- May save a couple of watts
- Very comfortable
- Nice, understated looks
- Long straps can bunch
- Leg is long if you have to size up
Price as reviewed:
The Lusso DRS bib shorts are the Manchester brand’s top-of-the-range item, boasting all manner of fancy-pants intricacies, from the Italian aero fabric, to the ‘eight-hour breathable’ pad and ultra-wide breathable Italian leg-grippers. All from this very British brand.
These shorts are pleasantly understated. The Lusso logo, a neat little mock-handwritten flourish with a reflective finish, is the only interruption in the all-black finish of the leg portion of the short, as well as a ring of vertical, reflective dashes around the leg grippers. The bib straps are made of perforated AirTec material, finished in white.
DRS, by the way, stands for ‘Drag Reduction System’, which is where that Italian Celona fabric comes into play. It makes up the majority of the legs and bum and features a surface of textured chequers that certainly looks like it has the potential trip the boundary layer, but Lusso doesn’t actually mention this on its website.
Putting on the Lusso DRS, the first obvious thing is that they’re quite long in the leg. This is probably slightly exaggerated by the fact I wear an XL but am only 5ft10in. For anyone 6ft and over donning this size, they’ll feel shorter – and indeed a colleague testing a size small reported that the leg length was exactly right. Personally, I had to hike the legs up slightly to avoid discomfort. This is probably partly down to the extravagant SC75 leg grippers, which are 75mm wide and, like the aero leg portion, made of Italian fabric.
Moving up to the bib, the straps are pretty long, leading to a deep scoop to the waist. It’s a popular style that has its pros and cons – the deep scoop is great if you’re a man with a mid-ride penny burning a hole in his pocket (talking of pockets, there’s a small one of these on the rear of the shorts) – but the long straps have a habit of folding over and bunching over your shoulders as you put them on, needing flattening out each time before the jersey goes on. In fairness, it’s a minor issue not exclusive to these shorts.
In keeping with their DRS tag, the fit is definitely ‘competition’.
And so to the all-important pad. Lusso is rather proud of this which, apparently, is a new item from Italian manufacturer TMF. It’s large, and quite unusual in that much of it is barely padded, with only the middle section offering proper cosseting. Lusso says it offers “unsurpassed comfort” and “eliminates chafing” – quite the boast. In use, though, it didn’t put a foot wrong.
Overall, there’s little to complain about here. Lusso has clearly made great strides in recent years, and you’re getting proper quality at a reasonable price.