Welcome to the first edition of BikeRadar Battle, where two similar products face off in a fight to the death! Or, at least, we offer up our opinions on each and declare a winner.
When paired with leg warmers, thermal bib shorts are a great alternative to tights. Here, we line up Bontrager‘s Race Thermal bib against Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. Thermal bib.
An increasing number of companies are offering thermal bibs
Bontrager’s offering feels very much like a standard race bib, but with a little fleece lining for added warmth. For the money, this is a great value short, with the fit and performance of the short only hampered slightly by a mid-range chamois. Pearl Izumi has been making thermal clothing — most notably arm and leg warmers — for years now and the P.R.O. Thermal Bib Shorts build on that legacy with a new chamois to boot.
Test Dummy #1 squares off against his evil twin, Test Dummy #2, in a test of thermal bibs
Here is how the Bontrager and Pearl Izumi bib shorts stack up against each other.
|Fit||Well cut, snug||Less constrictive||Bontrager|
|Chamois||Segmented, not super soft||Single layer against skin, multi-density, wicking||Pearl Izumi|
|Function||Profila insulates without hindering movement||Thermal and chamois are warm||Draw|
And the winner of the BikeRadar Thermal Bib Battle is… Bontrager!
While the Pearl Izumi chamois is superior, the cut, fit and price of the Bontrager carry the day.