Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Pas Normal Studios Escapism Bibs Men's – dark stone

8
£240.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Practical, comfortable and weather-resistant gravel-cum-adventure shorts – but they are very expensive
Comfortable with ease of movement
Water resistant
Useful thigh pockets
Supportive chamois
Expensive
Colour will divide opinion
Questionable rear pockets
Weight: 
219g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Pas Normal Men's Escapism Bibs are a comfortable and practical set of gravel shorts with built-in weather resistance, a supportive chamois and useful thigh pockets. But they are very expensive, I'm not sure about the colour and I don't feel the rear pockets are that useful.

> Buy now: Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bib Shorts for £240 from Pas Normal Studios

For more options check our best cycling bib shorts buyer's guide.

It has now reached that time of year where we can start to get our legs out again, and start to work on our razor-sharp tan lines. And Pas Normal's Escapism bibs are designed for the sort of conditions you're likely to encounter in spring and autumn.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - cuff.jpg

Pas Normal says these are designed for temperatures from around 5-15°C, which is broadly what I found. I did wear them a couple of times when the temperature was below zero with a pair of leg warmers and though they were better than a pair of summer bibs, though I felt it would have been nice to have something a bit thicker.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - back.jpg

I had no qualms about the quality of the chamois. This is made from four layers of foam of varying density, and I have to say that I found it comfortable and supportive for me – though as with any chamois, this is of course a subjective statement. It offered me a good combination of cushioning, support, and wicking, which meant I was comfortable throughout longer and rougher rides.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - chamois.jpg

The second element that makes them so comfortable is the stretch in the fabric, which allows the shorts to mould easily around you as you're riding. It also means they offer you a good deal of freedom of movement, so I didn't find them at all restricting while I was pedalling.

These have been designed for bikepacking and gravel riding, so they're both more robust than regular road shorts and they have a couple of cargo pockets on the side and the small of the back for a bit of extra storage.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - leg pocket.jpg

These are useful, but as I always wore these shorts with a jersey – with its larger and more accessible rear pockets – the shorts' rear pockets would be pretty much unusable if you were using the jersey pockets.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - back pocket.jpg

The mesh at the back starts higher than it would on most bibs, which is because of the positioning of those pockets – and this also makes them warmer. It also means the back isn't as breathable as a pair of summer-weight shorts, but I didn't have any issues during my autumn and winter testing.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - straps back.jpg

The mesh panel connects to two wide, flat, stretchy straps running over the shoulders and down the front – these sat flat on my body and didn't cause any irritation whether used over a base layer or worn direct against my skin.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - straps front.jpg

The surface of the shorts has received a DWR (durable water-resistant) treatment, which I feel is a must for a pair of bib shorts designed for use during a UK winter. This proved effective, I didn't notice any water ingress and when I used these in wet conditions the water beaded off them nicely. As with any DWR treated material this coating will naturally become less effective over time, but for the duration of the review I had no issues with it.

At the bottom of the legs silicone grippers kept the shorts in place effectively and prevented any bunching or creasing.

2023 Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs - cuff gripper.jpg

I wasn't massively keen on the olive brown colour I tested, which I think could work for chinos, but looks a little jarring on bib shorts. That said, they are also available in black, grey, and blue, and in seven sizes from XXS to XXL.

Value

The £240 RRP puts these are very much in the premium bracket when it comes to bib shorts.

The Cafe Du Cycliste Cecile Men's Thermal Bib Shorts are even more expensive at £265, and while Hollis liked them, they don't have the gravel-specific or water-resistant elements of the Pas Normal shorts.

I reviewed the Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Bib Shorts S9 a couple of years ago, which are just as comfortable, but like the Cafe Du Cycliste shorts they lack features for gravel riding, but they are warmer and have a fleecy lining.

Stu tested the Santini Gravel Bib Shorts a while back, which he found robust and liked the pockets, but he felt the chamois was road-biased.

And Hollis really liked the Albion ABR1 Pocket Bib Shorts, which he thought were a near-flawless pair of gravel shorts, and at £155 they're also cheaper than any of the above.

Conclusion

I have to say that I really like these shorts – though they're pricy and there are some design elements that I was unsure about. But I found them comfortable and they were a good choice for gravel rides or extended efforts on the tarmac, thanks to their supportive chamois and the freedom of movement the stretchy fabric offers. I wasn't keen on the colour tested, which is of course subjective, they are undoubtedly expensive and I'm not sure how useful the back pockets are.

Verdict

Practical, comfortable and weather-resistant gravel-cum-adventure shorts – but they are very expensive

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pas Normal Studios Men's Escapism Bibs

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Pas Normal Studios says: "The Escapism Bib Shorts are designed as our most durable, abrasion-resistant cycling bibs ever. The four-way stretch achieved from the structured-nylon fabric gives these bibs the freedom to move with you wherever you go. A requirement for today's adventure rides and bikepacking adventures, four pockets have been integrated into the design on the thighs and back straps, providing easy-access storage solutions for your on-the-go essentials."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Built for adventure

Integrated pockets on the thighs and back straps

Four-way stretch nylon

C0-rated DWR-treated fabric

Material: 53% Nylon, 47% Elastane

Made in Italy

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well-made bib shorts with a good amount of stretch and a comfortable and supportive chamois.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Comfortable and warm enough for autumn, spring and milder winter days and for road and gravel riding.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

They seem well made and I've no reason to think they wouldn't survive a long time.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

No excess folds or creases, plus the silicone grippers kept everything in place nicely and prevented any shifting.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

The medium I tried fitted me well, though I'd say it was probably closer to what I would expect from a large

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

A very comfortable pair of bib shorts thanks to the stretchiness of the material and their supportive chamois.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

They are expensive – but the cost is about what I would expect for a pair of bib shorts of this sort of quality.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

I chucked them in a wash at 30°C several times without any issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, they were warm enough for autumn and milder weather and have enough protection to make sure they were comfortable regardless of the surfaces I was riding them on.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The chamois is particularly comfortable – this is a subjective thing, but it worked very well for me.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The colour I tested wouldn't be the one I would choose but, other than the price, that's about my only criticism.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Cafe Du Cycliste Cecile Men's Thermal Bib Shortscome in at £265 but don't have the same gravel-specific elements or any waterproofing. I reviewed the Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Bib Shorts S9 a couple of years ago and while similarly comfortable, they don't offer any gravel-specific design elements but they are warmer and they have a fleecy lining. One of our favourite pairs of gravel shorts are the ABR1 Pocket Bib Shorts, which Hollis thought were virtually flawless, and at £155 they're also cheaper than any of the above.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – at a sale price

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – at a sale price

Use this box to explain your overall score

A comfortable pair of road/adventure bibs that work well for spring, autumn and milder winter riding. But they come at a high price, the back pockets are not too useful with a jersey and I wasn't keen on the colour – though they perform well where it matters.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

Add new comment

1 comments

Avatar
Veloism | 1 month ago
0 likes

"gravel-cum-adventure"

Latest Comments