New to the scene, Maratona is a UK based brand and its classic women's bib shorts are the first in the capsule range
Maratona is a new UK based brand, creating all of their kit within Europe. The Maratona Women’s Classic Bib shorts have been made in Belgium, and the brand says the same production base also supplies kit for Dutch, German and Belgian teams, not to mention providing kit to others, “many winners, including the mens road race at the Rio Olympics” according to Maratona. So we’re hazarding a guess at Greg Van Avermaet.
The Classic women’s bib shorts are the only option in a capsule range that also includes two women’s jerseys. They come in at £95 – which sits midrange in terms of the market – but the British brand is promising that these shorts will offer comfort and performance. They have been tested by pros and they’re meant to provide support for all types of road riding.
The key material is a four way stretch, UV protected lycra that really does feel incredibly soft and silky to the touch.
A multiple panel design aims to provide support, and there’s a supportive panel at the lower back which uses a slightly denser fabric. The waist comes up high, well past the belly button and half way to the bottom of a good sports bra.
The chamois is soft and quite thick with a dimpled surface designed to offer additional comfort.
The leg grippers are very wide, and made from a tough but ribbon like fabric, with a silicone treatment to ensure they stay put.
The material used on the straps and upper back is a lightweight mesh, with a traditional bib strap format which means there’s no provision for comfort breaks, but everything stays put.
In a nod to safety, the branding tags are made from pixel technology fabric, so they show up at night, and thanks to the pro testing heritage there’s also a radio pocket at the middle-back.
The size and brand name is etched on the inside of the shorts via a flat info patch, but the washing instructions are on a stitched in label – something top end brands will avoid to do away with scratchy tags. However, I was never aware of the label when riding.
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The most noticeable thing about these bib shorts is the softness of the fabric – it really does have a second skin quality which is hard to get right.
The bib straps sit well, staying in place without protest and the high waist felt comfortable when leaning over in the drops. Or rather, I was never aware of it at all which is the epitome of comfort.
The chamois is denser than that which I’d normally make my first choice – but didn’t feel uncomfortable when walking around off the bike and offered plenty of support in the saddle.
At first glance, the leg grippers of the Maratona Women’s Classic Bib shorts looked like they would be very comfortable. They’re wide, and made from a fabric that looks and feels premium.
However, they’re also quite robust and I found the fit to be too narrow. The result was too much compression, they were ok when pedalling, but felt uncomfortable at cafe stops and didn’t look too great, either. This might not be a problem for everyone, based on differing body dimensions, but it’s something to be aware of.
I was also not a huge fan of the pink band around one leg – which represents the Maratona Femme branding. Not because I’m in the ‘anti-pink’ brigade – I’m fine with the colour and whatever connotations we want to attach to it. However, since the brand is new and there’s a capsule range with only one pair of women’s bib shorts, it might make more sense to kick the range off without a colour flash, to offer the opportunity to match with both jerseys on offer.
At £95, I’d say these bib shorts pack a punch above their weight thanks to the premium fabric and noticeably comfortable chamois. They’re let down a bit by not including any toilet break mechanism – which many at this price point do – but some riders will prefer the simplicity of a traditional bib.
Interested? Buy them from Maratona for £95
A luxury fabric that feels great against the skin and a chamois that could sit happily in a much more expensive pair of bib shorts. The leg grippers felt tight on me so proceed with caution if this is an issue you tend to come across often, but go ahead if you're the sort of rider who struggles with cuffs being too wide to stay put on other shorts.