By Brandon Bilyeu
RK2 Bibshort: $250
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail
Website: RK2 Bibshort
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 30+ hours
Reviewer Measurements and Fit Comments: 5’10” (178cm), 150 lbs (68 kgs), 33″ (84cm) waist, 38” (96.5cm) hips, 33″ (84cm) inseam, 39″ (99cm) chest. I tested size Small and the fit was spot on so the size chart seems true to size.
RK2 Bibshort – Designed for Fast and Hot Rides
- Excellent fit and compression
- Soft bib straps
- Chamois is supportive and all-day comfortable
- Version with cargo pockets available
- Women’s version available
- Reflective logo came off
The 7mesh RK2 bib short is a performance short designed for speed and hot days. The fit is skintight with generous compression and the fabric is made with ‘coldblack’ technology which avoids heat buildup by reducing the absorption of sunlight. A cooler athlete performs better, but these bibs did not feel noticeably cooler or warmer than other bibs on hot days. This does not mean that ‘coldblack’ doesn’t work, just that it is not a perceptible difference and likely only measurable in a lab or temperature probe.
7mesh takes a tailor-forward approach to cycling kit design. This means they focus on the cut of the fabric and location of seams/darts to create the optimal on-bike fit, instead of relying on super stretchy fabrics. The RK2 shorts fit like a glove on the bike with no bunching and allow unrestricted freedom of movement. A side effect of the ‘optimal on-bike fit’ tailoring is that off the bike there can be some minor bunching which doesn’t look great but is not uncomfortable.
The short fabric is a combination of nylon and elastane that feels thin and a little stiff in the hand. Wad it up and it emits a light crackle sound not unlike tissue paper. But don’t worry, once pulled on they feel as supple as any other premium short and don’t make any noise while riding. They really feel great.
The previously reviewed 7mesh MK3 bibshort had a unique hammock design that lets the chamois float and is directly connected to the rear yoke of the bib straps. The RK2 retains the floating chamois, but drops the rear yoke connection. The result is a more traditional design that sill works great at letting the chamois move with your body. The chamois itself is on the thinner side with dense foam that feels sleek and supportive all day long. The foam does not go as far forward as most chamois’ with only the top cover continuing to the front to cradle your man bits. This removes extra foam insulation to improve breathability and keep the shorts cooler.
Leg length is generous and sits just above the knee. The raw edge of the leg openings makes for a very clean look and thin silicon grippers keep the short in place with a gentle hold. At the other end the bib straps are soft, seam-free, but not particularly wide at 31mm (1.25 inches) and the rear yoke is a single seam tube of supple mesh. Combined with the tailored design of the short these elements combine for a supremely good fit on the bike.
My only complaint about the short is cosmetic. The large ‘7MESH’ logo is reflective and the location on the side of the right thigh is not the best positioning for added visibility. The other problem is that the reflective lettering has already started to peel off. The only good news here is that the white adhesive behind the lettering remains visible to keep the logo looking complete. I followed the care instructions to the letter, so disappointing to see this happen.
Bottom line – the RK2 bib short’s fit is excellent and chamois comfort lasts all day long. Disappointing to see the reflective logo peel off so quickly, but it’s purely cosmetic.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Regensburg, Germany. He’s a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.