The latest iteration of the dhb Aeron Women's bib shorts are a winning performance for fit to form, and for the price it's hard to look elsewhere.
Fabric ethical certification
The dhb Aeron women's bib shorts were selected for an Editor's Choice award (opens in new tab) 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.
By my calculations cycling brand dhb mark their sweet sixteenth birthday this year, and with it a somewhat coming of age for the latest Aeron women's bib shorts.
The Aeron collection itself has been around a few years now, and is badged as dhb’s all day performance range for male and female bike riders. The range consistently hovers around the seven and eight on our scorecards, with the dhb Aeron Turbo women's shorts (opens in new tab) the most recent pair we've seen, achieving a solid 8/10, but dhb has gone one better with its latest offering.
The dhb Aeron women's bib shorts are made up of a few different fabrics. The shorts themselves are constructed using a Power fabric, from the much respected Italian M.I.T.I fabric house. Specific properties include high abrasion resistance and stretch, perfect for the hard life of a pair of cycling shots.
Other fabric features include sweat-wicking, anti-odor, and treatment to ensure that that they're non-see-though, which all together make for a tick list of the perfect cycling short makeup. Knowing that the material is Bluesign certified, a kite mark for responsible, sustainable and transparent textile manufacturing, is a huge bonus point for me.
Underneath sits an Elastic Interface chamois. It's another gold standard in the cycling short world. The Paris HP pad is female specific and, according to Elastic Interface, designed according to anthropometrical measurements to guarantee support of female anatomy during activity, a bold statement indeed.
Technically the chamois comes under the crossover discipline category, which if nothing else gives these shorts an element of versatility for riding anything around the claimed seven hour mark, with triple density foam padding of between three and thirteen millimetres in thickness.
It's another sustainable and ecologically minded fabric, made from recycled yarns and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, a strict requirement for safeguarding people and the environment, as well as being Bluesign certified too. Music to my ears.
The bib straps haven't been left behind technology wise, as they feature carbon fibre to increase cooling and moisture transfer.
Just as important to what the dhb Aeron women's bib shorts are made from is how they are made and how they perform.
An early heads up that as the brand's performance range of cycling attire, the fit will always be athletic - meaning it comes up small. Pulling on the UK size 10, which I'd expect to be a little loose, revealed a second skin like fit. I had put this down to a slight lockdown body composition change, but remeasuring myself according to the dhb size guide, I would in fact be a UK size 8. So definitely err on the side of caution if wondering what to opt for.
With the tight fit however, came no compromises. These are the best shorts I've worn in a long time. Women's specific shorts can be over complicated in order to take account of the female form, and I have to say I think the dhb Aeron Women's bib shorts are close to nailing it.
Wearing these on the hottest day of the year thus far, around 30 degrees, in the incredibly hilly Goyt Valley in the Peak District. To the uninitiated, this involved inclines of up to nearly 20 per cent and averages knocking on the door of around 11 per cent for several kilometres - a good testing ground for any cycling kit.
Even with tarmac melting temperatures, there wasn't one point where I felt too hot or sweaty in the shorts. The opaque and tightness of the shorts made me feel nicely compressed in the effort of climbing and protected from the heat of the sun.
I absolutely loved the short to bib interface. The slight cross over at the front was enough to make my abdomen secure and comfortably tucked in, without an over-elaborate second layer from the waist up, preventing any overheating or base layer quandary. The shoulder straps were totally un-noticeable once on, and the cross over at the back held them securely in place, even at my sweatiest.
All this comes in a package for £75, making it impressive value for money and hard to know why you would buy anything else.
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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.
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