The new Selle SMP bib shorts, complete with zip running through the centre of the chamois, offers a novel way to relieve yourself. Is it just a gimmick or does it actually work?
Women tend to avoid bibs due to the stress of undressing to go to the toilet, Selle SMP have tried to address this, but the convenient crotch zip has stripped the shorts of any comfort.
At over £100 these bibs are aimed at the more experienced road riders. On first impressions they look incredibly sleek, a great colour combo of black, red and white, with not a hint of pink in sight. The breathable mesh straps helps keep you cool in the saddle and offers the right amount of support.
The chamois padding is split; a zip, running from the front to back connects the two sections down the centre. Selle SMP have tried to cover the metal zip by overlapping the material from the padding either side, but once I’d pulled the shorts on, the crotch zip immediately let itself be known, digging right in to my delicate parts. Even with a tactically placed hole down the centre of my saddle, there was no relief once on the bike. On every stroke of the pedal the chamois creased, increasing the zip's pressure on my nether regions.
Maybe the discomfort of the zip could be forgotten by the convenience of being able to pee without disrobing? Admittedly it was a pleasant change to have a quick pit stop; the zip was long enough to get the shorts completely out of the way.
However, things got interesting when I tried to close the zip. Without getting too graphic, going commando under bibs is usually a good thing, but under these things got trapped and once back in the saddle I think I may have inadvertently given myself a Brazilian.
I’m disappointed the zip design failed in comfort, because the construction of rest of the shorts was second to none. The bib's mix of nylon and spandex offer the right level of support, whilst the actual chamois padding is both comfortable and well placed.
Overall fit and style – great, but Selle SMP definitely need to go back to the drawing board with the chamois zip.
- Great overall fit
- Breathable mesh straps
- Comfortable chamois padding
- Flattering leg length
- The zip
More information: Selle Smp4bike Bib Shorts
UK supplier: Dillglove
What Selle SMP says about Selle Smp4bike bib shorts:
Central opening: smp4bike news
You can finally satisfy your physiological needs without the stress caused by undressing. The central channel of the Smp4bike saddle range allowed us to develop an innovative pair of shorts with a zip in the lower part. The zip neither rubs on the saddle nor constricts your private parts: you only realise it's there in a moment of need…
It is a stretch, breathable, resistant fabric that is easy to maintain and very comfortable.
The fruit of combining various materials, SmpTech is the new seamless bottom. This lets the cyclist diversify and better distribute his of her weight on the seat.
Kirsty discusses more about the joys and pitfalls of women's bib shorts here.