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review

dhb Blok Bib Short

9
£65.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Great performance for short to medium distance rides, and look really good too
The look
Comfort
Price
Fabric could be more supportive
Weight: 
183g

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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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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - back.jpg

There are some other colourways available too, some combining navy as the main colour with differently coloured bands on the legs.

Fit, fabric and features

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - legs front.jpg

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - front detail.jpg

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

The coloured bands on the legs have a dotted silicone gripper pattern on the inside, which works well to stop the legs riding up.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - cuff gripper.jpg

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - legs back.jpg

Pad

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.

2021 dhb Blok Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

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.

Value

At £65, these bib shorts are very keenly priced indeed.

> Buyer’s Guide: 38 of the best cycling bib shorts

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.

Conclusion

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.

Verdict

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

UPF 50+

Main: 80% nylon, 20% elastane; Mesh: 85% polyester, 15% elastane

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

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.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 77kg

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

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