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review

dhb Classic Bib Shorts

8
£60.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Well made, comfortable and excellent value for road riding, though the pad is less happy on mixed terrain
Comfortable
Well made
Pad best suited to road
Weight: 
182g

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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The dhb Classic Bib Shorts are 'designed for all levels of cyclists' and apparently take cues from the brands' fancier Aeron collection. Essentially, they're a decent, affordable option for general, everyday middle-distance riding.

Given the price I wasn't surprised to discover they're the classic polyamide (80%) elastane (20%) mix, but there's more to a garment than materials alone. The Action 205 Lycra is stretchy, while soft silicone grippers continue this narrative and prevent gathering.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

The Bibs are perforated mesh to keep things from getting too toasty, while the 'Nice Anatomic Men' pad features a central, pressure-relieving channel.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

All fabrics are apparently Bluesign approved. This indicates techniques which removes harmful substances at the beginning of the manufacturing process and ensures they are sustainably produced.

Sizing

Medium is my default these days, and these followed the 'fits just fine' narrative. The fabrics have a good deal of stretch and support, so those of you longer in the torso shouldn't have any issues here.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - legs back.jpg

Comfort

The Classics are designed for rides up to three hours, which may be a little short for big group rides, but is realistic for everyday riding and training. I started off with a few 90-minute blasts and found everything to be very agreeable. The flat locked seams and silicone grippers do their thing very unobtrusively.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - cuff gripper.jpg

The bib sections also offer excellent support, without pressing down on the shoulders, or otherwise feeling restrictive.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

Wicking prowess was also pretty good in a test period than ranged between 13 and 25°C. degrees. There was some dampness around the lower back and front after twenty minutes, but it spirits away efficiently and remains largely dry thereafter.

Talking of the front, though not particularly low cut, there's plenty of give, so roadside comfort stops are straightforward.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - legs front.jpg

On showery days the middleweight fabric takes a little while to turn soggy, but wicks dry reasonably quickly with a break in the cloud.

> 38 of the best cycling bib shorts — get comfy on longer rides

In my experience, pads have become so good it's rare to find a bad one. This one is decent. I found it settles a bit over the first 20 miles and is relatively thin to start with, and while that's not an issue for road riding, it's less comfortable on the sit bones if you're mixing things up on a gravel or cross bike.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

Post-test these still look and feel packet fresh. The fabric has shrugged off some enthused bridlepath speeding, and responded very well to machine washing at their recommended 30°C. They've gone through at 40° too without any obvious problems.

Value

Even at the full price of £60, value is good if not quite the very best – and as dhb is a Wiggle own brand, it's actually harder to pay full whack than considerably less. At the time of writing, for instance, the Classic Bib Shorts were selling for £40.

2021 dhb Classic Bib Shorts - back.jpg

Decathlon Triban RC500 Cycling Bib Shorts feature a similar specification but come in at £49.99, while the special edition red Triban bibs here, which come complete with a pocket, are also £49.99 (but also significantly reduced; they, too, were £20 less than rrp at the time of writing).

Summary

For the money, it's hard to fault the dhb Classic Bib Shorts. They fit and perform well across the board. While fine for road riding, though, the pad is less refined than some 'genuinely' £60 bibs if you're fond of regularly venturing from the asphalt.

Verdict

Well made, comfortable and excellent value for road riding, though the pad is less happy on mixed terrain

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road.cc test report

Make and model: dhb Classic Bib Shorts

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

dhb says: "The dhb Classic Bib Shorts are designed for all levels of cyclists, whether you're on a cafe run, or a sportive. Elegant design and top performance evolved from dhb's best-selling Aeron collection.

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

dhb lists:

* Italian high performance fabric

* Breathable mesh braces

* Elastic Interface® NICE ANATOMIC MEN chamois

* Elastic leg opening with silicone gripper

* Reflective dhb logos

* bluesign® APPROVED fabrics

* 80% Polyamide(Nylon), 20% Elastane(Spandex)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Seem well made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Hard to fault, given the price.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Holding up very well thus far, especially since I'm fond of bridle path cut-throughs.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Cut just right for me, and there's a decent amount of give in the bib section.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Medium was bang on for my 1m81, 70-kilo frame.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10

Heavier than some, but reassuringly so.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Very comfortable in the main, although the pad is best suited to road, rather than mixed terrain or gravel duties.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

Extremely easy to live with. Responds very well to 30-degree machine washing.

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

Overall, the dhb Classic Bib Shorts have impressed me with their comfort and construction. The pad, though relatively thin, offers ample support for a few hours of road riding. The bib sections offer plenty of support and stretch. The leg panels feel solid but are still very comfortable on warmer rides, and the silicone grippers do their thing very competently.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great for training and general road riding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A minor point, but while the pad is fine for road duties, its limitations are more apparent on bridleways and dirt roads.

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

Even at the full price of £60, value is good if not quite the very best – and as dhb is a Wiggle own brand, it's actually harder to pay full whack than considerably less. At the time of writing, for instance, the Classic Bib Shorts were selling for £40. Decathlon Triban RC500 Cycling Bib Shorts feature a similar specification but come in at £49.99, while the special edition RC500 Triban bibs, which come complete with a pocket, are also £49.99 (but also reliably and significantly reduced). They, too, were £20 less than rrp at the time of writing.

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

Great value bib shorts for general, everyday road duties.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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