As far as performance cycling kit goes, the Sportful Women's BodyFit Pro Bib Shorts have all the bases covered. Designed for the serious road cyclist, these shorts are essentially the women's version of the shorts worn by the Tinkoff-Saxo pro men's cycling team.
An athletic cut coming from an Italian brand meant I was expecting the fit to come up small, but while is does size up small it's not as much of a difference as I was expecting. The size Medium would equate to a UK 10 - 12, but as the cut is sporty you should expect a skintight fit.
The leg length is also quite short, coming mid-thigh on me (I'm 5 foot 8) which isn't my ideal length, but felt fine for riding in and looked okay in the photos. I even grew to like the pink and black colourway.
I really liked the laser cut raw edged Aero Stretch Mesh fabric that Sportful have chosen to use on the legs of their BodyFit Pro Bib Shorts. It has neither an elastic band nor silicone grippers, but I found it kept the shorts in place without squeezing or giving me sausage legs.
Flatlock stitching throughout is bliss, and again makes these a comfortable pair of shorts to wear for long rides. My one gripe is that Sportful have opted for a large care label right in the bum region. Although I cut it out, I did find bits of it still seemed to catch. Changing this to a printed label would be a great improvement.
The main panels of the shorts at the side are constructed from a dimpled, lightweight stretch lycra, which are designed to compress the muscles to aid performance, and reduce wind resistance. The central panels across the front and bottom area are made of a sturdier, medium weight lycra which sits well and smooths out various lumps and bumps.
White bib straps are an usual choice and the front of the shorts sits quite low when you stand up, but is fully covered when riding on the bike. At the back, they sit high enough to cover your lower back.
One of the main considerations with bib shorts is the arrangement of the bib straps, and how they work around the boobs. I've seen and tried any number of ideas, some successful and some less so.
It took me a while to work out what approach Sportful had gone for, as there seemed to be far too many white straps going on. However, once I'd worked it out and got through the faff of getting my arm through the right hole and the correct strap over my shoulder, they were actually really comfortable to ride in.
The straps are made from a light stretch polyester with laser cut edges and minimal seams, which eliminated chaffing. The harness type arrangement kept the back fairly uncovered, which was good for breathability and sweat management, and the straps in place securely.
The chamois was brilliant, though I personally found it sat a smidge far back for me. It stretched and moved as I rode, and cushioned well thanks to a Poron material which is shock absorbant.
- Variety of lycra fabric for compression and wind resistance
- Comfortable chamois
- Bib straps a little confusing to put on
- Short in the leg
Price: RRP £95
Size: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
More info: Sportful
Check out our other Sportful Product Reviews:
What Sportful say about the Women's BodyFit Pro Bib Shorts:
Infinity Women’s seat pad
Raw cut edge bib straps lay completely flat Flat-lock stitching
Aero Flow Compress fabric for excellent aerodynamics and muscle support
Aero Stretch Mesh soft leg gripper elastic
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