Bib shorts. Something I have avoided for all of my time riding. I have come to the conclusion that they are the marmite of the cycling world – you either love them or you hate them. I completely get why they are so comfortable and work so well for guys but they always seem to be such a faff for women!
When these Polaris bib shorts arrived for me to test I was dreading wearing them…until I realised there was a zip around the waist of the shorts making toilet stops far easier. Could this dispel all of my bib shorts concerns?
First of all, a bit of background on Polaris – they are a UK based company that has been producing technical cycling clothing for over 20 years. Starting off developing technical performance garments for mountain bikers, over time the Polaris range has diversified in to all areas of cycling with road, trail and urban ranges.
The E-motion bib shorts have a number of great features including women’s specific fit, ladies specific Gel filled 3D-Coolmax chamois, flat lock seams for comfort, super easy and fast zip release bib, mesh fabric for temperature control, reflective piping at the rear of the legs and elasticated silicone grippers to prevent ride up.
When I tried the shorts on, the chamois felt quite big and bulky and I did find it too much for shorter rides…but if you like a bit more comfort when you are riding or you are heading out for longer rides I think that this would be a benefit. The soft fabric on the chamois was definitely a bonus. The silicone grippers around the legs were also perfect, not too tight or sticky; some shorts can feel like the grippers are going to cut your circulation off but this isn’t the case with these shorts – the wider panel on each gripper also helped with comfort.
The straps for the shorts were also nice and comfortable although they could have done with being slightly shorter (I’m a slim 5’8" and wore a size 12 so a size 10 might have been better).
I wore the bib-shorts without a base layer as I get really warm when I’m cycling; after a few minutes of pedalling the zips on the handy ‘quick release’ started to dig in to my lower back. Not painful, but it did get annoying after a few miles. Next time I’ll try wearing a base layer to see if this helps…even if I end up a bit warmer. I can happily report though that the zips on the shorts do make life an awful lot easier when making a toilet stop! These shorts might not be perfect but the zips are a great idea and all credit to Polaris for doing what many other companies simply aren’t doing…really thinking about what women want and need when they are out riding.
Soft fabric on the gel chamois
Wide panel and comfortable fit on the silicone grippers
Zips digging in
Size of chamois – but this might be a benefit to others!
Price: £49.98, available from, Polaris.
Available in sizes 8-16, I tested a size 12.
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