Santini Legend bib shorts review

From start to finish, the Santini Legend bib shorts are packed with performance specific features, but will they meet expectations?

Santini Legend bib shorts
(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The women's specific Santini Legend bib shorts are all about long days in the saddle for great value. The fabric, fit and padding are all geared this way, enabling the rider to crack on with cranking the pedals round. Perfect for long distance cycling - though personally I found the eight hour ready chamois a bit too thick.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    UV protection

  • +

    Muscle compression

  • +

    Adjustable bib length

  • +

    Secure leg gripper

  • +

    Long distance comfort

  • +

    Aerodynamic optimised fit

  • +


  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Over head strap

  • -

    Chamios won't suit all riders

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

In a market awash with black shorts, it can be tricky to stand out, but boasting a long list of technical attributes, the Santini Legend bib shorts have managed to do just that.

The Santini Legend fabric kicks it all off. The shorts namesake material comes with a wealth of properties that puts some of the other, more expensive, bib shorts to shame. To start with there's the Anti-UV protection that the Legend fabric offers, this is mostly down to the density of the fabric in that no matter how much stretch applied, remains a solid block of black with zero transparency.

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Hugging embrace

This fabric density of the Santini Legend bib shorts is also responsible for the second positive attribute: muscle compression. From the instant the shorts are pulled on, they wrap your legs, glutes and lower torso in a secure hug. This feeling of being held all together is really welcomed, especially ahead of longer hours in the saddle.

Santini Legend bib shorts

The central clip has too fixture options which is good news for longer torso riders.
(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

The bib aspect of the Santini Legend bib shorts is a Y front design. It's similar to that on the Assos T.laalalai shorts_s7 women’s bib shorts, in that it has an over the head front fastener. Preference for loo break solutions is an individual choice, but personally I find this sort of option always results in a helmet/sunglasses tangle and I'd rather the traditional clip free shape. In its favour, the strap does have the benefit of having a two settings, giving the bibs an extra couple of centimetres if you are longer in the torso.

Specific chamois

In-between the shorts and bibs is a Santini specific C3W chamois. If you've had the pleasure of owning a pair of Santini shorts before, you'll know that the padding is generally something that the brand excels in, having several different versions for different cycling disciplines, distances and genders.

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The C3W has been designed specifically for women spending long hours in the saddle. It uses a construction method that Santini say allows for maximum shock protection, while maintaining it's lightness, breathability and fit. There are two gel inserts positioned to support the ischium (sit bones) which should, according to Santini give rider support for a good eight hours.

When the Santini Legend bib shorts are on, it's clear that these aren't just for popping out for a bimble option. The combination of tiger tight Legend fabric and chamois almost make it difficult to walk. On the bike it is slightly better, but for me I just found that the total width of 12cm of 10mm foam, with six centimetres (width) of additional gel insert in the centre just too much. It just wasn't malleable enough for me,  and after an hour of riding, I found it irritated both sides of my groin.

If you do have a wider pelvis, I'm sure they'd come in to their own. That extreme pad could make a huge difference on, Santini quoted, eight hour rides, especially  if you were looking to press on and in a more urgent position (think Transcontinental style touring) you'd be immensely grateful for total protection of a very sensitive area. But short padding is  a personal thing, and with one this big, its either going to be love or loath.

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Hard to beat

Comparing the Santini Legend bib shorts to their peers, at £110 they are exceptional value for money. If you are looking for long ride support, and the C3W chamois works for you, these are going to be hard to beat.  Even with dense fabric, that uber chamois and bib clips they still only add up to 204g, for a size medium, which is impressive.

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Hannah Bussey

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.