Bontrager Ballista bib shorts review

The Bontrager Ballista bib shorts are exceptional shorts with eye-catching graphics

bontrager ballista bib shorts
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Bontrager Ballista bib shorts might be a little hard to pair with your favourite jersey, but are exceptionally comfortable with a quality construction that more than justifies the pricetag.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very comfortable

  • +

    Excellent fit

  • +

    Nice, compressive material

  • +

    Quality finish

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Colours might be hard to match to your jersey

Why you can trust Cycling Weekly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The colourful Bontrager Ballista bib shorts might look more at home on the sunny highways of California than the dreary grey lanes of Surrey, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seriously consider investing in these excellent shorts that are extremely comfortable for the longest of summer rides.

>>> Buyer's guide to cycling bib shorts

At the heart of the Bontrager Ballista shorts is the snappily-named Nimbus inForm BioDynamix chamois with an OverEasy pad with Aircell Lite foam. What all that means, well you’re guess is as good as mine, but what I can tell you is that it’s one of the comfortable chamois pads I’ve used in a while.

bontrager ballista bib shorts leg

The bib shorts grip your legs nicely

The rear of the chamois packs all the padding which means it’s comfortable if you’re riding in a more upright position, but slims down rapidly with neat stitching around the edges so that it doesn’t get in the way when riding in a more aggressive position and doesn’t rub in uncomfortable areas over long days in the saddle.

>>> 10 best ways to make your bike more comfortable

The main lycra fabric of the Bontrager Ballista bib shorts is made from Bontrager’s Profila Power material. This is glossy to the touch and has a nice compressive fit when you pull the shorts on, that gives them the sort quality feel that you would expect for the price.

Watch: our pick of March's best new tech

This is complemented by the excellent fit of the Bontrager Ballista bib shorts which means that the shorts stay firmly in place, and the silicon grippers around the hems are almost surplus to requirements. One possible negative for certain people might be the fact that they are pretty long shorts, almost straying into Bradley Wiggins territory, although at least they might be more aerodynamic.

>>> Saddle height: how to get it right and why it’s important (video)

The bib straps of the Bontrager Ballista bib shorts also scream quality. The front of the straps are laser cut so there are no seams that could rub, while the backs are madeout of a mesh material that offer a little extra cooling if you’re riding in hot weather.

bontrager ballista bib shorts strap

The bib straps are laser cut with a quality finish

The only real negative of the Bontrager Ballista bib shorts is that the colourful designs on offer (the shorts are available in two multi-colour options, one more subtle black and turquoise option, and a final light blue and red number) mean that they can be tricky to pair with any jersey other than the matching Bontrager Ballista jersey.

For more details visit the Bontrager website (opens in new tab).

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.