The best bib shorts are those you don’t think about when you’re riding. Breathable, stretchy fabric, quality pad and flat-against-your-skin upper body should and go unnoticed until you really stop to think about it.
I tested the Layla bibs from Lusso on both a hilly spring day’s ride and during a couple of turbo sessions, and they definitely delivered ‘barely notice it’ comfort during every outing.
The soft Italian Cooltech fabric hugged my legs and felt supportive, without being in any way restrictive, and the designers have applied close attention to detail with the addition of subtle polka dot details on the back and legs.
The shorts are constructed using a ten panel design. More panels in a Lycra garment means better fit – and these certainly deliver, offering comfort and a flattering shape.
All the seams are flat-lock stitched, to keep chafing at bay, and CoolMesh sections down the outer thighs add breathability.
The wide straps on the upper body also include CoolMesh fabric which prevents the rider from overcooking on a hot day, and the waist is quite high, giving plenty of coverage and support over the stomach so there’s no chance of any uncomfortable cutting at the tummy.
Unfortunately there is no provision made for comfort breaks, other than removing your jersey and pulling them right down – so you’ll either need to be confident with the coverage offered by any foliage you decide to rely upon for your pee-stop, or wait until you can use a private toilet.
The chamois pad is a ladies specific, seamless anti-bacterial insert that is designed for long distance rides.
I did find the pad was fairly thick compared to those in other pairs I’ve worn, and I noticed it when waddling from the changing rooms at the gym to my position on the watt bike. However, once riding it was forgotten, and the extra thickness would probably come into its own on a long ride.
My only reservation with these shorts was the 32mm woven leg grippers. These are fairly sturdy, and though they didn’t feel too tight, they were bordering on providing me with the ‘muffin legs’ I try to avoid in cycling shorts. In this case, they were on the right side of close fitting, but only just.
The polka dot design is really sweet, but anyone who takes clashing jersey and shorts combos would probably need to think carefully about their top half choice. Thankfully, for those who really love to match, Lusso do have two £50 matching jersey options, one on black and pink, and one in pink and white.
Pros: 10 panel construction, CoolMesh fabric and full coverage on the upper body
Cons: Leg grippers bordering on too tight, quite a tick pad (could be a pro for some)
Available from: Lusso
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