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La Passione's Grace Bib Shorts are the Italian brand's sole bib short offering for women. These use quality materials and provide comfort for mid-distance rides, as well as breathability for more intense efforts. The leg length is decent, but bear in mind the straps are cut slightly short and aren't particularly stretchy, so these don't suit all body shapes.
The main fabric (59% polyester, 41% elastane) is soft, stretchy and not in any way restrictive – these shorts flow with the body's movement while riding.
The seamless straps are broad at 4cm wide, and round the back they join a central mesh panel. The idea is to improve ventilation as well as stabilising the shorts on the body – it works well on both counts, and the mesh is fast drying too.
Cut wise, the Grace shorts wont suit everyone – they don't suit riders like me, for instance, with a relatively long torso.
There's a little stretch to the straps, but it's not enough, and they're simply too short for my upper body. The resulting drag on my shoulders feels restrictive and caused discomfort on rides.
If you have an average or relatively short torso, however, the straps are broad and spread pressure evenly, so will likely be completely comfortable for a shorter rider.
Along with this I found the fit to be slightly looser than I like around my thighs. If you're not a fan of the gentle compression found in racier models, you may prefer the feel of this fit – I just get on better with a little more reassuring support.
The Elastic Interface pad is incredibly soft and contours comfortably. Density-wise it's very decent, although for me it doesn't quite provide enough support for longer endurance rides. I found the chamois comfortable up to three hours on the road – only then did soreness become an issue.
That said, the shorts do keep the pad securely in place, so I didn't have any issues with chafing or rubbing at all.
Although the straps are cut short, there's good length to the legs. The grippers are wide at 6cm, and the elasticity of the band combined with the grippiness of the silicone dots inside mean these shorts do not budge at all, whatever your efforts.
The downside is the dots leave faint marks on the skin post-ride.
The plain black design allows you to easily match these shorts with any jersey, though they're also available in blue.
You can spend less though: Bioracer's Vesper Bibshort Soft is £99 and Velocio's Foundation Bib Shorts are £101. Both of these are very comfortable for less intense rides, and also have handy easy-pee features – something the La Passione lacks.
The La Passione Grace shorts are very good, thanks to the comfortable pad, good construction and effective leg grippers. The short, unstretchy straps may well bother you if you're relatively long in the torso, though.
Well-made and comfortable for mid-distance rides, but straps are too tight if you're long in the torso
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione Grace Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
La Passione says: "The Grace Bib Shorts feature a multi-panel structure which provides wearability, resistance and lightness. The comfortable seamless tape braces have a central framework to improve air ventilation and perfectly stabilize this Bib Short on the body. According to an accurate anthropometric study on the body fit, the Elastic Interface® pad is designed to optimize comfort while offering great protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
La Passione lists:
"Multi-panel structure for maximum wearability
Seamless tape straps
Specific back framework in perforated fabric
High leg hem with front inner silicone gripper
Elastic Interface® pad developed for extra-long rides."
The pad is very good for rides up to three hours. I found the straps too short for me though – they're not stretchy enough and dug in a lot.
These size up small for riders with longer torsos.
Lovely, assuming your proportions mean the straps fit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 30°C in a garment bag, as La Passione advises.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very good for mid-distance rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability and zero-squeeze leg grippers (even if they do leave faint marks).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The straps aren't stretchy enough and are cut too short for long-torsoed riders.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £120, these are middle of the road for price. The Grace bibs are cheaper than Rapha's excellent Women's Pro Team Training Bib Shorts, but there are cheaper options that have impressed too – particularly Bioracer's Vesper Bibshorts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but not if they were a tall friend
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall these are very good shorts with a comfortable pad that's held in place well, and provides support for up to three hours. The grippers are effective, but do leave marks. If the fit worked better for more body shapes – the straps aren't particularly stretchy and are too short for long-torso riders – they would easily score higher.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.