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Santini Unico Women’s Shorts



Super comfortable bib shorts with an excellent chamois, suitable for long days out
Excellent chamois
Exceptional comfort with soft, gripper-less fabric
Minimal stitching so little to irritate
Great size range
Design makes mid-ride toilet stops challenging
Limited reflective detail

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Santini Unico Women's Shorts are designed for long-distance riding, and provide exceptional comfort and a second skin feel. They feature Santini's top-of-the-range seat pad and silky soft fabric with minimal seams. The breathable mesh panel on the bibs might make those mid-ride toilet stops more challenging, but otherwise there's little to fault here.

For more options at various prices, check out our guide to the best cycling bib shorts.

> Buy now: Santini Unico Women’s Shorts for £101.47 from Alpinetrek

The shorts have a number of features aimed at minimising discomfort on the bike, and are designed for long-distance road riding, though they're great for any type of riding.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - back.jpg

They're made from Italian microfibre fabric, which is luxurious and soft to the touch. As well as being exceptionally comfortable, the fabric offers light compression without being restrictive or pinching anywhere; it offers more stretch than traditional Lycra and really did feel like a second skin – although one drawback of the silky soft fabric is that it was slightly slippery on some saddles.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - back logo.jpg

There are very few seams, and they are thermo-welded to improve comfort. The shorts didn't chafe or pinch anywhere.

The leg ends are raw cut with no grippers, making them incredibly comfortable and giving a 'barely there' feeling. To my surprise, they didn't ride up at all when I was pedalling, the raw-cut finish and stretchy fabric keeping them in place without any restrictive compression, even when I got sweaty.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - legs side.jpg

Up top, the bib straps are crossed at the back and sit comfortably in place.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - straps back.jpg

I found the breathable mesh panel at the front worked well instead of a baselayer, although it does mean mid-ride pit stops aren't as easily negotiated as with those that offer 'easy-pee' designs, such as the Assos Women's UMA GTV Bib Shorts C2 that Suvi tested last year.

The mesh panel of the Unicos would make this difficult, but personally I'm happy to sacrifice this functionality for improved comfort.


The chamois is perhaps the most important part of a pair of bib shorts, and these feature Santini's top-of-the-range seat pad – the C3W – which has ischiatic shock-absorbing gel inserts and an ergonomic 3D surface.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - chamois.jpg

I highly rate it. I might have already mentioned it (!) but I found the shorts extremely comfortable, and used them for rides of around three to four hours without giving them a second thought.

Sizing and fit

The size range is impressive – the shorts are available in nine sizes, from XXS-4XL. I am normally a small in cycling kit and the size smalls on test fitted me perfectly, with no constriction or troubles with the length of the bibs.

> Read more reviews of women's cycling shorts here

I found the leg length good, but just be aware they are on the shorter side – something to consider if you like long shorts.

Other features

The attractive iridescent Santini logo on the right leg is reflective, but the shorts could really do with a few more reflectives on the back.

2023 Santini Unico Womens Shorts - legs back.jpg

We don't usually talk about the packaging, but receiving these bib shorts is a pleasant experience as they come in a zip-up faux leather pouch which could be used to protect them while travelling to races or to hold other cycling goodies.


At £169 these shorts are certainly not cheap, but they aren't at the very top. Those Assos Women's UMA GTV Bib Shorts C2 I mentioned earlier, for example, now cost £215 – though they do have that easy-pee design.

Similarly, Le Col's Women's Hors Categorie Bib Shorts II cost £210 – up from £180 since Anna reviewed them in 2021 – and she found them to have ineffective leg grippers.

You can get cheaper options, though – Lusso's Comfort Break Bibshorts, for example, are £100 and Caroline rated them highly for comfort.


These shorts are excellent, and I was unaware of them when riding. The combination of pad, soft fabric and minimal seams mean they really feel like a second skin. Overall, their great performance, fit and comfort make them ideal for long-distance riding.


Super comfortable bib shorts with an excellent chamois, suitable for long days out

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Make and model: Santini Unico Womens Shorts

Size tested: Small/Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Santini says: "High performance, supreme comfort, minimal stitching women's bib shorts" that are "designed for long distance road riding, but great for anything".

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Santini says, "this is a game-changer performance bib-short, featuring minimal stitching and innovative grip-less fabric technology for a second-skin weightless feel."


Made of a high performance, soft feel, Italian microfiber. Incredibly stretch, it provides a light compression without being restrictive. So weightless and comfortable you won't feel you are wearing it. Raw cut finish for superior fit, the bib shorts stay in place while pedaling without the need of a leg gripper.


Stitching is reduced to the bare minimum for chafe-free comfort.


Strategically cut bib, constructed with a light, crossed at the back and with a light and breathable mesh panel on the front.


Featuring our top of the range C3W chamois, with ischiatic shock absorbing gel inserts and ergonomic 3D surface. Designed for long distance. Anatomically cut for women.


Distinctive iridescent reflective logo on the lower legs for high visibility in dark conditions.

Size Small - 163g

9 sizes - XXS to 4XL

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very nicely made with luxurious-feeling fabric and minimal seams.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:

Fitted me well with no constriction or issues with the length of the bibs. The shorts are perhaps on the shorter side but I don't mind this.

Rate the product for sizing:

It's great that there is such a wide size range from XXS-4XL. I am normally a size small in cycling kit and they were as expected. The material is sufficiently stretchy so sizing is less critical than with more traditional fabric.

Rate the product for weight:

Very light.

Rate the product for comfort:

Extremely comfortable with no chafing or pinching.

Rate the product for value:

They are on the expensive side, but there are certainly more expensive options out there (though some of those do feature an 'easy pee' system).

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They are easy to wash and don't take long to dry.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They were very comfy on long rides, as intended. I used them for 3- to 4-hour rides without giving them a second thought.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort and weightless feel and the iridescent Santini logo on the leg.

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

They aren't cheap, but there are plenty more options that are much more expensive, though some of those do feature an 'easy pee' system. For the comfort and fit, I would say these are worth the money.

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

These shorts are excellent. So good I was unaware of them when riding. Overall great performance, fit and comfort make them ideal for long-distance riding (or any length of riding!)

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 175  Weight: 64

I usually ride: specialised tarmac sl6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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