Alé's PRR 2.0 Fusion HD Bibshorts offer a supportive feel, plenty of breathability and a seatpad that's capable of keeping you comfortable throughout a long day in the saddle.
These shorts really do earn their place at the head of Alé's range. They're made from several different fabrics that work together well to put in a top performance. The crotch area and inside of the legs are Serie C-Boost material that's designed to offer resistance to pilling as you pedal. It has certainly proved hardwearing enough to look unaffected by two months of regular use, although you'd probably expect that.
The remaining sections of the legs are made from a fabric called Aero G.250 that comprises a hexagonal lattice with less-dense material filling the gaps. I wouldn't call it a mesh but it's getting on that way. It's highly breathable and Alé says that it has 'a low aerodynamic impact' too, although I couldn't tell you if it's effective on that score.
The leg grippers are a whopping 75mm deep and do a great job of keeping the shorts in place, never riding up in use. That depth means the force is applied comfortably over a large area and the two ends are bonded together so there's no stitching to dig in or rub as you crack into the miles.
The legs are cut long. Despite being 189cm tall I took a size medium in order to get the waist measurement I need, and these shorts covered my quads completely.
The overall feel is slightly compressive – at least, it was for me. I don't mean that theses shorts are over-tight or restrictive – they're neither – but you do feel that your muscles are getting a bit of a squeeze here.
The bib section consists of stretchy straps with a perforated insert running between them at the back. It works well to keep the shorts in place without any particularly noticeable pressure over the shoulders, and there's enough breathability to keep dampness down on sweaty climbs.
The Double Ergo seatpad uses high-density foam (120kg/m3) at the main contact points with the saddle (both the perineal and ischiatic areas) and lower thickness material elsewhere that reduces bulk and improves breathability while offering protection against chafing. I'd say that on the whole it's a medium-sized pad but it provided sufficient cushioning to keep me feeling comfortable throughout rides of four or five hours.
The build quality is good too. I've just checked the shorts over and all of the stitching is still in perfect condition. Several seams are bonded and they're all stuck fast after goodness knows how many trips through the washing machine, so I've no reason to think that these won't last. The logo on the left leg gripper – which you can have in white if fluoro yellow isn't your thing – remains firmly attached too.
At £170, these sit towards the upper end of the price range for bib shorts, although Le Col's HC shorts we reviewed recently are £180. You can get decent shorts much cheaper than this, but there's no doubting the quality here. The fabrics are great, the seatpad works well and the construction is very good. The appearance is pretty understated too. These are high end but don't feel the need to shout that they're high end.
If you're happy with the price, you'll get an exceptionally comfortable pair of shorts that should provide plenty of durability.
High-end shorts that are breathable, comfortable and very well made
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Alé PRR 2.0 Fusion HD Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Alé says, "Developed for long distances, with calibrated muscular compression and light weight. The fusion of different cuts, technical construction and advanced fabrics allowed the creation of our most aerodynamic and innovative garment. The side panels are made in the structured Aero G.250 fabric, that combines a low aerodynamic impact with a particular muscular compression and stimulates the microcirculation while riding. Crotch area in Serie C-Boost fabric,two-faces 200 g, extra resistant to pilling, high covering and compression."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Alé says this about the seatpad: "The new Double Ergo HF shammy has a bi-component surface in the front and lateral parts in the groin. The high density 120 kg foam covers the contact point on the saddle (perineal and ischiatic) but it reduced in the remaining parts to guarantee the minimum bulk."
Alé's construction is always high quality.
These shorts offer loads of comfort and very good breathability.
All good so far. The fabrics are great and so is the build quality.
The legs were long enough to cover my quads, reaching down to just above the knee.
I found sizing to be as described on Alé's size chart.
That's the strongest feature of these shorts – the fit, the seatpad and the breathability all make for a high level of comfort.
£170 is a lot to pay for shorts, but several other brands pitch their high-end shorts at a similar price, some a bit higher.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. I've used these regularly over a couple of months and they're not far off being as good as new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These put in a very high level of performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lightly compressive fit and the build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They're towards the upper end of what you might expect to pay for bib shorts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yeah, although spending £170 on any shorts would be a struggle.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These score highly across a range of attributes, most importantly in terms of performance, but the price has to bring them down to an 8 rather than a 9 overall.
About the tester
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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
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.