The Specialized RBX Comp bib shorts offer plenty of comfort for all kinds of riding, whether that's on roads or out on the byways and gravel tracks, thanks to a decent pad and a slightly compressive fabric. They're light, airy and well shaped, though the lack of flatlocked seams is a slight disappointment.
The foam sections of the Body Geometry 3D Contour pad are quite short, mimicking the short-nosed saddles that are becoming popular, and this reduces bunching at the front when crouched over in the drops. The chamois itself continues forward as far as most others – there's just no foam there.
It's a win-win, too, because if you ride in a more upright position, you don't need any padding right out to the front anyway.
The single-density padding falls towards the firmer end of average, but I found it supportive enough for a few hours on the gravel bike, or longer still on rough back roads.
The 'Action polyamide/elasthane' fabric feels soft with no scratchiness against the skin, and it's quite lightweight, which gives the RBXs an airy sort of feel to them – they were ideal during the test, where the temperatures typically sat in the mid-20s.
Specialized has gone for multiple panels on these shorts, so as to shape them for a rider's tuck on the bike.
This makes them very comfortable as you don't feel the lower back panels being pulled tight when you bend into the drops, and you don't get any bunching of loose material at the front.
On the downside, it does mean a lot of seams. While not a major concern as they too are quite soft, on longer rides – around the four-hour mark – I did notice the ones on my thighs. They cause no real discomfort, but I started to feel the ridge of the overlocked (rather than flatlocked) seams.
Comfort is good elsewhere. The leg grippers offer just enough compression to keep them in place without creating a pressure point.
It's the same with the bib straps too; they keep the shorts secure without causing any irritation.
At £80 the RBX Comps are up against shorts from the likes of dhb with its Aeron which, at £75, is a good all-rounder that's a staple of many a road rider. There are other options too, such as the Cycology Men's Logo bib shorts at £70.
The quality of the RBX Comps is good throughout and, looking at the competition, I'd say they are sensibly priced.
The Specialized RBX Comps are a comfortable pair of shorts you can wear day in, day out on a range of terrains. The pad is good, they're well shaped and – sometimes noticeable if not uncomfortable seams aside – they're a solid, no-nonsense performer.
Simple design that delivers everything you need for the money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized RBX Comp Bib Short
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Specialized says, "Bib shorts with anatomic shape, made of Action polyamide/elasthane for good muscle compression and Body Geometry padding."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Elasticized mesh braces, for great fit and comfort.
Body Geometry 3D Contour Padding, Single density foam
Following Specialized's sizing guide gave no issues with sizing.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Specialized recommends a cool hand-wash, but I've had no issues with a 30 deg machine wash either.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are a simple pair of shorts but do the basics very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Shaped cut for riding works great on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The seams can become noticeable on long rides.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
dhb and Cyclogy offer similarly-specced shorts at just a few quid cheaper, as mentioned in the review. Many others such as Lusso do too, and when it comes to spec, comfort and fit the Specializeds are on par.
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
The Specialized shorts are quite subtle. They don't really scream technology and detail like some brands do, but they deliver everything you need out of a pair of bibshorts – they're very good.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!