Sportful's Fiandre NoRain 2 bib shorts are a great option for rides in the rain. The soft, thermal fabric is cut long for extra protection of the lower quads, while the water resistance will see off a good amount of rain and keep you warm when soaked through.
- Pros: Super-comfy; extra length provides great protection; water resistant
- Cons: None
I'll start off by saying that I've loved wearing these bib shorts. Besides everything else, they're incredibly comfortable and the soft fabric makes you feel all snug just pulling them on. Sportful has designed these to be used in the colder months so I've had to carefully pick the days I've used them. Thankfully, their breathability meant that when the sun did pop out, I wasn't left feeling ridiculously warm.
The main feature of these bib shorts is the material that makes up the legs. This brushed thermal Roubaix style material is brilliantly soft on the skin. Out on the road, the extra thickness of this fabric helps to block out some of the wind, though it isn't totally windproof, a point you might want to consider for the really cold days.
The legs have been cut extra long to better protect the quads from cold air and rain. This felt odd at first, but I quickly got used to it and found the protection, especially against the wind, to be really good.
The Fiandre NoRain 2 bib shorts have performed brilliantly in a mix of situations, from casual rides through to road races. Not all of those rides have been in the rain, though many have started dry and featured plenty of showers.
Mixed weather is where I think these really excel. The water resistance might not be enough to see off persistent heavy rain, but it's perfectly capable of keeping you dry during a short downpour and it'll prevent wheel spray from soaking through.
Internally, the TC Pro seat pad is dense, well placed and a very nice place to plonk your behind for longer road rides. I racked up a few five-hour club runs in these with no issues.
The leg ends are raw cut for a clean finish and there are silicone dots underneath to keep the shorts in place. The bib straps are made from a mesh material, to help prevent excess heat build-up. They support the shorts well, feeling perfectly comfortable when in the riding position.
Washing these is easy: I stuck them on at 40 and then put them on the line to dry. It's probably best to keep them away from the tumble drier if you want to retain the NoRain technology.
The only thing I would say is that I find bib tights more comfortable than pairing these with leg warmers. It's a minor consideration, as bib tight weather is probably going to be a fair bit colder than the temperatures the Fiandre NoRain 2s are designed for. That said, these are a much more versatile option than 3/4s in my opinion.
Castelli was the one to kick off the niche trend for extended thermal bib shorts with its Omloop Thermal shorts, and they were highly rated by Ash back in 2017. They are a bit more expensive, though, and the leg length issues would make me lean towards the Sportfuls.
I'd say these are well worth the £100, though that might not be the price you pay. I've seen them for as little as £55.99 (small) from ProBikeKit and Sigma Sports has the XXL at £60 ( both websites list them as £80 at rrp), which would make them a no-brainer if I was a little smaller, or a lot larger...
Comfortable thermal bib shorts with added rain protection at a very good price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Fiandre NoRain 2 BibShort
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful says: "The perfect thermal short for a dry day and at the same time, awesome under the rain."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
NoRain Thermal fabric: Nanotechnology water-repellent outside, brushed fleece inside
Minimal seaming for additional water protection
Raw-cut edge elastic leg band with silicone dot gripper
Tc Pro seat pad
Mesh bib straps
Didn't cause any issues around the knee.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to wash, but keep them away from the tumble drier.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfectly. These fend off the worst of the rain and insulate very well while still being perfectly comfortable on long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The extra protection down to just above the knee.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're cheaper than the Castelli Omloop bib shorts.
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
They work brilliantly and will get a lot of use in UK weather. They're also cheaper than the very good Castelli Omloops.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.