Giant's Elevate bib shorts are perfect for competitive riding as well as long hot summer days in the saddle, and represent very good value for money too. The branding will put a few off, but like the Elevate jersey I was also testing, they're a high-quality piece of kit.
The Elevate bib shorts form the second part of Giant's self-branded jersey-short combo, and in many respects my comments about the top half are to be repeated here. You'll need to decide if you mind wearing a bike brand's name so prominently on your leg – but if you decide that you don't mind, you're getting a seriously good deal here.
A summer cut and lightweight, low profile design are at the forefront of things with the bib shorts (as they are with the jersey). The TransTextura fabric is breathable and flexible, and a little denser than in the jersey, which adds to the bib shorts' resilience and its SPF50 properties and – frankly – comfort too.
They're still light against the skin, though – nobody can call 163g heavy – and the fit around the legs (the panelling, especially) is well thought out: compressive yet unrestrictive. You feel supported around the quads, hips and lower back because of the high-tensile fabric, which aids the feeling of high performance.
Medium bib shorts usually fit me perfectly, but here I found the top section of the thighs a little tight, which caused slight rubbing on long-range rides. That said, my legs have bulked up a bit recently (I can thank rowing and overeating for that), so that needs to be taken into account with the fit, which is otherwise excellent on me.
The hems are perfect, with an elastic band doing the gripping in the absence of any silicone insert. This results in a really comfortable fit on the skin, without the potential to rub like some do. The seams that join this to the panel fabric are flat and low profile, so there's less chance of chafing there too.
The leg section joins to a laser cut upper that's very flexible, and able to stretch comfortably to my long torso with no discomfort. To be honest, it's one of the most comfortable bib sections I've come across – perfect for either long summer days or high-intensity efforts. It helps keep breathability high so the jersey can do its work, and dries quickly too when at a café.
The hidden gem, though, is the pad. It's an Etxeondo model (E.I.T. Urraki Multi-Density Comp, in case you're interested in the details), and Giant says it's been adopted by the Giant elite race teams – a marker of quality if ever there was any.
For my money, I found the graded sections brilliant at relieving pressure points, and there's a channel down the centre – presumably for perineal relief. There are five separate foam thicknesses and densities strategically positioned, including a generous frontal section for a little added 'manhood' protection.
It's all covered in a microfibre fabric that Giant claims is breathable and antibacterial. There are no perforations, although you can feel indents under the cover fabric which indicate channels for improved airflow internally. I found it especially good at dealing with high-intensity 40km efforts, but longer rides are no issue either.
It truly is a pro-level chamois, and that makes the Elevate bib shorts' value even more impressive at £124.99. Comparing them with Le Col’s top-end HC bib shorts, for example, you have to view the Elevates as a bit of a performance bargain. Sure, they lack the luxury edge of the £180 Le Cols, but all the racy performance is right there. Similarly, Rapha’s Pro Team bib shorts claim to do the same fundamental job of the Giants, yet you’re paying close to £200.
It's just a shame that the branding is so prominent, which could automatically limit the kit's appeal unless you ride a Giant (or don't care).
High quality bib shorts from a high quality name, which unfortunately you can't really miss...
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Giant Elevate Bibshort
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Giant says: "For all-round riders who demand the latest technologies, elevate is the smart choice. Designed and engineered with high-performance materials. and optimised for comfort in the racing position, elevate helps you get to the finish line fast."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Features (from Giant's website):
- TransTextura™ fabric enhances heat ventilation, quick moisture transfer and drying
- Laser-cut seamless bib straps provides ultra-soft feel and comfort
- High stitching count features superior comfort and durabilitySoft-feel Italian fabric provides best compression and breathability
- E.I.T. Urraki Multi-Density Comp chamois, tested and adopted by Giant Pro Teams
- High stretched elastic gripper
- Reflective details for visibility
- Race fit
- UPF 50+
No problems here.
Almost perfect as a performance-led bib short – the compression is especially good.
Despite the light nature of the bib shorts, the quality finish should ensure a decent lifespan.
As a race fit they're spot on, although the very top sections of the legs could be a little too tight in a medium on me.
Sizes about right, race fit permitting.
163g is light enough, for sure.
Despite the slight tightness I felt around the very top of my thighs, which could lead to a bit of rubbing, I thought they were very comfortable.
Quality bib shorts like these at £124.99 should be about right, but in the presence of products that cost upwards of £170 but don't necessarily stand out, you have to say value is very good.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Summer leg length and construction, supportive fit, good chamois, value.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A little tight around upper thighs, prominent Giant branding.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, I don't ride a Giant bike so I personally think it would look out of place.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's no doubting the overall quality and value of these bib shorts, but the branding will put some off.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) 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: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding