The Classic ThermoActive Bib Shorts from Morvelo are a comfortable, versatile piece of kit, and are perfect for spring and autumn use.
¾ length bib knickers are, in my opinion, are ideal for wearing most of the year. I tend to run quite warm, so I’ll often wear this length for most of the winter with warm socks, and under my baggy shorts and kneepads when mountain biking. There isn’t a huge selection of ¾ bibs out there for women, so I’m always keen to investigate what’s available.
True to the ethos of Morvelo, who design their products with all disciplines of cycling in mind, I gave this pair an extensive test on both my mountain and road bike, and I’m happy to say I was pleased with the result on both.
First up, the sizing. I’m a UK 12, occasionally going up to 14 on my lower half, so usually opt for a Medium in cycling kit. The Morvelo ThermoActive Shorts came up a good fit, and I’d say also true to size. The lycra was close fitting but not over stretched, which is always a concern around the bum area, but I was happily free of any ‘see through’ worries.
Morvelo have opted for the ‘between boob’ option when it comes to the bib strap element of the shorts. This is the first time I’ve tried this type of bib, and I have to say I was a little apprehensive.
In practice, it was fine. I’ll go one further and say it was really comfortable. No issues with straps falling down over my shoulders, no rubbing, and tight enough to keep the bibs up without them slipping down, but not uncomfortably so. I’m sold on this.
Something else I liked about this type of construction is that it meant the shorts had a higher panel over my stomach. With other bibs I sometimes feel the cut can rub a little in the midriff area, or give me a bit of a muffin top, but the panel was comfortable and held everything in nicely.
One downside of these shorts, and it’s often the downside of bib shorts in general for women, is that you need to take them down completely if you want to go to the loo. Various companies have come up with different potential solutions to the problem; some work, some definitely don’t. In this case, I’m undecided whether I’m disappointed Morvelo haven’t incorporated something like a drop tail, or pleased that they haven’t potentially compromised a great product to include one. I’m erring on the side of the latter, though I guess it depends on how often you need a loo stop and how you feel about stripping off to go.
The shorts themselves are constructed from paneled lycra, which gives a great fit, and was also quite flattering. A snug fleece lining is lovely and soft against the skin and adds insulation, which is great for cold conditions. In warmer conditions, the fleece backed lycra still wicks well and dries quickly.
At the bottom of the shorts are bands of white printed gripper elastic, which do a great job of keeping the shorts down and in place without turning my sizeable calves into sausages, though they do squeeze them a little. They also kept the shorts securely in place when mountain biking with knee pads over the top.
The white colour of the bands is great for road cycling, as it’s quite eye catching as you pedal. For mountain biking, I found that the combination of mud and grease did cause some light staining, so it’s less ideal for these conditions.
Chamois preferences are quite a personal thing, and for the most part I like this one, though I found that it sat just a smidge too far back for me – I noticed this on long rides and when on the drops. It’s quite a thick chamois, which I like, but didn’t feel too bulky when off the bike.
If you like the shorts, but want something with a different look, Morvelo also do a version of these with polka dots on, which coordinates with a jersey pattern they produce.
Cosy 3/4 bib shorts that will see you through spring and autumn riding both on the road and the mountain bike. The construction is quality, the fit is good, and they’ve dealt with a lot of rough handling on the trails and constant use on the road bike no problem. I’ve found them comfy to ride in for both.
– Comfortable bib straps
– Flattering fit that performs well
– White leg band did stain
– No ‘loo break’ solution
Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
More info: Morvelo
What Morvelo say about the Classic ThemoActive Bib Shorts:
Thoroughly tested by the talented women of the Morvélo Test Team (which include National Champions and International racers), our womens bib shorts consistently rate as some of the best fitting and most comfortable on the market. Mix that in with simple and elegant graphics and the result is something we’re proud of. We’re sure you will be too.