A good pair of bib shorts is probably the most important item in your cycling wardrobe. They (and particularly their pad) really can make the difference between an awesome ride and a miserable ride. Making the right choice is super important.
In this, our Stolen Goat bib shorts review we take an in-depth look at one of Stolen Goat’s core products, the bodyline one bib shorts. We tried and tested them on heavy duty day rides in the Dolomites and Italian Alps. Here we fill you in on our experience (you can nip to the conclusion if you want the short answer!).
Full disclosure: Stolen Goat gave us these bib shorts to try – more details of how that came about, here – but the opinions you’ll read here are honest and our own.
2022 update: don’t miss Stolen Goat’s new custom kit service. Here’s more info on how it all works.
Stolen Goat keep the styling on the shorts to a minimum. Probably wise given there’s lots of bold colours in many of their jerseys!
But that’s not to say the styling hasn’t been thought through with the care and attention you come to expect with this brand. The company uses a core range of colours which means you can pick your favourite colour then buy your bib shorts so that the leg gripper band on the right leg matches the base colour in your top.
Such a simple idea but it really does make for an understated, yet classy look.
Quality: material, stitching and straps
As soon as you pick up these shorts, you can feel that they ooze with quality: well-stitched seams, stretchy fabric and great looking leg grippers. They’re still looking good after a handful of trips through various Italian washing machines. Long may that last!
On the bike the shorts just feel brilliant: light, comfortable, cool and supportive, even when they were brand new and in the searing midday sun of the Italian Alps. It’s only now, as I write the review with the technical specification in front of me, that I understand why they feel so good! They offer:
- – Two-way breathable and four-way stretch lycra.
- – Cold black treatment which is apparently thermo-regulating and UV protective, helping to reflect the sun’s heat and keep your legs the right temperature.
- – An unusual lining: large hexagons (like a honeycomb mesh) of thin fabric, designed to channel air to and past the skin. On the outside it looks like normal lycra, and it feels like one piece of material, just with two different surfaces.
One thing to mention is that though the shorts are matt black, the special material means that in some lights we could see muscle definition in the buttock area of our toned athletes while cycling! I wouldn’t say they’re see-through, it’s just when they’re stretched you can sometimes see some skin/muscle tone through them – perhaps this visual effect is something to do with the white honeycomb lining? It wasn’t something that worried us and cycling shorts are not really for the self conscious anyway!
The honeycomb lining extends up to the bib straps, which we found wide enough to sit comfortably on our shoulders without digging in or rucking up.
Finally, a real indicator of the quality of these shorts is that unlike many, they are built from one piece of material. This means that the only seam is under the pad. This is a major bonus – less seams equals less potential irritation.
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Fit: pad, leg grippers and sizing
The lycra mentioned above is stretchy and forgiving, yet also mildly compressive which feels sung and comfortable.
But what of the pad? The real test of any pair of bib shorts!
The shorts have a proprietary chamois pad that Stolen Goat say “has been developed alongside top level pro riders. Using their experience and expertise and after extensive testing the pad created is not only the perfect density for long, hard rides but crucially it is located in the perfect position…The fast-drying anti-bacterial pad benefits from dimple technology to improve airflow tohelp keep you comfortable even on the hottest of days.”
What they don’t mention is that it’s a rather funky bright orange and, err, very anatomically correct (see photo above)!
We certainly found that after chunky 6 hour rides, we were still comfortable without any need for wiggling around on the saddle to relieve pain. That’s quite a feat!
What surprised us is that the chamois is quite thin – it almost looks insubstantial, but the proof is in the riding and there we found it really performed. The choice of pad is always going to be a personal thing to some extent, but there’s a lot to like here.
The grippers on the leg are also super comfortable. Thank goodness there’s no tacky silicone gripper nonsense – instead there’s a band with a slightly rubberised finish on the inside that doesn’t dig in, yet doesn’t budge either. It just feels faultlessly good.
And finally, a word on sizing. Despite being quite different body shapes (one more stocky/muscular in quads/glutes, one more slender), we both wore size medium which fitted supremely well. Stolen Goat say that the fact the material is so stretchy means a rider’s height is less relevant and the crucial thing is just the waist measurement. Seems to be true!
This was a case of love at first fit: the Stolen Goat ONE bib shorts are great.
They’re now my first choice for a ride, despite some tough competition from Assos and others (yes, I really should get those reviews done…)!
Want more Stolen Goat clothing reviews?
Check out our review of Stolen Goat’s bodyline short sleeve jersey, coolmax socks, gloves and caps.
What do you think of Stolen Goat Bodyline One bib shorts?
You can find out more about Stolen Goat, here.
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