Frankly I was very interested in trying out a pair of RedWhite bib shorts. The key feature with these shorts (officially titled The Bibs) is the big chamois, which is designed specifically to ease the aches and pains associated with spending several hours in the saddle. Lacking much natural padding of my own, I have suffered at times on long rides and these shorts seemed like a potential godsend.
Upon delivery I was impressed by the simple and clear black and red design. The relatively discreet logo and branding were also plus points to me as I'm not keen on the "advert on wheels" look.
The shorts are made out of 80 per cent polyamide and 20 per cent elastane, with the chamois component constructed from Italian open-cell foam, reinforced with gel inserts and covered in a soft anti-microbial fabric. Technical features of note include silicone microdots on the gripper area of the shorts (to allow even compression and breathability), flatlock stitching with no inner thigh seams, and a lycra panel below the navel to allow some variation in fit.
So what's the thinking behind the larger-than-usual chamois?
"The rear of the chamois is kept extremely plush to allow you to roll back onto your sitbones - a position that's common on long rides," explain RedWhite. "To accommodate the needs of more aggressive cyclists, the chamois is elongated and firmed up at the perineum area to provide ample protection and comfort when an attacking rider goes into the drops and rolls forward onto the saddle."
So essentially the chamois has you covered whether you are sprinting for the finish or hanging in on a tough climb.
My first impression when trying them out at an indoor cycle class was just how large the chamois is, and how conscious I was of it. In addition the chamois tended to fold down the middle and form a wedge of sorts, although I felt this was at least partially due to the static position I adopt for a tough Wattbike workout.
So it wasn't a great start, but these bibs are not made for an hour of indoor training and I had hopes that the comfort would improve with a little wear and washing.
I've had the shorts for a couple of months now and can report that the comfort factor has increased considerably over that period.
The chamois has softened up and now seems to be less bulky while still offering extensive coverage.
The shorts in general have relaxed, and have come into their own on long rides where the extra padding provided more than offsets any unwieldiness.
If shorter distances are your game a more immediately comfortable pair of shorts is probably preferable, although I now often wear the Bibs on brief 20km hill sessions as well as long rides.
Although the chamois and material are sourced from Italy, RedWhite Apparel are based in Singapore. The bibs are priced US$150 (approx £99) which includes worldwide delivery.
Yuva and the RedWhite team are keen cyclists themselves, and the bibs are certainly worthy of consideration for regular sportive riders given the likely benefits of the chamois and overall high quality.
Long distance bib shorts, $150 / £99 from redwhite.cc