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The Pactimo Women's Summit Classic Bib Shorts are ideal for spending long hours in the saddle thanks to a supremely comfortable pad and the supersoft fabric that gently hugs your thighs. Although expensive, they are still cheaper than quite a few rivals.
The drop-down comfort break design is a useful touch when you're out on the open road for long periods, but there's not quite enough stretch in the upper for it to work with all body shapes.
Pactimo has used a single, flat-sheen, double-knit fabric – 46% nylon, 38% polyester, 16% spandex – for the main body of the shorts. It's a super soft, supple material that feels incredibly comfy against the skin across long days in the saddle with its gentle compression. The overall fit and feel across the thighs and hip is spot on, and there are no transparency issues at the rear.
Up top, the upper strap construction revolves around Pactimo's Clip&Pit system, which is designed to allow female rides to pee without removing layers up top; the chest strap can be unclipped and then the shorts pulled down for speedy and easy comfort breaks.
However, a different blend – 50% polyester, 35% nylon, 15% spandex – is used here, and there is not enough stretch in the strap construction to enable me to pull down and pee. To put it bluntly, I couldn't use this feature of the shorts at all, which was a shame – this system could certainly be improved to better accommodate riders with longer torsos.
The straps themselves are very comfortable as well as suitably supportive. They're wide, have raw cut edges and lie flat neatly for a flush finish. This thin fabric takes a little longer to arrange perfectly, but once in place the pressure is evenly distributed over the tops of the shoulders.
There's also a raw cut finish at the front, just below the tummy. However I didn't find this very comfortable in this location – the edge is quite sharp and it dug uncomfortably into my tummy when not wearing a baselayer.
The Endurance Anatomic Super Air chamois has been designed with Elastic Interface and promises comfort across 12 hours of riding as well as varied terrain.
It works exceptionally well in all circumstances. There's very good support when leaning into a more aggressive riding position and tucked down in the drops for intense efforts. Even after five solid hours in the saddle I had no issues with soreness or rubbing.
While these shorts are very much suited to long days in the saddle, they also cope with sweat well and are quite breathable. They wouldn't be my go-to on the hottest summer rides, but if you're ramping up the pace on a climb or packing in some intervals these perform pretty well.
The raw cut legs provide just the perfect amount of support, with absolutely no bulging or digging in. There's also 5cm-wide silicone gripper tucked inside, which effectively ensures the leg ends don't ride up. Some faint marks remain after a ride, but there was no irritation at all when riding.
A reflective strip has been included at the rear of each leg for some added visibility in low light condition. The stitching could be a little neater at the leg ends, though – I had a few loose threads.
At £165, the Summit bibs are at the premium end of the market, though they cost just a little less than the extremely breathable Velocio Ultralights (£168). The pad on these is on a par with the Summits, but the Ultralights have an effective easy pee design with much stretchier straps which better accommodate all body shapes.
The Summits are also cheaper than the Le Col Hors Categorie Bib Shorts II at £180; the material is thinner, softer and even more luxurious, but in testing I had issues with premature wearing.
More expensive again are Gore Wear's very comfy and supportive C7 Women's Bib Shorts which have gone up to £199.99 since Emma tested them.
You can certainly get good quality bib shorts for a lot less too, though. The Iris Signature Bib Shorts II are £119, for example.
Overall, I really like these shorts for long rides. The pad is very supportive and the super soft material is cosy and comfortable across endurance efforts. They could just do with a little more stretch in the upper construction for a comfort break design that works for more riders.
Extremely comfortable endurance shorts made from a supersoft fabric, but the upper construction could be improved
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pactimo Women's Summit Classic Bibs
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Pactimo says: 'The Summit Classic Bib has been designed for the discerning cyclist who appreciates the beauty in minimal elegance. With raw-edge cut uppers and leg openings, and a reduction in seams, the Summit Classic is true understated perfection. The entire bib, uppers and lower, is constructed with a single, flat-sheen, double-knit fabric that is visually appealing and offers an even compression for unparalleled comfort. The Endurance Anatomic Super Air chamois, designed in concert with our team and the experts at Elastic Interface®, is the one-of-a-kind 12-hour pad that will keep you comfortable for extreme distances and varied terrain. A great choice for those who want an outstanding long-distance bib with a simple, luxurious style."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pactimo lists these details:
Flat-sheen, double-knit fabric throughout
Elastic Interface® Endurance Anatomic Gem Chamois
Raw-edge cut straps and upper
Raw-edge cut leg openings
Internal, soft, silicone leg grippers
Reflective hits for added safety in low-light conditions
Clip&Pit™ design for worry-free nature breaks
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems when machine washed at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable shorts for long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not very stretchy upper construction meant the Clip&Pit comfort break design didn't work for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Summit bibs are at the premium end of the market, but Gore Wear's C7 Women's Bib Shorts are more expensive at £179.99, as are Le Col's Categorie Bib Shorts II (£180). You can get impressive comfort around the same price with Velocio's Ultralights (£168), which are also an extremely breathable option with an easy-pee design that works better across different body shapes.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, because the comfort break design doesn't work with my body shape.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very comfy shorts that are ideal for long rides, but the upper construction could be designed so the Clip&Pit comfort break system works for riders with longer torsos.
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