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The Spatz Convoy Cargo Bib Shorts are the only shorts Spatz do – until now they've been known more for their winter and foul weather clothing. The Convoy shorts offer mesh pockets and a deep chamois pad, and give good comfort and storage for long rides in all kinds of conditions... so long as it's not boiling hot. They still err towards the thick and protective.
These shorts are aimed at more than just gravel riding – the idea is you would also reach for them if you're heading to do a local week-night criterium, but given the construction and slightly thicker material, I do think that they're best suited to long rides and off-road adventures.
They feature subtle logos and reflective side tabs, and feel thicker and denser than many such designs. They suit cooler weather, and while not windproof (or featuring any form of DWR coating) the fabric feels protective and well suited wet weather. It's not the best fabric for hot days, but will cover you for a wide range of spring and early summer conditions.
In fact, for thickness they're similar to something like Sportful's Fiandre No Rain Pro Bib Shorts, which are cheaper at £145 if protection is what you're after.
Rapha's Men's Cargo Bib Shorts are almost the same price as these at £215 and MAAP has a pair (the Alt Road Cargo Bibs) at £235, but even Rapha's own Core Cargo Bibshorts are far cheaper at £100. There are plenty of cheaper options too, such as the Altura All Roads Cargo bibs at £80.
There are just three sizes: S, M and L. The size guide runs from a sub 85cm/32in waist to 90cm/36in, and I found them true to the guide. I would usually be happy with a size small but for me, an XS size would have been ideal.
The legs are long – these stop on the edge of my knee cap, and the big (10cm) grippers work well on skin or warmers – which isn't a problem for me, but the bib straps are long too and felt loose.
For me, the straps should feel as though they are supporting the shorts when you're on the bike, and these just don't. Again, an XS size may have sorted that.
The chamois pad is also quite thick,which is great for endurance and comfort. It's also wide and extends into the upper leg, which I found perfectly comfortable. The longest ride I did was 210km, and the cushioning was impressive, especially over the off-road sections.
These feature two pockets on the back, positioned a little higher than jersey pockets are usually found. This is normal (presumably so they don't clash) but does mean you need quite flexible arms to access the contents while riding. They are not as deep as a typical jersey pocket either, but they're still enough for food items or spares such as an inner tube.
The pocket on the right leg is far more accessible, and a generous size. It's perfect for softer things, such as gels or food, and all these together let you head for a relaxed gravel ride without needing to wear a cycling jersey.
If your summer, like mine, features a few weekend rides towards a pub lunch, you can safely stow your phone and keys but wear a normal t-shirt up top.
The limited fit options mean these won't suit riders at the far ends of the scale, but the super-comfy pad and thickish fabric makes them great for a wide range of conditions – certainly typical UK conditions, which don't include a great deal of very hot days.
Well constructed and comfortable cargo bibshorts, but limited for sizes and expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Spatzwear Convoy Cargo Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Spatzwear says: "The Spatzwear 'CONVOY' Bib Shorts are like nothing else on the market. Designed to let you ride as far as you want; as fast as you want. Developed to work in perfect unison with our Jerseys, Base Layers and Gilets. The killer features of the 'CONVOY' Bib Shorts are the cargo pockets. Not only 2 mesh pockets positioned across the rear section, but also a small additional pocket placed snugly on the inside top of the right thigh."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Colours: Black or Military Green
S - 85CM
M - 85-90CM
L - 90+CM
The one thing letting these down, for me, is the straps, which are just too long.
Very wide and deep chamois pad.
There's no getting away it – these are very expensive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very simple at 30°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are really comfortable and the pockets are useful.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good-sized cargo pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The bib straps could be a lot more supportive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Rapha Cargo bibshorts are almost the same price, at £195. MAAP has a pair of cargo bibshorts at £235, but there are plenty of much cheaper options, such as the Altura All Roads at £80.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – if there were a size XS
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Convoy shorts are only available in three sizes, which will leave smaller riders wanting. The quality is good, and the thickness of the material makes them ideal for a wide range of conditions.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.