By Colin Dennis
Sizes: xs s m l xl
Size tested: m
Riders wanting pro-level comfort and warmth should give a serious nod in the direction of Solo’s classy Retro-tech 3/4 Thermal bib shorts this winter.
'Thankfully, nowhere is this more evident on these bibs than in the superbly comfortable ‘Road perrformance Carbonium’ chamois. This rider-friendly chamois is made by Italian experts: Cytech, and although there is little in the way of bulk, the level of comfort over a long ride is quite extraordinary.'
Cut sympathetically for cold weather training and racing, the Solo Retro-Tech 3/4 bibs are slightly longer in the leg than most 3/4 bibs and along with the higher torso cut, Solo’s cold weather offerings offer up superb levels of protection even on the longest of rides.
Ne’er cast a clout till May be out, so, while the British weather continues to rise and fall more than the Fred Whitton Challenge, Solo’s Retro-tech 3/4 Thermal bib shorts pays dividends on those long, cold, wet-day rides.
For effective protection against the elements, Solo has crafted these bib shorts a little longer in the leg and a little higher around the torso. My lungs have definitely felt the benefit of the extra chest coverage, while leg muscles have remained warm and functioning long after they would normally be screaming to go home.
The combination of dogged New Zealand know-how has weaved seamlessly together with Italian fabric construction and development. Thankfully, nowhere is this more evident on these bibs than in the superbly comfortable ‘Road perrformance Carbonium’ chamois. This rider friendly chamois is made by Italian experts, Cytech, and although there is little in the way of bulk, the comfort level over a long ride is quite extraordinary.
The bib construction itself is built from the super soft and stretchy Thermo Roubaix fabric from M.I.T.I, again, of Italian origin. It’s almost as if Italians know a thing or two about cycle apparel. Stitching is faultlessly flat locked throughout and any compression along the seams is completely unnoticeable to keep you comfortable and focussed on the road. Even after a gruelling six hour ride, the Retro-tech bibs are as comfortable as when I first set out, albeit a great deal wetter and grimier.
As the late afternoon sun began to dip I really appreciated the high cut to the front of the torso on these bibs. The feeling of added security and protection to the core area was a welcome bonus, especially when the wind-chill picked up on long descents.
On the back of the bibs there’s a small pocket designed to hold your keys or iPod securely; not that we recommend riding with headphones plugged into your ears, of course.
In summary: What price comfort? The thermal protective qualities and top-flight construction makes Solo's Thermal bib shorts a very attractive package as far as I'm concered, and wash after wash, these shorts never fail to offer the comfort of that first ride; just make sure you follow the washing instructions.