I absolutely love that feeling when you put on a piece of kit for the first time and you instinctively know that it’s going to become a prized possession, the item of kit you wear and wear and wear until a loved one starts hinting that you may be done for indecent exposure if you keep on wearing it.
When I put on the Chapeau ladies specific Pave bibshort with green carbonium pad, I had that exact feeling. It was love, of that I am sure of. And after several wears, I am happy to report that it’s a love affair that has not dwindled even slightly.
Chapeau has three offerings of bib shorts within its range, the Classic Bib which considerably cheaper at £59.99 and the higher end PAVE shorts. The latter comes in two different options – the Green or Red. The difference between them being the chamois and its suitability to the type of riding you’ll be doing. I put the Green to the test, which Chapeau says is more suited to MTB and Sportive riding, rather than more aggressive road riding.
The difference between the chamois in each pair is the location of the heavier padding. Due to the fact MTB and Sportive riding are in a slightly more upright position, the chamois is denser towards the back of the bottom.
The chamois itself is not bulky at all, but more than adequate for longer rides. It is soft, breathability and sits neatly. The size medium fit my 5’9”, size UK10 frame perfectly.
The lycra used on the shorts is super soft and offers a nice medium level of support. It is also super breathable, even when put to the test on a very hot and sweaty turbo session. A light, soft mesh has been used for the back of the bibs and straps which were also exceptionally comfortable, I actually totally forgot I was wearing bib shorts at all! The straps on the bib shorts are generous at almost two inches wide so there is no danger of discomfort there.
Soft silicone grippers grace the legs of the short, while reflective detailing is also present in the form of a small Chapeau logo on the back and two tabs on either leg.
PROS: The cut, the fabric, the chamois… shall I go on?! These bibs are an all-round winner.
CONS: They do not come cheap at £119.99. Cheapeau do assure us they are super durable, but at this price, they would really want to be!