Designed for the growing indoor training and competing market, Lusso's Turbo Bib Shorts have a firm pad that works well for a few hours of static riding, where most of it is likely to be spent in the saddle. With a decent fan set up to help, breathability is pretty good too.
The growth of platforms like Zwift and the various lockdown restrictions all around the world has meant that many riders, even through the summer, have been in the pain cave to get their training or racing fix.
For years we've just been wearing our normal outdoor shorts for those tedious hours in the saddle, so what has Lusso done differently to make these shorts more turbo specific?
For me, numbness is the biggest issue as I tend not to get out of the saddle that much, even when climbing on Zwift, staying seated and twiddling the pedals instead. Getting out of the saddle just never feels right to me on a turbo.
Lusso has used a Dolomiti Antibacterial Most Breathable Endurance pad in these, which it says is good for around six hours of riding.
The padding is firm and quite thick – both more so than I'd find comfortable out on the road, to be honest – but it actually worked really well for my time on the turbo, even for a couple of hours of steady state riding without budging from the saddle.
The main pad layout is quite narrow to suit a race saddle, so even though it is deep it never feels bulky or like it is getting squished all over the place.
Lusso also mentions that these shorts can be used in the outside world, and although I found them a little firm for fast road use, the pad was beneficial when it came to long jaunts on the gravel tracks.
The rest of the shorts feel pretty standard. The Italian fabric is stretchy, offering a touch of compression, and more importantly it is comfortable against the skin.
The large number of panels means there are a fair few seams but they are sewn pretty flat and Lusso has done a good job of keeping them out of the way of anywhere that is going to rub.
Riding in front of a fan indoors, breathability felt fine in both the leg section and the lightweight mesh bibs.
The finish and attention to detail is very good, and with details like a double seam around the pad, durability isn't looking likely to be an issue, with no wear marks from long hours in the saddle.
Lusso manufactures the shorts in Manchester, with the fabrics and pad coming from the EU, so that might sway things for you if you have concerns over the carbon footprint of your cycling kit.
There are various brands making turbo-specific kit these days – Madison, for instance, has its Turbo Bib Shorts which are slightly more expensive than the Lussos at £69.99 versus £54.99. Adam was pretty impressed with them, but they don't seem to really deliver anything more than the Lusso option.
I liked the Primal Men's eSport Bib Shorts when I tested them back in September last year, mostly because of the design which had a limited number of panels, and therefore seams. I'd say they are a bit more comfortable on the turbo than Lusso's, but they will set you back a much more substantial £95.
On the whole, if you think that you need to try some turbo-specific shorts then these from Lusso are a good place to start, especially if you suffer from numbness. They work well outside too, especially for gravel riding.
Good pad choice increases comfort for turbo use and they are durable enough for outdoors too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Turbo Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "We've designed the Turbo Bib Shorts in a classic, subtle style with minimal branding. The pad has excellent stretch and freedom of movement allowing plenty of breathability and moisture transfer. Ideal for training indoor and outdoor, also indoor racing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight Italian compression fabric 190g
Dolomiti Antibacterial Most Breathable Endurance Pad
6hour + pad
Double sewn in pad
Tritech Bib Top
7cm Wide Bib strap
Part flat seam & 3 thread overlock
Reflective Lusso logo
Designed and Made in Manchester with European fabrics & pad, keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum
Stick with Lusso's size guide and you should be fine.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A 30 degree wash is recommended and I had no issues when following that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The pad brings extra comfort when on the turbo for long sessions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Firm pad reduces numbness when on the turbo.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as lightweight as some turbo-specific shorts.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are priced well, coming in cheaper than both the Madison and Primal versions I mention in the review.
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're very good, and good value. Some brands have gone for thinner fabrics or fewer seams for their turbo shorts for added comfort, but the Lussos perform well indoors as well as being usable outside.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!