A good pair of bib shorts can be the difference between a comfortable and painful ride experience. So when I found out I was going to be testing Sportful’s top of the range offering I was intrigued to see how they would perform. The BodyFit Pro LTD Bib Short from the outset looked the business. The garment had been extensively tested and developed alongside Tinkoff Saxo and it showed, with pro level features such as a radio pocket and carefully placed rear seams to enhance aerodynamics.
This is all well and good but for us mere mortals the main considerations when it comes to shorts are comfort and fit . Luckily I had the perfect test lined up for them; one of the longest sportives in the world, the Mallorca 312.
Clipping in and rolling off the start line I was intrigued to see how the shorts would perform.
After 145 kilometres climbing through the Majorcan mountains my legs actually felt rather spritely, helped no doubt by the short’s 220 gm Lycra® material added to offer muscle support.
Descending fast into Palma I had just under 160 kilometres to ride, the majority of which would be on flat, windy roads. With over 4 hours on the clock by this point this was a real test for the TCPro seat pad.
In a strong group and with a much needed tailwind we rode hard round the southern coast of the Island and as the midday sun beat down on us I was glad of the Mesh bib strap design, which felt unobtrusive against the skin and allowed me to keep cool.
The tailwind and fast speed meant the BodyFit PRO’s aerodynamic credentials could be really tested and the 4 needle flat lock stitching and AeroFlow Compress fabric surely added to my rapid ride back up to Alcudia.
300 kilometres and 9 hours in the saddle I was comfortable and at ease on the TCPro seat pad. The silicone dot pattern design wicked away sweat and kept my lower regions cool and the lightweight 188 gram weight meant I was soon eating up the miles into the finish.
Coming across the line in just under 9 and a half hours, I was over 10 minutes quicker than last year and most importantly not a sweaty mess. The shorts had performed impeccably. The silicone leg grippers had kept the shorts in place. There was no chafing or niggling saddle issues. The compressive blend of fabrics had meant I finished feeling rather fresh. I was so impressed with the short’s comfort and performance I even got back in the saddle to ride another 12 kilometres back to my hotel!
In conclusion, whether you are a top level pro challenging for Giro d’Italia supremacy, a local crit racer or a nutcase like me who likes to spend countless hours in the saddle, the Sportful BodyFit Pro LTD Bib Shorts are the perfect choice for when the sun comes out and the temperature is in the 20’s.
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