Jen reviews the ladies Pave bibs shorts by Chapeau. Tried and tested on the road, for cyclocross, mountain and commute.
It’s no surprise that I love all things gourmet, design-led, quality and functional, even if I do wear the occasional pair of crocs..
For me, Chapeau encompasses all the good stuff not only in their women’s range; but right across the brand. I’ve being dying to take some shorts for a spin.
After a ropey start having to chase the postman down the road for the parcel, I was stoked to recieve a pair of ladies Pave bibs from the lovely people at Chapeau, and I got right on to testing them out.
When you’re new to cycling, your bum is going to hurt. Full stop. Try not to judge shorts too harshly in the first few weeks of riding. Once you’re over that initial bit of bruising a good pair of shorts will have you riding much more comfortably for longer.
I go for a quality insert, supportive cut and snug fit. I always check that the lycra does not go see-through when stretched and look for cool, breathable and antibacterial fabrics. Leg cuffs should be grippy but not restrict movement.
Now, I’m really keen on real reviews and I can assure you that I’ve been pretty cruel to my Pave bibs. I’ve worn them on the commute, for cyclocross, road and cross country. I have put them through the wash countless times, and had some decent off road crashes and falls.
The pad is pretty much at the centre of a decent pair of shorts and the Pave Bibs have not disappointed. They have enough exactly where its needed but remain slim and trim elsewhere. This adds yet more quality to an already sleek silhouette and completely avoids that low-quality over padded feeling. (Y’know, feels like wearing fifteen pairs of knickers?)
Chapeau entrusted Elastic Interface with the job and the result is a super comfortable and uber-tech insert unlike anything I’ve ridden before. Essentially, small channels of ultra high density foam protect the sit bones and I find this has really helped me on quite lumpy and bumpy, longer cyclocross rides. The pad sits really close so there’s no uncomfortable rubbing.
The cut of the Pave bibs really is spot-on. The fit is true to size and multi panel design guides and supports throughout the pedal stroke. They’re cool and soft next to the skin and no sign of the dreaded lumpy leg look.
The shoulder straps have no itchy, rough or scratchy bits, they sit nice and flat, there’s no boob-squish and again, up there with some of the best I have ridden. Even after a lot of wear and washing, the fabric has not become see-through or faded.
(Me in my Pave bibs atop the Garth Mountain Trig Point: nr Pentyrch, South Wales.)
On the whole I’m pleasantly surprised and very impressed. These shorts are still full of life after a relatively traumatic time in my care. I think they may have even taken the number one spot on my all-time favourite kit list, and that isn’t easy! If you’re spending around the £100 point on shorts head here for a set of Pave bibs.
All too often women’s cycling shorts can feel like a bit of an afterthought but I can genuinely vouch that Chapeau are really doing it for the girls. Keep up the good work!