The Classic Race W bibshorts from Sportful are designed to be functional and comfortable with plain styling and ‘high-end’ features.
Sportful uses ‘AeroFlow Compress’ fabric, which it says provides exceptional fit and muscle support, and many shops recommend that you get one size bigger than usual to account for the close-fitting athletic cut on these shorts.
I’m a UK10 / EU38 / US6, and tested a size small, and even though I found the shorts were a bit snug to get on, they were a good fit and didn’t feel too small when in the saddle.
These shorts are so grippy that they take a while to actually put on though, so they’d be no good for a commuter in a hurry. Once on, they do offer great support to the muscles, and the wide cuffs spread the load of the grip, so they didn’t cut into my legs.
In the saddle I like some slight compression action from my shorts, because it lessens muscle wobble from the vibrations in the road, which reduces fatigue, and these shorts provide that. This also stops things moving around and causing irritation, so I’d recommend them for long distance riders.
The material on the inside thigh was firm, which kept the softer side of my leg out of the way from chafing on the edge of the saddle too.
The women’s specific pad felt thick, without being nappy-like, and had good coverage on the saddle. It felt great in both an upright position and in the drops, making it suitable for riding and racing.
The straps are a standard over-the-shoulder design that didn’t move or get in the way at all, and I appreciated the minimal use of material to keep my back void of too many heat-inducing layers.
The radio pocket is a handy feature too for anyone looking to use these shorts for racing.
Sizes: Extra small to extra large