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Different manufacturers have approached the knotty problem of women's bib shorts and toilet breaks in different ways. Some have come up with cunning and clever drop tail designs, others have focused on making the bib detachable in some way. Morvelo have taken a simpler approach with their Display Women's Bib Shorts – no clever extras, just making the most comfortable and effective traditional styled bib shorts they can.
There's a lot to be said for that approach in my book; so you'll have to spend a bit more time undressing to spend a penny - but it'll be worth it, because these are a genuinely comfortable and really great looking pair of bib shorts.
They're available in no fewer than eight colourways, each designed to coordinate with or complement Morvelo's range of summer jerseys. The result is a team strip-esque, very put-together effect but without the implications of flying team colours, and with a bit more panache. I tried the Display style, a bold and colourful option.
Handmade in Europe, these use high quality Italian fabrics such as Lycra from the highly regarded manufacturer MITI, and a dual layer perforated chamois from Dolomiti. The fabric has SPF 50, seams are flatlocked to minimise chafing, and leg grippers are printed, while the chest straps are made from a lightweight mesh fabric to avoid overheating.
The fit is forgiving, with plenty of stretch to accommodate both early season voluptuousness and later season weight loss. The straps are orientated to sit comfortably between the breasts.
I have to say, these are among the most comfortable bib shorts I've ever worn, over a variety of distances. The straps are extremely comfortable and, going between the breasts, shouldn't be a problem for any bust size.
The mid thigh leg length is flattering, and the leg grippers didn't 'bite' or cause the dreaded sausage leg.
The pad is superbly comfortable without being overly obtrusive, and it's good for even long distances, with no chafing or discomfort at all.
The only slight niggle I had was with where the sides of the waist of the shorts section sit; I'd have liked a little more height to prevent the slight irritation of the seams sitting bang on the waist. A minor niggle, though, and far from a deal breaker.
All in all, these are exceptionally comfortable, and with the matching jerseys they're an absolute winner in the style stakes. Yes, £90 isn't cheap, but it's on par with most higher end bib shorts and far from being the most expensive. A good investment.
Very comfortable and handmade from plush performance fabrics, these look the business, especially with the coordinating jersey
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Make and model: Morvelo Display Women's Bib Shorts
Size tested: Large
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?
Aimed at demanding female riders looking for good levels of performance and good comfort, without sacrificing style.
A well engineered short and spot on for its purpose.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"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."
Italian M.I.T.I. Lycra
Italian Dolomiti dual layer perforated chamois
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
Available in sizes XS-XL
Machine washable at 30 degrees
Very well made from superb quality Italian fabrics and components.
Extremely comfortable for all sorts of riding and distances and very effective.
Excellent quality fabric but slightly prone to abrasion so steer well clear of rough saddle edges and Velcro.
Very comfortable indeed. Only snag was lower sides of waist area, making the waist feel more obvious than is desirable in bib shorts.
Handmade in Europe and an award winning design that offers oodles of comfort and performance, so good value for money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed exceptionally well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, fabric quality, softness of bib area, chamois comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Shape of waistband.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Use this box to explain your score
Attractive and well-designed bib shorts offering excellent levels of comfort and performance with a bit more style than the usual basic black.
Age: 42 Height: 1.65m Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.