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The Megmeister Women's L8 Bib Shorts feature Megmeister's innovative pad that incorporates suspension technology with the aim of improving pressure distribution – and it works impressively well. Just check the sizing of the shorts before you buy.
The pad is at the heart of any bib shorts, and Megmeister has put in a lot of effort here, having researched and developed the chamois in-house over the past two years.
Made in Italy, the innovative chamois is designed to rid rides of saddle discomfort. To achieve this, Megmeister developed its own fabric with in-built damping qualities, similar to suspension systems found in cars, but by matching spring and damper rates to the pressure created by cyclists.
What Megmeister calls suspension refers to the idea that the padding material absorbs the initial impact and then quickly returns to its original state to deal with the next impact.
Megmeister says it has been able to create the crucial damping performance between two outer layers of the fabric by filling the space with threads that act as shock absorbers.
Before even trying on the shorts, the chamois feels a lot firmer than you might expect, and giving it a squeeze, the bounce back feel is noticeable.
Now to the part that matters, does it work?
I found the pad in the L8 shorts really comfortable, whether sitting back on long endurance rides or giving it some over rougher terrain on off-road tracks. It knocks the edge off vibrations and the pressure distribution is excellent. Of all the shorts I've tested, the only one that comes close is Endura's medical grade silicone elastomer pad, but I didn't quite get on with its shape/sizing.
I've also been attacking some Zwift races indoors, and thanks to the laser cut perforations in the chamois, I found the breathability to be very good too.
Now for the rest of the shorts... The main body is made from a 71% polyamide, 29% elastane blend. As well as boasting good breathability, the shorts also give 50+ UV protection which makes these a solid choice for sunny outings.
This four-stretch woven fabric moulds wonderfully, while supplying a compressive fit in most places – the exception being at the hips.
The sizing of these is completely off, in my experience. Depending on brands, I'm usually a small or medium. Based on Megmeister's sizing guide on its site and assuming the hip dimension to be the widest point around the bum, I should fit comfortably into the small (93cm-96cm) with my measurement of 94cm. Yet the size small was impossible to pull on.
As the hip measurement for the medium, according the Megmeister's site, is 97cm to 101 cm, this should definitely fit. However they're still a squeeze to get on and there's so much pressure around the hips that it causes some discomfort when riding. From my experience it's best to go at least one size up, and I could probably do with going up another because of the tightness that's still there around my hips.
Elsewhere is very good, though. Holding the shorts comfortably and securely in place are two stretchy straps which merge together into an integrated knit back panel. This construction is supportive and doesn't dig in or cause bunching.
A 7cm-wide leg elasticated band with 4cm of silicone gripper keeps the ends nicely in place with pressure evenly dispersed – there's no bulging and the shorts didn't ride up.
Length-wise, these are shorter than most. If you have proportionally longer legs or prefer a longer style you're better off going for something like Nopinz's Pro-1 shorts or CHPT3's Most Days Grand Tour Bib Shorts.
Priced at £169.96, these are at the premium end of the market, but not unreasonable given the quality of the pad.
Castelli's Premio Black Women's Bib Shorts are much more expensive at £200 but they do provide impressive all-weather performance. With minimal seams and a supportive pad, they're comfortable for all-day rides, too.
The Velocio Women's Ultralight Bib Shorts are a similar price to the L8s and are very breathable. They also have comfortably wide, flat straps that work as an effective easy-pee design for increased versatility on longer rides, though the Megmeister's pad is superior.
Overall, Megmeister has developed an exceptional chamois for these performance bibs. The four-stretch material used in the main body is comfortable and supportive, but the fit around the hips is tight; you'll likely need to size up at least one size, potentially two...
High-quality bibs with a very comfortable and well-placed chamois using innovative suspension tech
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Megmeister Women's L8 Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Megmeister says: 'The L8 bib short introduces the 3D WAS (Warp Aero Suspension System) chamois to the cycling world. Saddle discomfort can become a thing of the past following the launch of this new pad technology, developed and designed over 2 years in-house by the research and development team at Megmeister. Guided by science, foam has been replaced by a warp knitted suspension system which improves pressure distribution in the saddle and maintains excellent dampening over time. When scientifically pressure map tested, the 3D WAS pad outperformed conventional foam chamois used by all cycling brands, resulting in a more comfortable, long lasting pain free ride.
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 the 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+
The signature L8 bib short remains true to Megmeister's commitment to push the boundaries with new technical innovations to create the highest performance and comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
cool touch 4 way stretch woven compression fabric
highly breathable with excellent 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
excellant breathability and comfort
saddle pain significantly reduced compared to foam chamois
Tight around the hips, elsewhere is good.
Megmeister's sizing chart is off; you'll need to go at least one size up, maybe two to get a comfortable fit around the hips.
Comfy straps and incredibly supportive chamois which helps prevent saddle sores and chafing.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The chamois is excellent for everything from aggressive to relaxed all-day style riding, as well as from smooth tarmac to rougher stuff off-road.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very comfy, supportive, breathable and well-placed chamois.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing/fit around the hips.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At the premium end, but a similar price to Velocio's Women's Ultralight bibs. The L8s have a superior chamois, but the Velocios are very breathable and have an effective comfort break design.
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
Overall, the pad is truly excellent. It worked a dream for endurance rides as well as off-road adventures. The sizing chart is off, though; I'd say you'll need to go at least one size larger than the site recommends, and even then you may find the fit around the hip is on the tight side.
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