The Sealskinz Water Repellent bibshorts are light enough to be comfortable on warmer rides, with the added bonus of water repellency if the heavens do open. They have a good quality pad, but the bibs are a bit short, which I found uncomfortable.
Comfortable pad which isn’t overly-thick
Water repellent fabric coating
Light enough to be comfortable for damp summer rides
Short bibs are uncomfortable
By Paul Norman
Sealskinz has recently broadened its range of cycling apparel from kit for your extremities to bibshorts, tights and jackets. They continue the brand’s emphasis on keeping rain at bay during your outdoor activities.
Whereas the Waterproof Bibshorts are made from a three layer laminate fabric and have taped seams, the Sealskinz Water Repellent Bib Shorts I'm testing here are lycra-based with surface treatment to keep water out, with untaped flatlocked seams. So they’re not designed for quite the full-on deluge of the waterproof version, but manage well in lighter rain. It’s nice to have a bit of protection from damp roads.
They’re also a bit lighter so they’re more comfortable to wear in warm conditions if it looks as if it’s likely to be showery. Sealskinz says that a result of their water repellent treatment is that the shorts dry fast, so you’re less likely to be riding in damp kit once the rain stops.
They’ve got the same Cytech Liege pad as the waterproof version. It’s made from three different densities of foam padding and has an extra-soft, low friction facing fabric. It’s not particularly thick, but has enough cushioning in the right places to be comfortable.
Watch: Wet weather riding skills
There are internal silicone leg grippers and a reflective Sealskinz logo on the rear of the right leg. The bibs are mesh with sewn edge seams and a wide gap in the rear for better heat dissipation. Although I'm of average height, I have quite a long torso and found they came up a bit short on me, so the pad tended to be pulled up after a few cycles of out of the saddle riding, needing adjustment to prevent this becoming uncomfortable. They’re less prone to this than the full waterproof version though.
But the fit of the legs is just right, with enough length to keep most of my thighs dry. The fabric is not heavy either, so the bibshorts are comfortable in warmer conditions and provide enough ventilation and air circulation not to be hot.
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