Have you ever thought about the connection to your bike and ultimately the road? You might say it’s’ your cleats, it might be your gloves or it could be your shoes. How many times do you consider what’s going on in the bum department? How many times do you feel that tell-tale ache coming on and as a man that dull numbness starting which forces you up and out of the saddle to bring some life back to that area of darkness.
The RH+ Code bib shorts are designed and sold as a high end short, and we tested them here in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to see how they stood up to things.
The first thing that you notice is that they’re a very light bib short. And of course, being Italian means that they’re a good fit, so choose a size above your normal sizing. They’re a compression short too, which basically means that they’ll fit close and tight against the skin, maximising the muscle performance.
A good jersey needs great bibs, and these Signature shorts from Biehler are a worthy ambassador product for this high end performance brand. Time to take a look then,at what makes Biehler so special.
ALÉ Speed Fondo Bib Shorts
Let’s talk about bib shorts, comfort and pads. As I once said, a good pad is as important to the cyclist as tuna is to a cat, and to make it international … as important as winning the TdF is to the French – just saying.
Anyway, these shorts are Italian and that means quality and style. Made by high end brand ALÉ, they certainly haven’t let Italy down, as they come oozing performance sewn in and are stylish and modern.
Dealing with the chamois pad firstly, it would be easy for me to simply repeat the technical data, but I won’t do that because it won’t necessarily make sense. Instead I’ll tell you that it has a multilayered honeycombed design to the pad, with a thicker area of pad in the necessary areas, thinning out where not required to be so deep, and it’s super soft, body formed and beautifully stitched to ensure maximum comfort. What does this new honeycomb design achieve then? Well, in short it ensures the pad is lighter, softer, wicks and absorbs better and provides maximum cushioning without making you look like you’ve got a sponge down your pants. Having ridden in these on long, short, steep and wet rides, the pad has caressed and cared for me perfectly. They’re also now my shorts of choice for a sweaty roller session due to the absorption too.
Now to the rest of the details. These ALÉ Speed Fondo bibs use the latest material technicity to produce a super light, super strong and stretchy performance short. Working our way down, the upper area is formed from stylishly cut webbing panelling to keep the weight down, with classic wide brace straps made from elasticated material which is lightly dimpled on the inner to help keep it in place.
Minimal seams and compression are the key to these shorts and ALÉ have achieved this with well thought out panels that are superbly sewn. The lightweight fabric belies the strength, as ALÉ have used 41% elastomer content. It’s been well researched and the resulting garment fits perfectly where it touches with no sag or bag. In terms of technicity again, the material is designed to be hydrophilic on the inside, which means that it aids wicking and as I say, this short has become my training short of choice simply because it works and wicks superbly. The outer fabric is treated for water repellency and yes, in the rain it looks after you just enough. Better still, the fit and compression is so refined that the short doesn’t move and rub in the wet and I’ve remained comfortable in all areas … no details needed
The legs are cut stylishly long and have been finished off with a wide band of thicker elasticated material that simply grips very well. Styling and branding is subtle and refined and adds to the high end and modern look of these performance shorts. You can also use the. With several different jerseys, which is always a plus.
I wish that I could fault these bibs but I can’t. No, not even at the price point, because they’re excellent value for the money, will keep you happy, last for a good while and make you look and feel great. We added the Speed Fondo shorts to the ALÉ Dot jersey, using the Air summer glove and a pair of Speed Fondo socks, both of which proved themselves (see their specific reviews) and are also perfectly priced for the quality and performance level.
Yes, at some point winter will turn to spring and in the meantime you’ll be indoors and training hard. Italian brand ALÉ have produced a short that is ideal for this and most riding conditions, being perfectly styled and a short that could easily become a classic choice. Im off on the rollers – and I’ll be wearing these Speed Fondo’s.