Being a tightwad, or a parent of two teenagers – categorise as you see fit – I’m a longtime user of wiggle’s own brand DHB stuff. I’ve used various flavours of their shorts for training and commuting for the last few years. The Aeron Race bibs have been something of a staple in my wardrobe in particular. A new pair’s arrived to replace a pair which needed to be buried for humanity’s good, so now seems as good a time as any to pass on my hard-won prejudices about these shorts – like most clothing I’ve ever come across, they’re not perfect. There’s good, bad, and downright confusing.
To the good: the construction’s excellent. I’ve got a couple of pairs of these that are 4 years old. There’s been no splitting at the seams, the fabric’s tough and hardwearing. None of the seams chafe or rub or make their presence felt in any way.
The pad too, is excellent. It’s a little thicker than that used in the next-one-up Aeron Pro’s. It’s not, perhaps, quite as comfortable, quite as not-there, on rides of under 3 hours, but for anything longer than that, I’d say this was a better pad.
There are, however, a couple of smallish elephants in the room. I don’t think I’m of particularly unusual proportions – in face, I’d call myself pretty near an average fit for a cyclist, being 5’11, having a waist that hovers around the 32′-33′ mark, and a fighting weight of a shade over 170lbs. My legs seem – to me anyway – to look as if they belong to me and not someone else, and actually, there’s no argument here. From the waist down these shorts fit very, very well. Moving up though, and I think they modelled the bibs on a troll, because not only are the bibs themselves are on the narrow side, they’re mystifyingly short.
I’ve got round this by sewing extensions into the bibs – and not just an inch or two. Think an extra six inches of lycra to get a fit that doesn’t try and pull your shoulders into your hips every single moment you’re wearing them. That might not sound much, but when you look at it it’s a long, long way out. And I don’t think this is a sizing problem, either – I’ve found the same thing with both mediums and large sizes. If anything, the mediums are a better fit from the waist down. Perhaps DHB’s sizing for shorts isn’t quite as nutty as Castelli’s for example, but getting a pair that fits first time from just about any short manufacturer out there is a crap shoot. Is sizing bibs correctly really that hard?
Cosmetically, I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. I don’t think they look bad, but there’s nothing particularly special about them either. All in all, as long as you don’t mind an evening cutting apart your new shorts and making them fit like they should in the first place, they’re a good wardrobe staple.
DHB Aeron Race Bib Shorts:
Excellent pad and construction
Good fit from the waist down
Bibs need modifying out of the packet
Bib straps on the narrow side