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These dhb Bib Shorts are a wallet-friendly, entry-level design intended for rides up to three hours. They're an obvious choice for new riders, but also a good bet for general, everyday riding – and sessions on the indoor trainer, too.
Given the asking price, I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of construction and detailing here: flatlocked seams, silicone grippers and reflective logos on the back and thighs, along with an Elastic Interface Veloce pad.
The stretchy mesh bibs afford effortless movement while keeping some welcome warmth should the temperature dip a bit. The fabric feels quite thin but it's not bad quality, and in my book makes these an obvious choice for indoor trainer sessions, as well as wearing beneath tights on cooler rides. The thinner fabric also gives a flattering, smooth aesthetic.
They're also a good upgrade to the inserts that come supplied with messenger knickers and some mountain bike shorts, thanks to the reasonable pad density.
It's a medium density foam with a polyamide top sheet, which supposedly combines soft feel and improved breathability. It has a pressure-relieving central channel to keep appendages happy, and an anti-bacterial component has kept things the right side of funky.
The pad moulded well to my shape from the off and I remained comfortable on rides around the three-hour mark, including those taking in some off-road deviations. I had no issues with numbness or tingling, let alone saddle soreness, though three hours or thereabouts is their limit.
Generally, as budget garments go, the dhb bib shorts have impressed with their blend of comfort and performance. Worn beneath messenger knickers and tights, on warmer and cooler rides respectively, there's been no bunching, gathering or similar ride-spoiling distraction.
The fabric, though shinier than some, strikes the right balance between grip and slip, allowing for some minute shuffling without annoying surf. The bibs are super-stretchy, allowing seamless movement from tops, hoods and drops, while keeping the lower back and vital organs happy.
The silicone grippers do their thing unobtrusively, including doing a decent job of holding leg warmers in place.
Despite their relatively thin weight, I was surprised by how much warmth the bibs retained, and when paired with some budget baselayers during indoor trainer sessions I was palpably clammy around the lower back and stayed a bit sticky to the session's conclusion.
Early days, but a few weeks and 400 miles in, the shorts are holding up well. Casual encounters with prickly foliage hasn't caused any bobbling or similarly obvious deterioration, and they're washing well – even after accidentally going through the machine on a 40 degree cycle. No obvious problems – no lifting of the reflectives, for example.
Again, being relatively thin, they dry quickly too, which is great following a short shower, as well as on the line after washing.
The size guide has a very close relationship with reality, which bodes well for online purchases. I'm proportionally long in the leg, relative to my height and build, and was pleased to note there is sufficient length and give in this regard. Everything else aligned very nicely.
Although £35 is hard to argue with, there are other store brands that could give these a run for your money. Planet X's Pro-Line 365 X boast a similar composition and a 3D pad, and retail for £29.99, and Boardman's Bib Shorts are £35.99, and employ a 'high density cushioned pad' that is reckoned good for rides around the three-hour mark.
When all's said and done, the dhb bib short are a no-frills but competent entry-level model with performance that broadly aligns with the blurb. The pad has its limitations, but even more experienced riders should find these a good inexpensive choice for shorter training rides or indoor trainer duties.
Good entry-level bibs for shorter to medium length rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: "Offering incredible performance and outstanding value for money, the dhb Bib Shorts combine high-quality Italian Miti fabric that is extra stretchy for a supportive fit with a CyTech Elastic Interface 'Veloce' chamois pad that provides supreme comfort.
Functional, Comfortable Bib Shorts
As functional as they are comfortable, these shorts also feature silicone grippers in the leg hems to prevent them from 'riding up' and bib straps that remove any chance of your shorts sliding down when you're hunched over your bike. Whether you're commuting, riding for fun or taking part in sportive rides, the dhb Bib Shorts will provide that added comfort you need to push yourself those extra few miles further. "
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Material: 82% Polyester, 18% Elastane (Spandex)
Great value and high performance
Italian Miti performance stretch fabric
CyTech Elastic Interface 'Veloce' chamois (cycling pad) High density foam
Perfect for up to 2-3 hours in the saddle
dhb branded silicone gripper elastic at the leg opening
Reflective dhb logo on the thighs and the rear
XL, XXL, L, S, M, XS
Consistently good throughout, bearing in mind the asking price.
Good fit, cut, and ultimately comfort for indoor training and everyday rides that don't exceed three hours or so.
No hint of bobbling or similar deterioration during the test period, which included the odd off-road deviation for good measure.
Medium felt just right, proportionally.
The sizing chart is very accurate, so shouldn't present any nasty surprises.
Light and quite thin, welcome for indoor training, hot days, or worn below longs/baggies.
Everything behaves nicely and I found the pad very compatible.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward. In the machine at 30 degrees with minimum detergent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by these shorts. They are a budget option, so lack the support and, dare I say, refinement of more expensive designs, but I've had no issues with comfort on rides around the three-hour mark. The thinner profile works well beneath messenger type longs.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Just that they do exactly what it says in the blurb and to a decent standard, considering the price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're inexpensive but not alone: Planet X's Pro-Line 365 X boast a similar composition and 3D pad and retail for £29.99, Boardman's Bib Shorts are £35.99 with a 'high density cushioned pad' reckoned good for rides around the three-hour mark, and Decathlon is presently offering the Triban RC500 Pocket Road Bib Shorts with a gel pad for £39.99 and the RC100 Bib Shorts with a foam pad for £29.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Inexpensive but very cheerful entry-level shorts that do what they promise and to a decent standard.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)