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7Mesh MK1 Bib Shorts



Technically impressive bib shorts, but the pad placement isn't ideal for an aggressive riding position

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Part of the first collection of cycling wear from Canadian debutants 7Mesh, the MK1 bib shorts are technically impressive, with numerous touches designed to improve comfort over the long haul. Like the company's Revelation jacket we reviewed earlier this year, they aren't cheap, and a few niggles take the shine off an otherwise quality product.

Undoubtedly the secret weapon in 7Mesh's technical armoury is the use of an internal polyester liner, which suspends the pad, hammock-like, inside the shorts. The aim is not only to minimise seams in this potentially sensitive region, but also to reduce friction by introducing an extra degree of freedom between skin and saddle (the latest Assos range uses a similar concept). The idea is that when you're moving around a lot in the saddle, particularly on hot, sweaty days, the outer layer of the shorts is free to match saddle movement while the pad remains perfectly positioned and fixed relative to the skin, reducing chafing.

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There's clearly been a lot of thought put into the MK1s, but as impressive as the liner technology is, I did find the pad positioned a little too far rearwards for my admittedly quite aggressive riding position (hips rotated forwards) on the road bike. We're not talking massive margins here, just a couple of millimetres, but enough that the Elastic Interface Performance pad, which I've had great experiences with in the past, didn't feel as comfortable as usual.

The EI pad is relatively generous, so my sit bones were still supported on the very edge of the high density foam area, and I was able to complete five-hour road rides without discomfort, but the shorts could be near perfect if only the pad was a little further forward. At the high end of the bib short market these small differences have a big impact, as you expect pretty much perfection when laying down this sort of cash.

All was not lost, though, as the pad location actually suited my more upright mountain biking position perfectly, and I've been using the shorts on multi-day bikepacking trips without any issue at all. 'Try before you buy' definitely applies here (or buy online from somewhere that does free returns, just in case): I'm hesitant to write the MK1s off just because they don't suit my own position on the road bike, as they might fit others perfectly. But if you run an aggressive position, such as on a time trial bike, the MK1s probably won't be ideal.

Check out our buyer's guide to bib shorts here

The MK1s are primarily constructed from a mix of 'warp knit' nylon and elastane, to balance the need for stretch with durability, a trait they possess in abandon having shrugged off a few crashes and thorny off-road rides.

They use a minimal number of panels, and hence seams, lowering the potential for any irritation against the skin. Having no seam on the inside of the thigh also means reducing the risk of accelerated wear due to abrasion from the saddle or a seatbag strap. The material in this area, in keeping with the shorts' overall durability, shows no signs of wear after many hard months of use.

Ironically, one of the few seams the shorts do have, at the junction between the leg gripper and two leg panels on the back of the right thigh, isn't the tidiest and creates a bulbous protrusion which caused some mild chafing. It wasn't anything major, but is a definite sore point – literally – when you consider the premium price.

Instead of using mesh for the shoulder straps like most bibs, the MK1s have 45mm-wide suspender-like elastic straps. In addition to, let's face it, looking cooler (for those moments when you've got your jersey off...), the reduction in material across the back noticeably improves breathability and feels less restrictive overall. This doesn't come at the expense of fit either, as between the straps and the wide leg grippers, the shorts stay put when in the saddle.

Speaking of cool details, the bib strap junction between the shoulder blades is a soft-brushed fabric that feels almost velvety. Because, you know, comfort.


Apart from a small issue with an untidy seam on the right leg, the MK1s possess all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a pair of premium bib shorts. Whether the fit and performance justify the cost will depend largely on your position on the bike and whether that matches the placement of the pad. Personally, I found it too far back for road riding, but ideally suited for mountain biking. If the MK1s do fit, then their excellent attention to detail and durable construction should see them last for many seasons.


Technically impressive bib shorts, but the pad placement isn't ideal for an aggressive riding position test report

Make and model: 7Mesh MK1 Bib Shorts

Size tested: Black - Medium

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

According to 7Mesh, the MK1s have been designed as a "beautiful, clean short that provides comfort during every pedal stroke and excellent support for even the hardest days on the bike".

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?


- Pattern designed to match body position mid-pedal stroke, to reduce the number of panels and seams

- Mesh Chamois Hammock Lining, introduces and extra degree of freedom between skin and saddle, reducing friction

- Elastic Interface Performance Chamois Pad

- 45mm Elastic Bib Straps

- Soft Brushed Knit Bib Strap Junction

- Wide non-silicone elastic leg grippers

- Reflective logo on right leg

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Overall, the attention to detail and quality of construction is excellent. The only niggle is an untidy seam at the back of the right thigh, which caused some very mild discomfort (really nitpicking here).

Rate the product for performance:

If the pad placement suits your position on the bike, then this would score more around 8 or 9. For road cycling, though, the pad should be further forward as standard, to fit a wider range of people.

Rate the product for durability:

They have survived a couple of crashes and numerous multi-day off-road excursions, including some thorny bushwhacking, without showing a single sign of wear. Very impressive.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Not the lightest around, but their durability makes up for it.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Again, the otherwise excellent shorts are let down by the pad placement.

Rate the product for value:

If the pad placement fits you, then their durability should easily see them last multiple seasons.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

As a high-end pair of bib shorts, the MK1s tick all the boxes. But for more aggressively-positioned riders, the pad placement is not ideal, which is a shame, as otherwise they are excellent.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The straps and overall fit of the bib shorts.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Pad placement.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, on my mountain bike

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they tried them on first

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 190cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, mountain biking


For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.

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The _Kaner | 8 years ago

Now showing at £115 incl vat and free GB delivery...on the Buy Here link at the looks like a decent bargain to be had on these...

KiwiMike | 8 years ago


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