Having ridden bikes for the past 20 years I have always opted for smaller sized men’s clothing rather than choosing female specific items. I think the main reasons behind this are I didn’t really see the benefits in female specific, yes the pads in the shorts were a different shape and with padding in different places but really how much of a difference would this make? And also some colour options for women’s clothing just ‘weren’t me’. I’m not one for pastel shades of pink and blue much preferring the darker shades like black.
However after spending a winter of training for my chosen sport of triathlon and many hours in the saddle both outside and on the turbo I decided I would make a conscious effort to find a pair of female specific bibshorts to see if I could actually tell the difference.
In my role at Ribble I process all the new products that are being added to our website so I’m in a prime position to learn all I can and it was whilst I was doing this that I came across the Altura Women’s Progel Bibshorts. These bibshorts appealed as they were within my budget and they didn’t look too bad either, with a simple design in black with white trim.
My initial thoughts on the bibshorts were the mesh bibs were quite loose, I am fairly small so this could have been the reason, but the bibs weren’t that loose they were falling off me. The actual straps were also wider on the shoulders than I’m used to but once riding I couldn’t feel any difference.
At the bottom of the shorts Altura have used a silicone gripper and although I didn’t experience any discomfort whilst riding I was left with quite hefty marks on my legs from not only the grippers but also from the seams running up the legs.
The pad itself is comfortable and definitely narrower than I was used to but apart from this, if I’m being honest, I couldn’t tell too much difference between the female specific cut and that found in male specific shorts.
One thing I have noticed is that I get a bit of bunching of the material across my stomach when not in the riding position, this may be down to the bibs being loose I just don’t know. I don’t find it irritates my skin whilst riding but doesn’t leave a clean line when stood in line at the café stop.
Overall I have found myself picking these shorts out of the drawer more over the summer than any other pair I own so they must be doing something right.
Thanks for reading my blog post,