The dhb Aeron bibshorts have long been favourites of mine, and thanks to some updates to the fabric and pad these 2019 versions are the best yet.
- Pros: Brilliantly comfortable pad, excellent fit
- Cons: Barely anything
dhb has gone with Italian fabric manufacturer MITI and its Granfondo material for the bulk of the new Aerons. It's a fabric with a fair amount of stretch but with a slight amount of compression to it, and it feels great against the skin.
The multi-panel cut fits like a glove when working with the fabric's properties and no matter how hard or fast you are riding the shorts let you move fully with no feeling of restriction. There is no rucking or bunching of the material anywhere.
At the time of testing we haven't exactly reached summer temperatures yet, but it's been warm enough to work up a sweat, especially when smashing it in the hills. The Aerons dry quickly once the effort is over and remain feeling comfortable the whole time.
The leg grippers are unobtrusive, with the silicone section taking up about two-thirds of the circumference while the other third is an elasticated strip of fabric. I find this style works best for securing the bottom of the leg as it works whatever your thigh diameter without putting any unnecessary pressure on the skin.
The bibs use a thin mesh fabric which is lightweight and very breathable, plus the back section is narrow to leave your shoulders and most of your upper back exposed. That should help when the summer heatwave hits.
Elastic Interface has been the pad manufacturer of choice for dhb for many years, so it's no surprise to see that it has remained with EI although the Aerons now come with its Paris HP pad.
Like a lot of the modern pads I've been seeing it looks rather simplistic, with a lot of the channels and sections found on other pads completely done away with. This just uses three different densities of foam along the length of the pad, with the thickest being directly under the sit bones. For pressure relief there is a small central channel front to rear, and up front there are ventilation holes although it's hard to detect how much difference they make.
The quality is up to dhb's usual high standard, with excellent stitching throughout, and the whole piece of apparel feels much more upmarket than the price would have you think.
The sizing is spot on to dhb's guide, which should take out the risk of buying online without trying them first, and they come in a range of colours too.
Their price of £75 is very good for what you are getting. Looking through previous reviews, they stand up well to something like the Orro Bibshorts which sound like they offer similar comfort and quality for £109. Or the Nalini AHS Marmotte bib shorts, which again are great quality and comfortable but for £110.
On the whole, dhb has made a great pair of bib shorts even better while keeping the price very competitive.
Excellent quality, comfort and performance for an impressive price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron bib shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "The dhb Aeron Bib Shorts are the evolution of a best-selling classic. A new pad from Elastic Interface®, proven performance fabrics and details to make your next ride more comfortable, these versatile shorts are the mainstay of your cycling wardrobe."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
New Elastic Interface® Paris HP Chamois for over 7 hours of comfort
Premium Italian fabrics balance comfort and support
Mesh bibs with extended back mesh panel for ventilation
Shaped leg elastic with silicone particle gripper
Bib straps: 82% Polyester, 14% Elastane(Spandex), 4% Other Fibres
Main: 64% Polyamide(Nylon), 19% Elastane(Spandex), 17% Polyester
Sizing is spot on to dhb's size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No special instructions for washing and they came out of the washing machine fine every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Aerons are ideal for all kinds of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent material and pad choice.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really stands out.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are very well priced against similarly comfortable and quality bib shorts we've tested in the past.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
dhb's bib shorts deliver all the comfort you could need for an impressive price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.