a fan of non-black shorts, but at the same time I do like a bit of colour. A contradiction, but one that these dhb shorts resolve quite nicely.
There are some other colourways available too, some combining navy as the main colour with differently coloured bands on the legs.
The medium we have on test here fits me well, and as expected – I'm usually medium in non-Italian bib shorts. Looking at the size chart, my measurements would steer me towards a small for chest and hips, but medium for waist. The fabric is so stretchy that I suspect a small could also work for me.
The main fabric of the bib shorts is an 80% polyamide (nylon), 20% elastane (spandex) mix. It's not quite as supportive as more expensive bib shorts – there's not really any compressive effect – but I wouldn't say this is a design flaw, more that my personal preference is for a more supportive fabric.
It's nice to see that dhb is making some effort towards sustainability; the fabrics used are Bluesign approved. This means, paraphrasing what it says on the Wiggle website, that harmful substances are removed from the beginning of the manufacturing process and standards for environmentally friendly production are controlled.
The shoulder straps are wide enough not to irritate or dig in, and the rear upper panel is made from a mesh fabric (with a slightly lower elastane content) to aid breathability.
The coloured bands on the legs have a dotted silicone gripper pattern on the inside, which works well to stop the legs riding up.
It's worth noting that the leg length is slightly shorter than some shorts I've tested recently from Pactimo, Le Col and Castelli – they finish above where my current tan line starts.
There are a couple of small grey reflective dhb logos, one on the right leg and one on the right just above where the pad ends.
The chamois is made by Elastic Interface, whose pads I generally get on with and are used by lots of other brands. Specifically, these shorts use its 'Nice Anatomic Men' pad. It's engineered with a channel in the middle to relieve pressure and an 'Eco X-tract' top sheet to help remove moisture.
dhb says the pad is developed for medium distances of up to three hours in the saddle, but I found these shorts comfortable for longer than that, anything up to five hours. In fact, on these kinds of rides they've performed impeccably, to the point where you wonder why you'd spend more.
At £65, these bib shorts are very keenly priced indeed.
It is possible to find decent bib shorts that cost less – Van Rysel's Shorts Racer Ultralight are a penny less, and dhb's Classic bib shorts are a fiver cheaper – but you can spend more – Stolen Goat's Bodyline One Bib Shorts are £98 – or a lot more: Pactimo's Summit Stratos Range Bib Shorts cost £186.
The Blok bib shorts look great and will keep you comfortable on short- to medium-distance rides. If you're not looking to ride for longer than that, these are an excellent choice for the money.
Great performance for short to medium distance rides, and look really good too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Blok Bib Short
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: 'We have considered every detail in our Blok Bib Shorts. Bold, confident designs have been married with sustainably-produced performance fabrics and a newly-developed seat pad to bring the fun to your summer rides.
'We are proud to partner with Italian chamois experts Elastic Interface®. These shorts feature their new NICE ANATOMIC MEN pad, developed for up to three hours in the saddle. Extremely flat for continuous contact, it has a pressure-relieving central channel and ECO X-Tract top sheet to expel moisture.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb lists these details:
LYCRA® SPORT fabric technology
Elastic Interface® NICE ANATOMIC MEN chamois
bluesign® APPROVED fabrics
Main: 80% nylon, 20% elastane; Mesh: 85% polyester, 15% elastane
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The care instructions say: Machine wash 30 degrees | Wash dark colours separately | Do not bleach | Do not tumble dry | Do not iron | Do not dry clean | Place in a net bag before washing.
I pretty much ignored all this and, just like I do with all my other cycling kit, it went in with the rest of the washing at 40 degrees. They look as good as when they arrived.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
dhb says the pad is developed for medium distance rides of up to three hours. I found them comfortable for anything up to five.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The performance for the price, and the way they look.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If I had to find something negative to say, my personal preference would be for a slightly more supportive fabric.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not easy to find decent bib shorts that cost significantly less than these. Van Rysel's Shorts Racer Ultralight and dhb's Classic bib shorts are both a fiver cheaper, but in the same ballpark. Conversely, it's much easier to find more expensive ones.
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
They look good, perform impeccably for rides of up to five hours, and are a great price. Overall, I think they're an excellent buy.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift