A great option for women wanting the comfort of bib shorts with the ease of waist shorts for nipping to the loo. Comfortable both in terms of fit and the chamois padding, with three colours and five sizes to boot, the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts offer great value for money.
Comfortable halter-neck bib
Extra-wide leg gripper
Slightly uncomfortable when using comfort-break option
For women, popping to the loo when wearing bib shorts is a challenge. For the uninitiated, it requires removal of pretty much all of one's top half in such a way that increases the chance of rear-pocket items becoming ejected or race numbers ripped (although there is nothing quite like the panic that manifests if a race number has been accidentally pinned to jersey and base layer, effectively trapping you in your shorts).
To deal with this quandary, manufacturers of bib shorts, such as Giro with its women's Chrono Sport or the GORE Power Lady, have been making shorts to help take the fuss out of toilet stops. The dhb Blok Halter bib shorts are the latest offering.
The main body of the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts is constructed using Lycra Sport. This is a robust version of regular Lycra, making it more resilient to rips and tears while offering muscle compression – which dhb says helps legs stay fresher for longer. This also means a high-density fabric which is all but opaque and has the supplementary benefit of providing a 50+ Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating.
Video: Buyer's guide to bib shorts
The bib element of the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts has been constructed using three different fabrics. There's sweat-absorbing three-dimensional waffle inserts at the front of the bib and lightweight mesh panels at the back with a soft stretchy Lycra band that creates the halter element.
Down below, the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts use a foam Elastic Interface Giro Air chamois, a low-bulk pad designed for between three and five hours in the saddle.
dhb Blok Halter bib shorts ride feel
Slipping the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts on, the flattering fit was immediately apparent, with seven centimetres of silicone-backed leg gripper holding the shorts in place without overcompressing.
I've personally found some halter-neck designs have a tendency to pull on the neck, so I was really impressed that once over my head and out riding I was more or less able to forget I was wearing one. The built-in comfort-break design worked well and although it was easy enough to use, it did mean a rather uncomfortable squat.
In the saddle I found the Elastic Interface Giro Air chamois to be well balanced, offering comfort without overdoing the padding, with the three-to-five-hour riding mark suggested by dhb feeling about right.
The colour code of the leg gripper does lend itself to being twinned with a corresponding dhb Blok jersey, but with both navy blue and black short options available it's still easy to team it with other cycling apparel, giving the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts a wide appeal.
As mentioned above, there are a few easy-loo-break shorts now on the market, some with the very same halter-neck design, but the dhb Blok Halter bib shorts are the cheapest by at least £20, making these excellent value.
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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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