With 10 panels in the lowers, Craft’s top-level Elite bibs are a fantastic fit and they’re flat-stitched throughout so there’s no annoying rubbing as you pedal. They feel great.
The lightweight Elites are long in the leg – the inseam is 10in (25.4cm) – so even if you’re tall they’ll come right down to just above the knee, and it’s quite a compressive cut. The broad, elasticated leg grippers come with loads of silicone rubber on the inner face that holds them in place even when your skin gets damp, so if you like to keep your quads well covered, these are a great choice. The main fabric stretches well in all directions so it never pulls or rucks while the uppers’ mesh is so fine that it’s barely there – it takes on hardly any moisture.
The Antimicrobial Elite Gel seat pad is pretty good too. It’s not as deeply cushioned as some – it’s 10mm at its the thickest – but it wicks sweat effectively and channels between the various contoured sections allow plenty of air to flow. We’d prefer a little more padding underneath the sit bones for long rides but it’s still a comfy option.
While we're being picky – hey, it's our job – the reflectives are on the wrong side to be most effective for those of us who ride on the left of the road. They're on the left leg and butt, so they're facing the gutter rather than the traffic. They're still impressive shorts, though.
Superbly fitted shorts with generous leg length, although we'd prefer a little more depth in the seatpad
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Make and model: Craft Elite bib shorts
Size tested: m
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.