In the Spring of 2017 ProBikeKit launched their own range of clothing, aimed at the mid range market sitting just below the likes of Castelli and Rapha but not your every day own brand cheap off the shelf stuff. ProBikeKit let me have a pair for free for testing and here are my thoughts!
When the PBK Premium Bib Shorts first arrived, I did have some concerns about the pad, having tried them on the pad seemed to be quite narrow and short – i.e it didn’t go full front to back like most other brands, but testing would soon see if that was to be an issue.
The quality of the pad is outstanding, described as “Elastic interface Endurance 2.5 HD Pad – top of the range pad from Elastic Interface” and “dual density chamois pad, designed for riding, training and racing with all day comfort in mind.”. The workmanship in the bibs is very good which you would expect at this level of brand. So getting them on for the first time was a little tight due to the sizing, but once on they are a little tight in certain areas but not so tight that they are uncomfortable or nipping in places like some other brands can do.
I tested them on both a short ride of around 20 miles and a longer ride of just over 70 miles, pleased to say the bibs were comfortable on both rides! The pad despite my first concerns performed very well, and did not cause any notable discomfort than usual, one slight issue for the taller rider is that you feel very conscious that the bibs are low down on the rear back, so sometimes can feel like they are revealing a little more than they should do, no one has yet pointed out that the “portable bike stand” is showing so would assume that it is not, but it is a concern.
The legs don’t ride up which is a major plus no bunching or slipping, that will be in thanks to the leg grippers not being just a single band round the bottom but more of a spread out approach which we find to be more suitable for cycling – after all who has perfectly round legs!
Overall very impressed with PBK Premium Bib shorts, I would even go as far as they are on par with certain Castelli bib shorts, and if you are a fan of Endura these will be right up your street.
Being that they are Italian sizing so can be a bit hit and miss if you are a larger rider, and we found the bibs to be a little snug in places and a little lacking in back panel coverage for the riders with longer torsos that your average man, but unlike most sized bibs of that calibre and sizing the straps did not dig in and were adequate length which is a unusual for Italian sized items!
The straps are also made from a soft mesh rather than thick fabric, this means when in use they are less prone to movement and also keep the bibs in place without causing too much discomfort or creating “digging in” marks where they have been applying too much pressure into the skin. Flatlock stitching prevents discomfort around the seams and chafing in delicate areas, and is also UVPF 50+ fabric so aids in keeping the skin protected from the sun.
A concern when they arrived initially was that the pad was very thin in comparison to some other brands aimed at endurance and comfort, which does have its upside and down sides pre-testing – upside would be breath ability on warm days – a thick pad can cause discomfort in temperature and moisture retention – downside would be that they didn’t hold up on long rides, flip that round if it works they offer the best of both worlds for short and long rides! A great feature on these bibs is that they are not in your face, the design is very subtle and even the PBK logo only features once on a small raised almost button like panel on the rear, so they are not brash or too in your face so will match in with almost any kit that you choose to wear them with.
We have given these a solid 5 star rating – they are comfortable and very practical given that they are useful on both long and short rides meaning multiple bibs do not need to be purchased. Sizing is a little snug but to be fair not as snug as other brands! Well worth the £69.99 price tag. Click here to find them on ProBikeKit website.
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