By Rick Schultz
GOREWEAR sent a pair of Endurance bib shorts just in time to replace my well-used Voler shorts. And, as always, these shorts did not disappoint.
Style #: 100438
Fit: Slim Fit (Low cut)
Mens Sizing: XS, S, M, L, XL
Other Colors: Orbit (Dark) Blue
MSRP: $200 USD
Designed for endurance cyclists who want a premium bib short for long hours in the saddle.
- GORE-EXPERT 3D Long Distance seat insert with Windstopper cup technology.
- Super-Stretch dense knit construction.
- Second-skin very soft feel
- Flat lock seams
- Fast drying
- High Breathability
- Abrasion resistance
- Silicone grips in legs and suspenders
- Radio pocket center rear of bobs can be used to carry phone
- Ideal for road, MTB and gravel
- Some might find the $200 price a little steep, but remember, this is a high-quality product, fits perfect and works perfect!
I wrote an article a little while back reviewing a pair of Voler bib shorts in which I got a FULL 26 months of use out of them. This included 6-days/week, 1.5-2 hours/ride, with daily washings and dryings. That makes around 680 rides (and washings). Just recently, the chamois padding is finally starting to bunch up, so the timing couldn’t be better for a bib replacement.
For this review, I will divide it into 2-parts – the bib shorts and the chamois.
How Did It Work Out?
These bib shorts are very light weight, very sheer, soft, and stretchy. The front cup area is covered with Windstopper so you can ride on a cool morning and breathable enough so that when it warms up, you are not over-dressed. This area is sewn in separately and will move with you for added comfort and breathability. Seams are flat stitched, and the fit is very comfortable.
Compared to other brands, these bib shorts
- Run pretty true to size. I usually run L to XL, these are Large and fit me fine.
- Front is cut a little lower than other bibs, so straps are necessary to hold them up.
- Leg length is fairly standard
- Silicone grippers work very well, no slipping and they are very comfortable.
- Come with a built-in radio pocket for that pro-look! Yes, you can use it for your phone as well.
After a dozen rides (see summary below), I have found no issue with these extremely comfortable bib shorts.
Here is where these bib shorts differ from the others. The chamois is actually designed and engineered for long distance rides. They are 3D anatomically shaped for fit and stability using lightweight padding which is an ultra-high 200 Kg/m3 density open cell perforated foam in the sit bone areas, and 120 Kg/m3 density open cell foam in the rest.
What does this mean? Most chamois have a thin lightweight foam kind of like what you would find in a pillow. GORE uses an ultra-high-density foam which kind of reminds me of a thin piece of firm gel-infused memory foam, meaning that you will get more support on long(er) rides. So, you can see now that these shorts would be ideal for MTB and gravel as well.
Sitting on the saddle, it is definitely a different feel. They are comfortable but feel much firmer than other chamois. Not a bad thing.
What I did experience is that these bib shorts are truly made for the endurance road rider, MTB, and gravel, where the cyclist is sitting more pelvically upright (pelvis is vertical) instead of riding anterior pelvically rotated like that of a crit racer or triathlete – see figure below.
The chamois is designed to sit more on the sit bones making it very comfortable for the average rider and endurance road, MTB athlete. Once you start rotating your pelvis and sitting more on your pubic rami (crit racer, TT, Tri), it’s not as comfortable, but, to be fair, it was not designed for the aforementioned racer.
At the writing of this article, I have a dozen plus rides on them. During these rides, they have continued to feel very comfortable. I have experienced no friction, nor irritation, nor chaffing. I have several short high-intensity rides as well as the remainder long distance / endurance 3 plus hour rides. They work well for both (caveat, I’m seated more pelvic vertical).
GORE lists these as “long-distance endurance” bibs, and they are ideal for MTB and gravel as well.
I’m giving these an overall 4.5/5-star rating as a crit racer, a 5/5-star rating as an endurance athlete. Another highly recommended GORE product!
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.