I have a little experience of bib shorts, having bought and then worn almost constantly, a pair last winter. I was intrigued with how I would get along with these, particularly with the ‘quick release’ strap to ease toilet access!
I'm a a pretty standard size 12 and wearing the size 12 was a great fit for me. The Dare 2b AEP shorts pride themselves in the 10 panel design which certainly suited me and was really comfortable. The straps were the right length, helped by an adjustable hook fastener enabling you to amend the length of the straps. Initially I didn’t like the high cut of the Y-shaped front bib which I found a bit restrictive, but this was not a problem when riding, although it may show slightly depending upon which style of jersey you are wearing.
The leg cuffs are nice and wide without have any elastic grippers. This caused no problems, did not ride up and was very comfortable.
The chamois suited me well; it was quite minimal and was only padded in the very central area, with less padding towards the edges stopping the bunching or chafing that sometimes happens. The chamois has limited ridges or bumps, which I believe helps with the comfort.
There are some small reflective details on the rear of the legs, but I don’t think these are big enough to have much impact. As the Dare 2b AEP Breakaway Bibbed Short is designed as light weight bib short for cooler days, poor visibility may not be an issue.
The important question is clearly the ‘easy access’ issue. The adjustable hook fastening enables the wearer to unhook, and pass the straps over their head allowing a mid-ride toilet break without undressing – in theory. When I tried a practise run in the calm of my own bathroom I felt far from flexible enough to carry this move out effectively. Not put off I have tried this a few times now while out & about.
It’s fair to say that the flexibility issue seems to have been overcome (maybe I warmed up after riding or my arms have grown), but the biggest issue is then having a really long strap, hook and Y-shaped bib dangling behind you in a public toilet cubicle. I needed a third hand to keep everything off the floor as at every opportunity the hook attempted to dive into the toilet or dangle onto the damp floor. Far from ideal.
The Dare 2b AEP bib shorts are a really comfortable and well thought out pair bib shorts although the adjustable hook fastening escape system was a little tricky to manage.
High performance, comfortable bib short
Flexibility and high dexterity required for toilet access while out and about
Price: £60, available from Dare 2b.
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