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Maap's Women's Team Bib Evos are a great pair of shorts for long, warm days in the saddle. Performance and comfort are exactly what you'd expect for £190: flawless. If you're looking at spending this much, you won't be disappointed with these, provided Maap's claim that the fabric won't thin over time is valid.
The first thing I feel I should point out is that the Team Bib Evos come in black and blue as well as green, both with the option of black or white bibs – an extensive choice, to say the least.
I fall between a small and a medium on Maap's size guide and tested a small. To be honest, I would probably have been better off sizing up – the leg grippers were a touch too tight for my liking. If you fall between sizes, I'd say size up. Another thing to note: the Evos are only available up to a size L, 101-106cm hip; Maap isn't really catering for the larger lady.
Maap lists a whole load of fabric properties on the website: 'anti pilling and high abrasion resistance, non-see-through function [fabric won't thin over time], moisture wicking and highly breathable and DWR coating'.
I've certainly not noticed any deterioration in the fabrics and I've used these for some gravel riding where they've come away unscathed after encounters with branches and bushes. If you were to compare the fabric with the Velocios that Anna reviewed recently, the Maap's is 70g heavier per m2 (Velocio's is 140g, Maap's 210g). It genuinely feels more robust than most shorts I've tested. Naturally, after only a month or so of testing, I can't comment on the fabric's resistance to going see-through.
Despite the fabric having a DWR coating, the shorts offer little in the way of protection in even light rain, though I did feel warm and dry when heading out in foggy weather.
In warmer conditions, they offer great levels of breathability. I wouldn't say it's the best I've experienced, but still very good.
Despite being relatively lightweight, the material offers plenty of compression without excessive 'squeeze'. It flows well with the body when riding; I didn't experience any pinch points, rubbing or sense of restriction.
Encouragingly, all fabrics are Bluesign approved. This means they 'are produced only using chemicals and processes that are safe for people and the environment and that air and water emissions from the manufacturing processes are entirely clean'.
The cut is well judged, for me, offering an almost perfect fit.
The leg hem is a wide, elasticated band with silicone gripper printed on it. It doesn't budge – against bare skin or over warmers. I didn't experience any irritation here either. Since it's so wide, it doesn't restrict or pinch, though this could well hinge on thigh size.
The bib straps are also made from wide elasticated band, with no hems or seams in sight. They come together in a Y-shape between the shoulder blades, with a mesh panel then running down the back to meet the body of the shorts.
The Y-design encourages the straps to sit wide at the front, attaching close to the hip bone to hold this 'wide line'. I'm not blessed with much of a bust, but I imagine that these straps will please most; I found them to be perfectly positioned.
I also found the strap length well judged – they hold the shorts up firmly without pulling on the shoulders. The design is comfy and relatively minimal, which really helps with upper body ventilation. Bib straps like these far outlast seamed mesh ones, in my experience. They seem to retain elasticity and support for much longer.
I prefer a low cut, like on Assos' Dyora RS bib shorts, to the mesh panel at the front of the Evos. I didn't find the panel uncomfortable, but it's in that awkward place that has the potential to dig into the stomach.
The pad is, in my opinion, the best feature of these shorts. It offers exceptional comfort with very little bulk. I happily completed five-hour rides without any discomfort. I will admit to being pretty hardy where chamois are concerned – I can tolerate long rides on minimal pads. However, it's not just the support that makes this chamois, it's the clean and well-judged cut, the softness of the fabric's surface, its compliance with your movements, and its breathability. Quite simply, it's what you would expect from a pad in a pair of shorts costing £190.
The Evos don't have any kind of quick pee-stop feature, which may put some off, especially given just how many shorts do these days.
They do have substantial reflective logos on both legs, and offer UPF50+ sun protection factor too.
Washing and wearing hasn't affected the fit and performance of the shorts in the slightest, but I was pretty shocked to note some stitching coming loose after only two weeks of use. I contacted Maap to report this and within 10 hours had an offer of a replacement pair. I simply needed to provide a photo of the stitching, proof of purchase and a description of the issue. If this swift customer service continued, I'd like to think I'd have a replacement pair pretty quickly.
Their rrp of £190 is a serious dent in the wallet, but if they fit well and the material stands the test of time then you won't regret the investment if you're putting in the miles.
They're definitely not limited to summer temperatures, either – you'll be getting three seasons out of these, more hardy riders may even push for four...
They're also not the most expensive we've tested: Rapha's top-performance Pro Team Detachable bib shorts are £195, though they do have an easy-pee design (they clip at the back). And Velocio (£184) and Le Col (£180) aren't far off.
I'd put the comfort and performance of the Evos on a par with Assos' £175 Dyora RS bib shorts that I reviewed last year. The pad is certainly less spongey, though, so if you like to sense more cushioning then Assos win here.
You can get great comfort and quality for less, though. I am still enjoying using Bioracer's £140 Epic bib shorts. They aren't as compressive as the Maaps, but they do have an easy-pee design.
Maap's Team Bib Evos offer exceptional comfort and performance with reassuring eco-credentials and fabrics that feel like they will stand the test of time. The loose stitching was a let-down at this price, but would seemingly be swiftly addressed by Maap.
Premium comfort and performance at a premium price, with colour options to suit varying tastes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Women's Team Bib Evo
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
From Maap's website, 'Redefine your performance with our new women's Team Bib Evo, a bold evolution of our most popular bib. The all new 3D Thermo Moulded multi-layer chamois ensures ultimate comfort for long days on the bike, while laser cut perforations provide maximum breathability no matter the conditions. Ergonomically designed with a female-specific cut and optimal stretch to move seamlessly from training to racing. Experience the fourth generation, now.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Main body fabric engineered for optimal stretch, recovery and shape retention
-Anti pilling and high abrasion resistance
-Non see through function [fabric won't thin over time]
-Moisture wicking and highly breathable
-All fabrics are Bluesign approved and made in Italy
-High airflow back mesh panel with bound edge
-Additional mesh panel at waist
-Seamless elastic bib brace straps with Y-Shape back
-Reflective print transfers
-Elastic leg hem band with printed silicone gripper
-UPF50+ sun protection factor
-All new Proprietary 3D Thermo Moulded multi density chamois, manufactured by Elastic Interface® - OEKO-TEX® certified
-Ergonomically engineered with laser cut perforations for better breathability
-Thermal bonded seamless chamois construction
-Elastic leg hem band & suspenders OEKO-TEX® certified
171 g - 6.03 oz
MAIN FABRIC CONTENT
80% Polyamide, 20% Elastane
MAIN FABRIC WEIGHT
210 g/m2 - Lightweight
Minor issues with stitching (which would be addressed by Maap if you experienced the same).
Fabrics feel genuinely robust and top quality. Score only compromised by stitching flaw.
Great – well-judged bib and shorts length.
Size up if you fall between sizes. Disappointing that Maap doesn't produce the shorts in larger sizes.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Maap's instructions are: 'Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Do not use softener. Do not dry clean. Do not soak.'
I've been washing them on a 30 degree cycle, with all my other cycle kit. They have come up just fine every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliant for rides of any duration, or intensity; comfy cut, quality chamois and supportive, supple, breathable fabrics.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Frontal mesh panel.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the top end with Rapha and Assos, though Velocio and Le Col aren't far off for £184 and £180 respectively. There are plenty of options out there that are much cheaper though.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? In black, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Quite simply, everything you would want from a pair of bib shorts. The stitching issue was hopefully a one-off, and would seemingly be addressed swiftly by Maap. The price is high, but they are excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
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, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…