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Selle SMP Bib Shorts review

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The new Selle SMP bib shorts, complete with zip running through the centre of the chamois, offers a novel way to relieve yourself.  Is it just a gimmick or does it actually work?

Women tend to avoid bibs due to the stress of undressing to go to the toilet, Selle SMP have tried to address this, but the convenient crotch zip has stripped the shorts of any comfort.

At over £100 these bibs are aimed at the more experienced road riders. On first impressions they look incredibly sleek, a great colour combo of black, red and white, with not a hint of pink in sight. The breathable mesh straps helps keep you cool in the saddle and offers the right amount of support.

The chamois padding is split; a zip, running from the front to back connects the two sections down the centre. Selle SMP have tried to cover the metal zip by overlapping the material from the padding either side, but once I’d pulled the shorts on, the crotch zip immediately let itself be known, digging right in to my delicate parts. Even with a tactically placed hole down the centre of my saddle, there was no relief once on the bike. On every stroke of the pedal the chamois creased, increasing the zip’s pressure on my nether regions.

Caught short? The 'innovative' zip chamois from Selle SMP will soon sort you out.

Caught short? The ‘innovative’ zip chamois from Selle SMP will soon sort you out.

Maybe the discomfort of the zip could be forgotten by the convenience of being able to pee without disrobing? Admittedly it was a pleasant change to have a quick pit stop; the zip was long enough to get the shorts completely out of the way.

However, things got interesting when I tried to close the zip. Without getting too graphic, going commando under bibs is usually a good thing, but under these things got trapped and once back in the saddle I think I may have inadvertently given myself a Brazilian.

I’m disappointed the zip design failed in comfort, because the construction of rest of the shorts was second to none. The bib’s mix of nylon and spandex offer the right level of support, whilst the actual chamois padding is both comfortable and well placed.

Verdict

Overall fit and style – great, but Selle SMP definitely need to go back to the drawing board with the chamois zip.

Pros

- Great overall fit
- Breathable mesh straps
- Comfortable chamois padding
- Flattering leg length

Con

- The zip

Price: £125.00

More information: Selle Smp4bike Bib Shorts

UK supplier: Dillglove

What Selle SMP says about Selle Smp4bike bib shorts:

Central opening: smp4bike news

You can finally satisfy your physiological needs without the stress caused by undressing. The central channel of the Smp4bike saddle range allowed us to develop an innovative pair of shorts with a zip in the lower part. The zip neither rubs on the saddle nor constricts your private parts: you only realise it’s there in a moment of need…

Fabric: Performer

It is a stretch, breathable, resistant fabric that is easy to maintain and very comfortable.

Bottom: SmpTech

The fruit of combining various materials, SmpTech is the new seamless bottom. This lets the cyclist diversify and better distribute his of her weight on the seat.

Kirsty discusses more about the joys and pitfalls of women’s bib shorts here

  1. rebeccaw

    I always check out this website before buying cycling shorts – http://www.shortsforcycling.com – My personal favourite is the 2XU compression shorts because they cut down muscle soreness massively

  2. bike pixi

    Wow, I’m impressed that a) the idea even got off the drawing board and b) you acutally tried them. I don’t think I would have tired them for fear of the brazilian or just because I would be unable to get them on because I was laughing so hard.

  3. shebolt

    Honestly, answering nature’s call in bibs is a “problem” that doesn’t need to be solved. Drop-tail, zipper crotch? Seriously, all you need is a full zip jersey.

  4. Toria

    One of my clubs doesn’t do full-zip jerseys for women. So you have to strip the jersey over your head and everything falls out of the (tiny) pockets.
    I use the drop tail bibs from Pearl Izumi. Weird, but very comfortable.

  5. Amanda

    Sounds like a complete failure in testing a product.

  6. Rebecca Olds (vélovoice)

    Agree with shebolt – this looks like a solution in search of a problem, but unfortunately it’s a gimmick. Pearl Izumi’s solution works well for many – personally I find I get a gap between the top of the bibs and the top of the short. Gore’s two-zip solution works very well for me, admittedly after a bit of practice!

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