Craft Elite Body Control Bib Short

 

If you have every wondered what the ultimate cycling bib short would look and feel like, then we suggest you check out the Craft Elite Body Control bib short. They have it all; super-high tech fabrics, incredible comfort and top notch styling, all backed up with endorsements from the pro-peloton.

 

Craft Elite Body Control Bib Short

 

These shorts are so packed full of innovations that it is tough to know where to start, but before we get into the high tech stuff, let’s just say that these feel amazing when you are on the bike and deliver a whole new level of comfort. We started using these at the end of the summer and we are now wearing them underneath our winter longs, as we work to get the miles in.

 

These female specific shorts are no cobbled together compromise of a men’s version either, the cut and styling is 100% women’s specific and they look and feel great. In truth they have been developed for top level, elite athletes, but that does not mean we can’t treat ourselves.

 

They are surprisingly light weight and the super stretchy, body-control fabric works to reduces muscle vibration. Craft have used their Coldblack® fabric at the back – this fabric actually reduces the absorption of heat rays and protects against UV rays.

 

Craft have become very good at using different fabrics within a single garment to ensure the best overall performance (check out their base layers here ). In these bib shorts you get feather light bib straps, with a large cut away section at the back, all of which gives great ventilation and wicking.

 

Each leg is styled from four separate panels, which allows them to fit like a second skin and give you a host of features and technology. For a start, the side panels include compression benefits, which reduce muscle vibration and fatigue.

 

The front and rear sections of the shorts, including the inside of the legs, are made of a fabric incorporating carbon fibres, which is particularly efficient at wicking sweat away from the body and so helps to control body temperature. It is testament to the incredible level of detail that these panels are also dimpled to offer aerodynamic advantages – just like golf balls, the dimpled versions of which were found to travel up to four times further that the original smooth balls.

 

We found that once on, the shorts stayed perfectly in place even though the shoulder straps were very light and felt almost loose. There is no doubt that the wide band of gripper tape around the bottom of each leg was a factor in this as well.

 

The pad deserve a review all by itself, but we will try and summarise! Essentially there are three layers of protection that have been melted into a single piece. Craft tell us that this ensures the best natural air flow and we had no complaints in that department. What we were very quick to notice was the comfort, which is as good as anything we have ever tested. The female specific design has been laser cut to ensure there is no redundant foam which could cause discomfort and then they have injected gel into critical areas to absorb vibrations. These gel injections work in combination with exploded foam to give both ventilation and support. For the first time that we are aware of, the pad actually comes in different sizes to fit into the different sized shorts – sounds pretty obvious when you say it, but we are not aware of anyone else that does that.

 

The pad is thickest where you are in contact with the saddle and there is no wrap around, so when you are off the bike, we were quite aware of it, but once on the bike, the comfort offered is legendary and you may find yourself looking at the rest of the shorts in your cycling wardrobe with some disdain!

 

Incredibly this hi-tech ensemble can be washed at 40 degrees and even though we have given – and are still giving – these shorts a proper beating in the name of testing them, they are showing no signs of wear and tear at all.

 

We won’t pretend that they are cheap, but at £128 they are certainly not the most expensive either and in our opinion they put a number of the £150 to £200 options in the shade.

 

If you want to feel the comfort and styling enjoyed by the best elite athletes without breaking the bank, these shorts won’t disappoint.

 

Size: XS – XXL

Colours: Black, Black/Metro

Price: £128.00

Website: www.craft.se - Elite Body Control Bib

 

Performance: 9.5/10

Value: 9/10

 

Tested by Jan Birkmyre

 

 

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