The Stolen Goat Climbers Bib Shorts are very light and breathable with a great compressive fit, but there are a few niggles – and be careful choosing your size, too, as they come up pretty small.
These are designed for summer days, and indeed did a great job of keeping me fresh on a recent trip to Mallorca with temperatures hitting 25°C. They also coped well with some hard turbo sessions in an overly warm flat without forming excessive damp patches. The AquaRacer material is designed to be light and highly breathable, and it does feel noticeably lighter than normal.
> Buy now: Men’s Climbers bib shorts from Stolen Goat for £120
I also wore these on some spring days of around 10°c and they were still fine. Any colder I'd opt for something else, though.
The main factor with any shorts is, of course, the pad. I found Vapour pad here comfortable, and it has a 3D webbing structure designed to change into a rubberised state when under stress – certainly I found it did a good job of providing support even on poorly-surfaced lanes.
It's nicely breathable too, and I never felt overly hot or damp when riding hard on hot days.
The guide says you should size up with these, and I agree. I tested a medium and, even though I was in the middle of its stated range, these felt very snug. If you're at the upper end of any size range, definitely go up – and even if you're in the middle, consider it. There are seven sizes, at least, so you should be able to find one that suits.
The fit is apparently aero and tuned to the cycling position, but then it should be, really. I can't verify any aerodynamic claims as my professionally-calibrated windtunnel is suffering issues with not existing, but certainly there's no loose fabric in the compressive leg fit. I liked the level of compression these give, and it feels supportive when riding hard.
The legs are a touch shorter than some. Whilst I found them fine (I am 178cm and as I said, wore a medium), if you're tall you may find them slightly lacking. With no silicone grippers (just elasticated panels) I thought they might ride up, but I never found myself adjusting them even after five hours in the saddle.
The straps are light and breathable but don't feel like the hardly-there straps of some, such as the recently-tested Castelli Free Aero RC Bib Shorts. In fact, they're not as comfortable as the same straps on my Bioracer club kit (Bioracer makes the Stolen Goat stuff), which tells me it's the sizing that's the issue.
There is a 'stash' pocket on the rear straps, which I used for a few bits of nutrition and found comfortable throughout the ride.
These shorts come up quite high at the front, to around the belly button. I normally don't like this, but the stretch in the material made comfort breaks much easier on those long days out than with similarly tall shorts I own.
> 38 of the best cycling bib shorts – get comfy on longer rides
After a few months of regular use there were a few places where the stitching had come loose on the inside of the shorts. Although it didn't affect how they performed, it made me question their durability over the long term.
The looks are quite minimalist, with just a discreet heat-applied logo on the leg, which makes them easy to pair with jerseys. I tested them in black, but they also come in navy.
At £120 these are mid-range on price, and up against the likes of the CHPT3 Most Days Grand Tour Men's Shorts at £125. It is easy to spend a lot more – the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0s are £235 and those Castelli Free Aero RC Bib Shorts are £175, for instance – but both received rave reviews when we tested them.
It is also possible to get good shorts for a lot less, though such as the Polaris Latitude Bib Shorts at £79.99 or the Nopinz Pro-1 bib shorts at £99.99. The latter is less specifically a summer pair of shorts, though.
The Stolen Goat Men's Climbers Bib Shorts perform well in the warm weather, the pad is comfortable for hours, and the compressive leg fit feels great. The issues with stitching coming loose on ours were small, but at this price you don't expect any – and the sizing is something to be careful with too.
Light, cool and comfortable shorts for hot rides, but the stitching isn't perfect – and be careful on the sizing
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Make and model: Stolen Goat Men's Climbers bib shorts
Tell us what the product is for
Stolen Goat says, "Race fast, ride hard and stay fresh with our men's Climbers bib shorts. Your go-to shorts for hot days in the saddle. Like nothing we've ever launched before, these shorts have been designed alongside a panel of race-winning pro cyclists. The outcome? An ultra-fast, ultra-lightweight bib short with a supreme fit that gives you the freedom to focus on your performance."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stolen Goat says:
Aerodynamically tuned shorts. Pre-shaped and sculpted around the body in the cycling position for better aerodynamics and all-day comfort.
Ultralightweight - our lightest most breathable bib short yet.
Vapour Pad - Developed in Belgium alongside top-level pro riders and teams to create the perfect race pad and positioning on the bike. The padding only weighs 24 grams.
Premium Fit - The Stolen Goat Climbers shorts are compressive in feel, very much a race fit but a comfortable one at that. The legs are held in place with a premium grade elasticated panel rather than use a silicone gripper band which can pull on the skin and has a tendency to ride up the leg.
Premium Fabric - Not all bib shorts are created equal. The AquaRacer material used here is UV-protective, 2-way breathable, 4-way stretchy and very lightweight too. This ensures the fabric moves and breathes with your body. No unnecessary overheating, plus maximum comfort and maximum aero advantages to create one sensational ride experience.
Quick dry - Made from AquaRacer and treated with a hydrophobic coating to give you the quickest drying times and some water resistance. Keeping you fresher on the bike for longer.
Summer garment - designed for the warm climates, these shorts are designed for hot temperatures.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Some stitching came loose after around six weeks of frequent use.
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
They're on the small side – Stolen Goat advises to size up. I'd definitely recommend it if you are on the border.
Rate the product for weight:
Lighter than most other bib shorts out there.
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30° with my other cycling kit, the stitching quickly showed signs of age.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The lightweight fabric is very breathable and copes well with warm weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The compression fit on the legs.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The stitching could be neater and the straps could be more comfortable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £120 these are mid-range on price. The Nopinz Pro-1 shorts received a great review are priced at £99.99. The CHPT3 Most Days Grand Tour Shorts received a good review at £125. Alternatively you can spend a lot more, such as on the Castelli Free Aero RC Bib Shorts at £175 or MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 at £235. If you want to spend a bit less the Polaris Latitude Bib Shorts received a good review and are £79.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No – the issue with the stitching would put me off
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are comfortable shorts that perform well in warm weather. I found the compressive legs felt good, but the straps weren't as comfortable as some and the stitching developed small issues after a few months of wear.
Age: 35 Height: 178cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
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, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor
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