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review

Le Col Men’s Pro Bib Shorts

6
£160.00

VERDICT:

6
10
Comfortable and effective, but lacking the high-quality build and look the high price implies
Comfortable
Well-shaped chamois
Poor stitching on the legs
Expensive
Weight: 
205g
Contact: 

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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If you're spending £160 on a pair of bibshorts you might, quite rightly, expect a perfect finish. But while the Le Col Pro Bib Shorts are a good racy fit with a chamois that makes day-long rides comfortable, the finish leaves a lot to be desired.

The front panel is reasonably long, with wide bibs that help reduce pressure and make for a very comfortable fit. The Pro Dolomiti pad is quite deep and for the first few rides felt a little awkward, but it soon softened – it's actually pretty flexible, and I found it very comfortable.

> Buy these online here

If you don't like the black/white versions on test, there are full black and a navy/black options too. Sizing is broad – from XS up to 3XL – covering waist sizes from 74cm (29.1in) to 111mm (43.7in).

The fit is accurate to the size guide, giving a reasonable level of compression with no loose material.

2021 Le Col Pro Bib Shorts - straps front.jpg

Stitching issues

Our test pair had an issue with the cuffs: both silicone grippers were stitched on badly enough to pull the leg panels out of line and leave unsightly wrinkles. Assuming it was a one-off manufacturing fault, we asked for a replacement pair... which had exactly the same issue.

2021 Le Col Pro Bib Shorts stitching.jpg

This quality of finish is something I would find disappointing on a £60 pair of shorts, let alone £160.

2021 Le Col Pro Bib Shorts - back full.jpg

While this may be purely an unfortunate incident, having two pairs with identical problems doesn't bode well, and it's a location that stands out clearly.

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

This aside, I have used them on several day rides with no issues at all, as they're comfortable and breathable enough to stop them getting too sweaty even in hot weather – though they still don't quite match my favourites.

2021 Le Col Pro Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

For the record, the Assos T.MilleShorts_s7 shorts (£100) and the Castelli Endurance 2s (£125) are my top picks for ultimate comfort.

Value

Retailing for £160, the Pro Bib Shorts are pitched against some of the highest quality shorts available, with high-scoring alternatives including the Pactimo Summit Classic bibs at £165, the MAAP Training Bibs at £141.79, and the 7mesh Mk3 bibs, which are £150 and scored a perfect 10.

Overall

While the Pro bibs offer day-long comfort, a good fit and impressive breathability, some of the stitching is questionable and really spoils the look. At this price, and against such impressive competition, that's unfortunately quite a serious blow against them.

Verdict

Comfortable and effective, but lacking the high-quality build and look the high price implies

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Le Col Pro Bib Shorts

Size tested: Small

Tell us what the product is for

Le Col says: "Our fastest and most popular choice, the Pro Bib Shorts have been developed, tested and proven at the sport's highest level by the world's best riders. Built around a Lycra Sport textile for a versatile breathability and a supportive comfort next to the skin, these shorts are cut in a race fit, offering an aerodynamic construction from top to bottom."

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

Le Col lists:

Developed with insight from the world's top riders

Race oriented aero fit

Debossed logos for stealth

Pro Dolomiti Chamois

Lycra Sport Fibre

Mesh bib straps

Flat locked seams

Silicone leg gripper

Reflective tabs

Product material

80% Polyamide

20% Elastane

Care instructions

Machine Wash at 30°C / 86°F

Do not use fabric conditioner

Close all zippers/velcro fastenings

Dry flat, do not tumble dry

Do not bleach, iron or dry clean

We'd also suggest turning inside out prior to washing and keeping them separate from other items by popping them into a mesh laundry bag

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
4/10

The stitching on the legs is poor, with stretched elastic that misshapes the panel. Our replacement pair had the same problem.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

A good race fit.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

The size guide is accurate and the overall fit is comfortable.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10

The chamois pad is large and quite deep, but I found it comfortable and unobtrusive in use.

Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

The finish is lacking for such a high-cost item.

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

No problems when washed at 30 degrees.

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

The fabric, fit and chamois make these a comfortable pair of shorts.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Reasonable all-day comfort and a good, racy fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The stitching around the cuffs is badly done and causes the seams to ruck up – not at all impressive given the price.

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

At £160 the finish should be perfect, and that sadly just isn't the case. High quality, high-scoring alternatives include the Pactimo Summit Classic bibs at £165, the MAAP Training Bibs at £141.79, and the 7mesh Mk3 bibs, which are £150 and scored a perfect 10.

Did you enjoy using the product? In terms of comfort, yes but construction quality is lacking

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

While the Pro Bib Shorts are comfortable and effective, the badly-done seams and unflattering rucking lets them down – at this price you can fairly expect them shine in every respect.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

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