The Van Rysel Bib Shorts Racer 2 perform really well and are excellent value. The compressive fit and comfortable pad wouldn't be out of place on shorts at twice the price, and while the finish isn't perfect, it's good enough given the price.
Decathlon says the new high-density foam pad in these (the Endurance 2.5 HD) is good for up to seven hours, and while I've not had the chance to ride in them for that long, I've done around four hours and was impressed. They stayed comfortable throughout, and I would happily wear them on something longer.
The pad is quite large and perhaps a bit too long at the front, but it didn't feel too bulky whilst riding and proved stable without any bunching or chafing.
As I was around the middle of the size guide for medium that's what I tested, and found them a tight fit – they're probably the smallest mediums out of all my shorts. While Decathlon does warn of the tight fit, if you're towards the top of any size then consider stepping up to the next. They come in five sizes, from S to 2XL, so you should be able to find a size that suits you.
The compression provides a close race fit on the legs, which I liked; it gives good support doing hard, race-pace efforts. The leg length is good too, in my opinion, sitting just above knee but avoiding being too long. The minimalistic grippers work well too, and had no issues with them riding up.
The front of the shorts come up to a good point, below the belly button but not too low. It is easy to take a mid-ride comfort break without any issues.
Up above the straps provide good support and stay comfy, and there's mesh around the upper on the front and back for breathability.
I have worn on days over 30°c and found them fine – yes I got some damp patches, but no more than you'd expect in those conditions.
> The 10 best cycling bib shorts for 2022 – get comfy on longer rides
They also come in navy, and in this black the low-key look makes them easy to pair with most other kit. I have worn these a lot and the whilst the quality of the stitching isn't perfect, they still have plenty of life left in them.
At £59.99 these shorts are great value; the performance far exceeded my expectations. In fact, they compare well against shorts I have tested that are twice the price.
They're not alone at the cheaper end of the market, though. For instance the Sundried Drop Men's Training Bib Shorts also perform well, and are even a bit cheaper at £50. There's no plain black option, however.
The Pearl Izumi Escape Quest Bib Shorts, which Neil found to be similar quality to these Van Rysels, are £49.99, although seem very hard to come by at the moment. Galibier is always worth a look for value and performance, and its Équipe 2 Aero Bib Shorts scored well too. They're a bit more at £73, though.
These shorts are great value for money – the pad is comfortable, the compressive fit works well and the breathability is good. They compare well to shorts at twice the price!
Great bibs that perform far beyond their price tag – just be careful on the sizing
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Make and model: Van Rysel Road Cycling Bib Shorts Racer 2
Tell us what the product is for
Decathlon says, "Racer is Van Rysel's flagship range. It is composed of products designed for cyclists who want to push their limits! Are you looking for light shorts designed for performance over both short and long distances? Then these shorts are right up your street!CAUTION: TIGHT FIT!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"We have listened to our users' feedback and used it to make a few improvements to these shorts:
- longer for better aerodynamics,
- straps with better support,
- new mesh on the back for better heat removal,
- thigh grip for perfect support,
- straight edge on the thighs,
- new pad for optimal comfort."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Stitching could be neater in places.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
Size up small – consider sizing up.
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:
Excellent value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30c with the rest of my cycling kit with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfortable over longer distances as well as under hard efforts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable pad, good compressive fit, effective mesh and an excellent price!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The quality of the stitching in places could be better.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're at the lower end of the market and 3-4 times cheaper than some! Good entry level shorts typically start at around £50.
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
These are great shorts with a comfortable pad, a compressive fit and good breathability. The stitching isn't perfect in places and the sizing is on the small side, but given the price (and decent range of sizes) these are easy to forgive.
Age: 35 Height: 178cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor
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