These Albion bib shorts are comfortable and have a premium feel without an excessively premium price tag
The UK cycling clothing market is a competitive arena, but with its bib shorts, upstart brand Albion has taken the fight to the biggest, and that’s definitely worth a spot on our Editor’s Choice list.
The bib shorts market is not an easy one to break into, especially for a small brand based out of the UK, and the Albion bib shorts are the company’s only shorts offering. However, Albion has done a fine job.
Sleek in black, Albion hasn’t pushed any style boundaries but that’s no bad thing: these are really classy looking shorts with a simple Albion printed rectangle on the left leg. Their design puts it up there with premium Rapha and Assos offerings but it’s a relief to see the £110 price tag that undercuts the competition a little bit.
Even better, they’ve got a build quality to match, and the M.I.T.I. fabric used on the shorts is very soft and comfortable against the skin whilst feeling robust. There’s solid stitching between the pad and the legs but it’s not intrusive when you’re sitting on the saddle. It’s also a breath of fresh air to see a brand putting strong grippers on the end of the legs despite a ‘compression’ fit. We can’t all have legs like Mark Cavendish and I’ve become started to become very frustrated with the ‘raw’ leg cuffs that easily pull up the thigh.
My size small has a very good length in the leg, sitting above the knee, and there was no bunching on the thigh and groin.
The Albion bib shorts eschew the commonplace front mesh design, instead opting for a standard cut across the waist. It’s low cut, but not low enough to leave a gap between jersey and shorts. There is a narrow mesh back panel that attaches to strong elasticated bibs. On the bike these are fine but when standing they can feel pretty tight.
At the business end, the pad sits comfortably and is made of a premium high-density foam that’s comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. It is thicker than the chamois on the Rapha Classic II bib shorts, my go-to pair of shorts, but it doesn’t feel bulky or lumpy to sit on.
A fine pair of shorts that doesn't cost nearly as much as other premium offerings. They're well built and very comfortable.