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The Megmeister L8 Bib Short comes with the 3D WAS chamois pad and it's a bit of a game changer, especially on rougher terrain. That aside though, the overall cut of the shorts just feels a bit off, and you might find the fabric restrictive if you have larger thighs.
The 3D WAS pad was designed in-house by the research and development team at Megmeister, who says the traditional foam has been replaced with a warp-knitted suspension system. The idea is it improves pressure distribution in the saddle, and maintains excellent dampening over time.
Megmeister also states that when pressure tested against other foam pads used by all cycling brands, it outperformed them – basically it's a more comfortable ride for longer.
What all this means is that the 3D WAS chamois has some quite firm padding, noticeably more so at the front. The padding is shaped to what looks like a stubby nosed saddle, but with a groove running completely up the middle to reduce pressure.
I quite like the firmness, but I wouldn't say there's a huge difference on the road over other very good pads, such as the one found in the Endura FS260-Pro shorts – which uses varying densities of gel inserts – or the Elastic Interface pad found in the MAAP Team Bib Evo shorts.
The 3D WAS comes into its own though on rougher surfaces, especially gravel. Even on a punishing gravel track, the padded sections were able to maintain the same levels of cushioning as they did at the start.
The firmness also minimises the amount the padding is compressed, keeping an area of the central channel open and helping with cooling.
The big issue I had with the L8 shorts, though, was the fit around the legs. I have quite large thighs, but so have many cyclists, so it seems odd these shorts don't seem to be able to accommodate my muscles. No other shorts ever have.
I thought it may have been the composition of the four-way stretch, 71% polyamide, 29% elastane fabric. After all some fabrics can grip the skin a bit as you pull them on, or just don't have the movement to slip on easily – some shorts take a bit of extra adjustment to get the legs in place.
Even when pulling the L8s fully on and the hems of each leg into position, they are still unbelievably tight, and I'm not just talking about a bit of compression.
When pedalling the material felt like it was restricting my movement right at the top of the leg, and actually rubbed against the top of my right leg enough to remove the top layer of skin over just a 40-mile ride.
The cut makes the bottom half of the shorts feel like they are quite short in the body too, although with the straps in place they never feel too small. I can't quite work out what's going on... all I can say is that the fit is just a bit odd. I checked the size guide, and I should be fine in this medium.
The material is effective in other aspects though; it's impressively breathable, and the bits that aren't rubbing are comfortable against the skin. The legs are held in place with an elasticated gripper with silicone dots on the rear.
The straps are wide to reduce pressure points over your shoulders, and a lightweight mesh back aids cooling.
Priced at £169.95, the Megmeisters are at the upper end of the scale, if a smidge over twenty quid cheaper than the £190 MAAPs though. Still, the MAAPs are still some of the best bibshorts I've had the pleasure to wear, whereas the L8s aren't.
The Rapha Classic bibshorts are the same price as the L8s, but again are very comfortable.
The excellent pad – especially if you ride on rough surfaces or spend a lot of time in the saddle – is the saving grace of the L8s. I may be just unlucky with the fit, but I've never had these kind of issues with any other pair of bibshorts.
Excellent pad design, especially for gravel riding, let down by poor fit around the legs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Megmeister Men's L8 Bib Short
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Megmeister says, "The L8 bib shorts are made in an innovative French 4 way stretch woven fabric providing effective muscle support and vibration dampening and excellent dynamic performance for long summer rides whilst being 20% lighter than standard knit fabric. The L8 bib short is ultra-fast drying, breathable, absorbing and dispersing sweat keeping you dry and comfortable on warm days, whilst offering protection from UV radiation at the highest level: 50+"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
cool touch 4 way stretch woven compression fabric
highly breathable with excellant moisture management
seamless integrated knit back panel
fully integrated customised grip tape
Megmeister reflective logo print on legs
improves pressure distribution in the saddle
maintains excellent dampening over time
excellent breathability and comfort
saddle pain significantly reduced compared to foam chamois
It's not so much a sizing issue; just the cut doesn't do it for me.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues on a cool wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great pad, especially for gravel riding but let down by the fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Very tight around the legs.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are up with the likes of MAAP and Rapha, although they offer exceptional comfort.
Did you enjoy using the product? I enjoyed the pad, but not the fit
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
I've never had a pair of shorts not fit me like this before, so while the pad is excellent, I never felt comfortable wearing the L8s even after much perseverance.
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!