There’s a host of bibshorts offering high end features with extravagant price tags. But the Mavic Essential bibshorts bring that performance to a more affordable price, with an excellent pad, comfortable grippers and bibs and good fit. That’s gained Mavic’s entry level bibshorts a place on our Editor’s Choice list of the best kit we’ve used in 2018.
The Mavic Essential bib shorts are the cheapest in Mavic’s line-up but still pack in lots of quality technical features, for comfortable longer rides in warmer conditions.
Mavic’s Ergo 3D Endurance seat pad is made of two different densities of perforated foam. It’s dense enough under the sitbones to be comfortable on longer rides – I was fine for a couple of back-to-back 5 hour plus days, mostly on uneven terrain, at the launch event for Mavic’s Allroad wheels and apparel.
Although it’s not as flashy as the pad in Mavic’s top-end shorts, like its limited edition Allure kit, the pad is nevertheless well constructed and noticeably denser than many competitors at this price. It’s also pre-shaped so that it fits well and it has a comfortable outer covering fabric next to the skin. Mavic has put a lot of research into vibration on the bike, which its pads are designed to help alleviate. You can read more about the tests and the vibration damping effect of its Ortholite foam here.
The straps on the front and shoulders of the Mavic Essential bib shorts are hemless and wide, so they sit flat and distribute pressure well across the shoulders and back. They’re held in place well by a high, mesh yoke at the rear, light enough to stop your back from getting too sweaty.
The leg grippers on the Mavic Essential bib shorts are wide, single layer and hemless. It’s a feature now seen on all but the most basic shorts and, in the case of the Mavic Essential bib shorts, leads to a comfortable, secure hold. There is a small reflective tab on the back of each leg and you also get a couple of Mavic yellow flashes on the grippers.
Mavic sells the Essential bib shorts in five sizes from small up to 2XL. The fit is close, but still comfortable and size-accurate. They’re mainly black, but you can also choose a contrasting right leg in white, red or Mavic yellow. For a sub-£100 entry-level short, they are good value.
Mavic’s entry level bib shorts have lots of nice technical features and are well cut. The pad is high quality and comfortable too, leading to a good value package that works well even for longer summer rides.