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The RH Creek bibshorts are well-made shorts with a good seatpad, suitable for rides of two or three hours.
I'm not a big one for counting shorts panels – I don't think more necessarily results in a better fit – but, for what it's worth, these are 10-panel shorts. In my experience, a better indicator of comfort is holding the shorts up by the braces: the more they hang like someone is wearing them, the more comfortable they'll feel when you put them on.
Manufacturers like to call this 'preformed anatomic construction' or something like that. However you describe it, the Creek shorts pass that little test and, sure enough, when you put them on they feel great without any tight areas or any baggy bits. They just feel right.
One of the best features is the super-wide leg gripper. It's 70mm wide, fact fans – much wider than that of any other shorts I own. RH call this Grip Fit Xlight and it works really well; tiny non-slip silicone dots all over the inside of the gripper hold the shorts in place perfectly without the need for too much pressure.
The inseam length on our size large shorts, by the way, is 26cm, if you want to compare that with other shorts you own, and I wouldn't have wanted it any longer.
The graphics on the gripper are printed so it's impossible for them to come off in the wash, while the reflective trim on the back of the gripper is sewn-on tape, so that's not going anywhere either. The reflective dotted lines on the side panels are transferred on. I'm not sure if they'll stay forever but several washes in and they're looking good so far.
RH use mesh for the bib section with a slim Lycra band down the centre of the back. I can't say I noticed any difference in performance from that strip, good or bad. I found the bibs comfortable, breathable and secure, so all good on that front.
The seatpad is a high-quality option from Elastic Interface. It's pretty thick (up to 10mm) although the foam isn't as dense as you get in some pads (it's 70kg/m3 in parts, if you speak that language). I'd say it's good for rides up to about two or three hours although you might want more density if you're going to be on the bike for much longer than that. If you're doing a 100-miler, say, you'll probably want to be a bit more isolated from the road.
Like all the Elastic Interface pads I've ever used, it's super-comfortable next to your skin thanks to a soft microfibre surface fabric that shifts moisture fast, and plenty of channelling.
All-in-all, these shorts feel great and that pad is probably suitable for most of your rides. If this all-black version is too conservative for you, other colour options are available.
Well-made shorts with an excellent leg gripper and a good seatpad that's suitable for rides up to about three hours
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Make and model: RH+ Creek bib short
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
* Preformed anatomic construction
* Ultra-flat seams
* Stretch mesh braces
* Anatomic waist cut
* Stretch mesh inserts on back
* Stretch mesh inserts in lumbar region
* Elasticated inserts with differentiated stretch
* Leg gripper Grip Fit Xlight, ultra-flat elastic lined with nonslip silicone
* Reflective appliqués
You can get shorts much cheaper, of course, but excellent grippers and a very good seatpad make loads of difference to your comfort.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really liked the leg grippers, believe it or not. They keep the shorts in place well without any real pressure.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.