Santini's 365 Mago 2.0 bib shorts are good all-rounders, with some interesting fabrics creating a performance-orientated garment. For me, though, the chamois could be a little more comfortable for longer rides.
The core of any bib short is the pad, and the Mago 2.0's might not be to everyone's taste. It's a 'NAT' model, which uses graded foam laid over a gel insert. The idea is to make use of the properties of gel – namely, shock absorption and vibration damping – and blend them with the cushioning of classic foam found in most pads.
That foam is covered by a perforated blue cover that helps reduce heat build-up and increase breathability. However, the core of the pad certainly leans on the gel for comfort, with the foam overlay less dense than I have come to expect.
In truth, it does a great job at absorbing vibrations and smoothing rough surfaces up to a point, but when you've spent a good long 100km or more in them, the reduced amount of foam just can't quite reach the same levels of comfort that, say, Castelli's Progetto X2 Air or Rapha's Cytech pad can.
Part of that could be down to my shape not suiting the obviously thought-out shape and distribution of the pad, where you can see the pre-set folds designed to help it mould to the body, but my overriding feeling is that it's not the plushest chamois you can get for around this price tag.
Nevertheless, I was still impressed by the overall performance of the Mago 2.0s both at home and on a holiday around Lake Annecy.
The fabric – which Santini calls 'Revolutional' – is denser than your standard lightweight bib shorts, with a matt black finish, yet doesn't cause them to gain that much weight, coming in at 206g in a medium. It provides a clean fit around areas that can bunch up (hips, for example), and gives a lightly compressive feel that's well distributed across the leg.
The legs are long, easily covering my entire upper leg to the point where I was half-concerned about the ends rubbing or catching in the crease behind my knee, but in the end I had no worries aside from my preference towards a more mid-thigh leg length. They're finished with wide and thick grippers that have a low profile silicone pattern to help them stick to the leg.
The fabric is cool but thick enough to resist cutting freshness, such as when you first step out into an early autumn morning up in the Haute-Savoie. Breathability is aided by the waffle-like panels fitted down the side of the leg, and I felt well regulated whether in 12 degree coolness or working hard in the heat of the day, which can remain significant even in September.
The bib section features a compartment for a radio, and the Revolutional fabric extends a fair way up the back before giving way to a standard black mesh construction. It's comfortable and adds an element of support around the lower back.
The front doesn't cut that low either, so going to the toilet without taking the bib shorts off is a little more of an effort, but it's hardly a deal-breaker (and I am quite long in the body). In fact, the sense of solidness in both the main fabric and the quality of the seams is really reassuring, and these look well up to lasting through a few summers of use.
You could also use them – as I have until this point – as cool-weather autumn bib shorts, despite Santini's 18-35°C recommendations.
At £150, the Mago 2.0s aren't cheap, but they're competitive with the likes of Podia's Club bib shorts at £148 and Le Col's Pro models, also £150. If you require the extra padding you might want to look at the Le Cols, while the Podias offer excellent all-round performance on a par with the Mago 2.0s.
I'd say the Mago 2.0s offer a little more flexibility than either of those thanks to the impressive Revolutional fabric, which has proven both durable and effective in a decent range of temperatures. Overall, I'd say they're very competent all-rounders.
Very good quality performance-orientated bib shorts, though the chamois won't suit all
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini 365 Mago 2.0 Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says: "Taking comfort and performance to a whole new level. Lightweight and durable, the Mago bib-shorts are made from the innovative Revolutional fabric. Experience supreme breathability thanks to the Eschler Beehive fabric on the sides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Eschler Beehive breathable fabric
Long continental leg cut
There's no doubt about the quality of the construction here.
The two major fabrics come together to work very well in varying temperatures.
Construction quality along with the tough-feeling Revolutional fabric suggests these should last.
Very comfortable fit, with nice grading throughout the leg. It is a long leg, though.
A medium fitted me well, as it should. Possibly a little narrow, but nothing to be concerned about.
206g is on the money here, without being spectacular.
Despite my preference for mid-length legs, I was very comfortable while wearing them. The chamois lacks a little cushioning, but it is still effective.
£150 places them into the path of some tough competition, but they're solid options.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easily – I like how the fabric doesn't crease up at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Durable fabric, good breathability and overall quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
'Continental' leg length, slightly under-padded chamois (for me).
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Podia Club bibs are £148, and Le Col's Pro bibs are £150.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not with this leg length, no.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, I can't think of a compelling reason not to.
Use this box to explain your overall score
For me, the pad could be slightly more comfortable, but overall these are well made, high quality bib shorts that perform well in a good range of temperatures.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding