BikeRadar Battle: Thermal bib shorts

Bontrager Race vs Pearl Izumi P.R.O.


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.

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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.

BikeRadar thermal bib short battle: the bontrager race thermal has a great cut and the profilia fabric performs well: bikeradar thermal bib short battle: the bontrager race thermal has a great cut and the profilia fabric performs well
James Huang/Future Publishing

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.

BikeRadar thermal bib short battle: bontrager race vs pearl izumi p.r.o.: bikeradar thermal bib short battle: bontrager race vs pearl izumi p.r.o.
Ben Delaney/Future Publishing

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.

Bontrager Pearl Izumi Advantage
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
Price $119/£75 $175/£109 Bontrager

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.

Complete Bontrager Race Thermal Bib review

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Complete Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Thermal Bib review