Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts review

Made from recycled fabric, the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts prove that performance wear doesn't need to cost the earth.

Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts EC
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Meeting the need for performance kit, while trying to keep a low environmental footprint can feel like a constant conflict, often ending up in a design compromise or wallet busting prices. The women's specific Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts prove that you really can have the best of all worlds, raising the bar for all cycle wear. 

Reasons to buy
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    Recycled fabrics

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    Performance women's specific fit

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    Secure leg gripper

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    Minimal seams

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    Wide straps

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The Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts were selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval. 

The desire to own nice shiny bike things can often conflict with people's want to reduce their eco-footprint, so getting hold of a pair of Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts which promise to meet both needs is a very happy new kit day indeed.

>>>Best women's specific shorts reviewed 

The brand trialled the Green Road range of cycling kit last year when the Alé-Cipollini team wore it at the 2019 Giro Rosa. Generally considered the hardest stage race in the Women's UCI calendar, it's safe to say that the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts got a pretty thorough road test.

The biggest must know for the ale Green Road Lady bib shorts is that a significant percentage of the fabric used is Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified. The Polyamide and Elastane mix shorts use a Denali Green fabric - its properties include high elasticity and good muscular compression.

This is teamed with a laser cut finish Green Elastic leg gripper, which, measuring eight centimetres and almost entirely silicone backed, means that the shorts really do fit like a second skin. The only section that isn't super sticky is a three centimetre mesh panel, that stretches 17 centimetres up the back of the leg to give an element of breathability to the otherwise dense fabric. Not wanting to criticise the fabric density - far from it - the tight weave is what gives the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts their UPF50+ rating, muscle compression properties and if nothing else, that pure back colour even when stretched.

On top, the bib straps are made in Kimball Green, a mesh-like fabric with a high elasticity and endurance characteristics. It's one of my favourite bib designed and construction methods: keeping it simple with wide over the shoulder straps. They can be slightly warmer and heavier than other systems, but the mesh panels and the sides and in-between the straps at the back keep them securely in place without constriction of movement. The construction as a whole weighs a mere 162g (for a size small) so they're still exceptionally light.

Alé has fitted bib shorts with an Alé Green 4WH F pad, which uses a recycled green Lycra on the top layer. The 12mm foam is more basic than the complexity of the pad in shorts such as the Santini Legend pair, but it's still shaped for women specifically, and perforated by 3mm holes to assist breathability,. I found it perfectly adequate.

Ale Green Road Bib shorts

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

While I'm significantly well below the standard of Giro Rosa competing these days (was I ever?) I still feel capable of saying top marks to Alé for creating such a performance focused pair of shorts while still meeting my need to be environmentally friendly. In fact, once on, the Alé Green Road Lady bib shorts fabric's origin is swiftly forgotten, as other than the warm fluffy internal feeling of doing something good, there are zero compromises to be found on its inclusion.

Even the price at £145 doesn't feel particularly elevated for this level of performance short, which only leaves the question, why isn't all cycling kit made using recycled fabric?

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Hannah Bussey

Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.

Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.

For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. 

She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.