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The Nopinz Souplesse Bib Shorts are ideal for fast riding, whether you are out for a blast or going long. The high-density pad is very supportive, providing a comfortable barrier between you and the saddle regardless of the terrain. They are very well made too, and at a price that looks good compared with others out there.
The Pro-1s Nick tested last year are Nopinz's full-on aero bib shorts, leaving this Souplesse pair to back off the speed a bit and enjoy the comfort on rides that could last all day.
That doesn't mean performance has been forgotten, though – these are still a close-cut pair of shorts, and the MITI fabric has a great feeling of compression that supports your muscles when you're riding.
The compression means the shorts don't require deep cuffs, with just a small band of silicone keeping everything in place at the bottom.
The fabric feels great; it's not as shiny as some Lycra, which means there is no issue with sliding around on the saddle. It's durable, too – even after six weeks of riding there are no marks or scuffs from their interaction with the saddle.
I found the fit really good, too, with the multi-panel design creating a shape that works well on the bike without causing any bunching of the material when hunched over in the drops.
Considering all of the panels, the seams are remarkably unobtrusive, not making themselves noticeable when riding, even on long adventures.
I am also a fan of the bib straps. Being laser cut, there are no seams anywhere on the upper body so they're very comfortable, and the thinness of the fabric means that there is no pressure over the shoulders.
It's the chamois that's the star of the show, though. It's made by Elastic Interface and the padding is definitely on the firm side. That might not sound ideal for long hours in the saddle, but it really works. The padding compresses enough to soak up the road vibrations, but you'll always stay suspended above the saddle so there is no bunching of the material or hot spots.
The central channel reduces pressure and the ventilation holes on the front of the pad do help you keep cool.
Sizing-wise, the shorts are about what you'd expect for UK clothing, but it's worth checking Nopinz' guide to be sure. I'm a medium in most kit but am right on the cusp between medium and large here, and happy in a large.
The overall quality is impressive, these are some very well-made shorts, which makes the £119.99 price tag look very competitive.
I was really impressed with the NVPA Bib/Short Navy, for example. They are made from MITI's fabrics and come with a great pad as well, but cost £145 – and I'd say the Souplesse shorts are slightly better across the board in terms of comfort.
Overall, this is a very comfortable pair of bib shorts, from the material right through to the chamois, and for not a lot of money compared with the opposition.
Performance-focused bib shorts that nail the comfort factor too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nopinz Souplesse Bib Shorts
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Nopinz says, "Pedal with effortless style in the Souplesse range.
"Striking a perfect balance between comfort and performance, the Souplesse Bib Shorts are our ultimate offering for all day comfort out on the road or just those all important café rides. Featuring premium Italian solid dyed MITI fabrics with heat applied graphics for exceptional durability. Ride comfort is catered for thanks to an all-day endurance pad from Elastic Interface paired with laser-cut breathable lightweight bib straps. The fit is completed by seamless silicone grippers to avoid any movement on the leg."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Laser-cut breathable lightweight bib straps.
Elastic Interface Chamois featuring EIT pad technology.
Low profile seamless silicone leg grippers.
Luxurious Italian fabrics.
Heat applied Oil slick graphic detailing.
A bit smaller than some UK brands but tally with Nopinz' guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems after putting them through the washing machine many times.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A very comfortable pair of shorts that have a performance edge.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad is spot on for day-long rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
When you take into account the performance and comfort, these are very well priced, as you can see from the competition mentioned 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
There is barely anything to fault here: quality fabrics and a top notch chamois, all stitched together very neatly. They're excellent.
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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!