Stolen Goat's Ibex Bodyline Women's bib shorts are a great choice if you value quality, compression and generous bib coverage at the rear. For more options, check out our guide to the best cycling bib shorts.
This is a classic pair of shorts that quite simply do what shorts should. They seem just as well made as some upper-end shorts I've tested and feel equally as comfortable as some too. Compression is good and the chamois is compliant while offering medium support. Only the straps are a bit of a let-down for me, but that's a matter of personal preference.
> Buy now: Stolen Goat Ibex Bodyline Women’s bib shorts for £100 from Stolen Goat
I followed Stolen Goat's size chart and tested a medium. They are a snug fit – if you like a sense of compression, these will appeal. The multi-panel construction, with flatlocked seams, means the main body of the shorts hug the thighs and hips uniformly – no crinkles or wrinkles to be seen or sensed. When shorts feel this snug I always worry about the leg grippers being over-tight. I needn't have, though – the elasticated gripper is a good 7cm deep so pressure is spread out to avoid a sausage thigh. This generous band has a grippy weave incorporated, so no peeling dots or strips of silicone in the long term either.
The bib section is a well-judged length and the straps sit comfortably when you first pull on the shorts. At the rear there's plenty of coverage, with the mesh bib section reaching up to the shoulder blades – more on this later.
The straps aren't particularly discreet under a close fitting summer jersey, and tend to gather in on themselves when you are riding. I've been testing these in cool and cold conditions so this hasn't bothered me, and thick winter jerseys and jackets don't reveal anything. But it's worth bearing in mind if you want the shorts to serve you all year round (and you like a skin-tight short-sleeve jersey).
In my experience, seams on mesh straps aren't always as durable as solid elastic straps; the stitching is prone to fraying and coming loose. I'd say this is my only major reservation with the shorts.
The Ibex Bodylines use Stolen Goat's Vapour pad, the same as that used in the company's more expensive Epic Shorts. The Vapour has been 'developed in Belgium alongside top level pro riders and teams to create the perfect race pad and positioning on the bike – offering more support with only 30% of the material' says Stolen Goat. I can confirm it's well positioned for a racing position. I've used the shorts for endurance rides of over four hours as well as short, intense outings on the road and suffered no discomfort or chafing. I'd say support is medium and will be sufficient for the majority of regular riders. If you like a lot cushioning for longer outings, you might feel a bit short-changed.
Multiple panels of compressive fabric with four-way stretch make for a good overall fit and help hold the pad firmly in place as you move about. With its varied densities, I certainly found it a 'don't-know-you're-wearing it' chamois. It's not bulky or rigid and I haven't found it overbearing in anyway.
It's also good to know that it washes well and dries out relatively quickly, perhaps in part down to Stolen Goat's 30 per cent less fabric.
I can't comment on breathability in warmer conditions, but I did have a few sessions on the indoor trainer without issue.
I've had a mix of conditions for testing, with the shorts offering enough protection for temperatures ranging from 7-13°C. At the upper end I would have preferred not to have had the high-reaching mesh at the rear. You can see from the photos it comes a decent way up the back, and with loaded pockets it's an extra layer where I don't want it. It's a personal gripe that won't be an issue for everyone, and certainly not problematic in colder weather.
The final few details worth pointing out are some reflective detailing on the grippers and a small pocket on the left bib strap. I can't say the latter is a winning feature for me – it's only really big enough for a key, which you risk losing if you take a toilet break. On the other hand, if you are using the shorts for racing, it would make a good radio pocket.
Value and conclusion
Shorts for less than £100 are increasingly hard to find, particularly quality ones, which I'd say these certainly are.
Looking at the shorts we've reviewed here at road.cc, I'd say Velocio's Foundations are the closest in price (up to £107 since our review), quality and styling. You get an easy pee-system here too, though Anna didn't feel the pad was as supportive as some.
Dropping below £100 might see quality compromises – for example, Vel's bib shorts had some questionable grippers.
There are some decent cheaper options, though – if a full-coverage bib doesn't bother you, Madison's £49.99 Sportive bibs might be worth considering. Lara thought they were comfortable, effective and easy to use for comfort breaks.
> Read more road.cc reviews of women’s cycling clothing here
Overall, though, I'd say Stolen Goat has pitched the price well, and if compression and a generous mesh bib appeal, they are decent value for money.
They're a great choice for rides of varying durations, and compare well with more expensive shorts. Just make sure you are happy with the generous mesh upper, though – it won't be for everyone, particularly in milder conditions.
Great road-focused shorts – compressive, comfy, stylish and not over-priced
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Make and model: Stolen Goat Womens Black Ibex Bodyline Bib Shorts
Tell us what the product is for
Stolen Goat says, 'The women's Ibex Bodyline bib shorts are the go-to choice for all kinds of adventures on two wheels.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stolen Goat lists:
2-way breathable and 4-way stretch fabric
Mesh-panelled bib straps
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Looks and feels very good and, to date, no signs of weakness.
Rate the product for performance:
A quality pad offering medium support in a compressive pair of shorts that feel great on the bike.
Rate the product for durability:
The main body fabric is reassuringly robust and leg grippers aren't silicone dots or strips that have potential to peel. In my experience, mesh bibs with seams can start to fail before the shorts wear out, but only time will tell if these are going to do that.
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
Stolen Goat's size guide is reliable, but if you don't want a compressive fit, consider sizing up.
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
For me, the rear of the bib was too generous. It effectively adds another layer for your mid and lower back, so I experienced heat build-up in milder conditions.
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine in a 30 cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I started testing these in mild conditions, 13-16°C, and they were great teamed with leg warmers, but if I turned up the tempo I suffered with a sweaty lower back. Anything below 13°C, down to about 7°C, they handle well. The pad is up to longer rides (unless you need serious cushioning for such outings) and hasn't caused me any problems.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
High bib at rear.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
I'd say they are mid-range but good value in this bracket, being well made and comfy. They're slightly cheaper than the similar Velocio Foundations, and though they're more expensive than the Vel shorts mentioned in the review, those don't sound as good quality. The Stolen Goats are cheaper than Specialized's Prime bib shorts (£120) and Gore's Ardent Bib Shorts+ (£149.99), though they both come with pee-break-friendly designs.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? For riding in cool conditions, they would be a good addition to my wardrobe.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very good: comfy, compressive and well-made shorts that represent decent value for money.
Age: 42 Height: 173cm Weight: 64kg
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!
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