On first impression the Rue women's bib shorts from the Brighton-based Morvelo design duo looked extremely promising with lots of panels, nice colour scheme and a generous pad.
Morvelo have been steadily increasing their women's range over the last few years, ensuring the construction, fabrics and unique designs are akin to the men's range.
The Rue bib shorts were actually part of Morvelo's Spring/Summer collection but are still available on their website. After perusing the rest of the brand's fun and colourful offerings for women, it seems that the bib shorts from the recently released new season collection are also based on the same cut and fabrics.
The most noticeable thing when putting on the Rue bib shorts is the compression fit. The Italian MITI Spa Power Lycra feels snug around the legs but it's a nice comforting, supportive kind of snug not a boa-constrictor-death-grip kind of snug.
The panelled construction added to the feeling of being supported in all the right places, with no bagging or tight spots around the shorts. This was also noticeable in the mirror where I was surprised to see my inner thigh didn't seem to bulge out as much as it usually does in defiance at being encased in unforgiving fabric.
The printed gripper elastic leg bands were much softer on the skin than the irritating silicone gripper bands that some brands insist on using and I was a fan of the plum purple colour.
I had initial reservations about the mesh strap going straight up my middle and then over the shoulders but I didn't notice the lightweight strap at all once the shorts were on and it wasn't restrictive in the slightest.
The Rue Bib Shorts come with an Italian Dolomiti dual layer perforated chamois, which in normal speak means two layers of foam with air holes to let the moisture out. The aircell memory foam is designed to reduce pressure points, the first thicker layer acting as a shock absorber, supporting the hip and pelvic bones and the second layer allowing ventilation.
I found the pad extremely comfortable. At first it felt thicker than the pads in my more frequently-used shorts but once on the bike it wasn't invasive at all. My undercarriage felt completely supported from the first try, which unfortunately for these shorts coincided with my weekly attempt at intervals on the turbo trainer.
They coped remarkably well with my sad sweaty efforts at seated sprints, hips rocking all over the place – in fact, not a chafe in sight. During longer steady four to five hour rides, there was no change in comfort level so I didn't have to think about getting out of the saddle to give my derrière a rest.
Most of us have bib shorts we know are more suited to shorter rides and bib shorts we know are more reliable for long days in the saddle. I can safely say the Rue bib shorts fit into both categories quite happily and were more than a match for my 100km+ fail-safes, the Rapha Women's Classic bib shorts.
The ventilation actually worked very well on longer rides; where as some other bib shorts can start to act like a sponge and then become damply uncomfortable the Rue shorts took it in their stride and managed to stay fairly dry.
The colour scheme of the bib shorts wasn't overly feminine and I liked that they were more colourful than typical lycra offerings. The pattern wasn't what I would usually go for but the fact they had a matching jersey made it more appealing.
Morvelo have an eclectic range of kit designs so I'm sure most types of riders will find something they like.
The reflective tabs on the back of each leg were a nice thought, adding a touch more confidence in my visibility during night rides. It's also heartening to see Morvelo offer these shorts in a large range of sizes (XS - XXL).
Overall, I was really impressed with the performance of the Rue bib shorts especially when compared to more expensive offerings on the market.
Good value, comfortable and supportive shorts
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Morvelo Rue womens bib shorts
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?
Morvelo say "We use Power Lycra from the long established Italian fabric experts M.I.T.I. (Manifattura Italiana Tessuti Indemagliabili) to create a snug compression fit that eases muscle fatigue and a dual layer perforated chamois that is designed to excel on 2hr - 6hr rides. They have also been extensively tested in short and harsh Crit and Cyclocross races as well as 24hr solo MTB races so we know they are incredibly adaptable and perform to the highest standard. Created from 2 levels of high density memory foam using the latest in aircell technology to reduce pressure points, the first level provides maximum shock absorption for the hip and pelvic bones leaving the perineal area without pressure for additional comfort. The second level of perforated foam allows for supreme ventilation and moisture management. The chamois is then covered with a soft but resilient outer layer.
Our Printed Gripper Elastic (PGE) keeps a firm yet gentle grip around the legs and the high stretch M.I.T.I. perforated mesh on the bibs provides maximum flexibility whilst keeping everything in its place. No matter what you ride our shorts will keep you rolling in comfort even if your legs and lungs are screaming you to stop." I have to say, I can't disagree with any of that.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Italian M.I.T.I. Spa Power Lycra
Italian Dolomiti dual layer perforated chamois
Compression fit for reduced muscle fatigue
Lightweight mesh straps for maximum ventilation
Printed Gripper Elastic (PGE) leg bands
Flat lock stitching
Heat seal label
Panelled construction for superior fit
Rubberised Morvelo seam tab
Sun Protection Factor 50
Handmade in Europe from Italian fabrics
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bib shorts were extremely comfortable on both short and long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
In particular, the compression fit and use of panelling made me feel supported at all times.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 25 Height: 173cm Weight: 56kg
I usually ride: Focus Izalco Donna road bike My best bike is: It's being built by a lovely frame builder
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
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