Sportful has spelled out what this bib short should be but it doesn't totally hit the mark in terms of comfort
“Precisely engineered to offer exceptional comfort” says Sportful and “designed for those epic all day rides.” These are stark claims by Sportful, so good things to come from the Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts then?
Not entirely and I’m sad to report that I thought that the shorts had a few flaws.
For all day comfort the Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts offer a sizeable seat pad, which the Italian brand says measures 18mm thick but that is all weighted to the rear of the pad for those looking to sit back and relax on the saddle. Or for those with a high front position on a bike that allows them to sit more on the rear of the pad.
For my personally that isn’t totally necessary and to be honest, more pad doesn’t always promise more comfort. Moving forward on the pad it does become thinner and sitting more aggressively position wise, you’re not exactly getting a huge amount of support.
As a direct comparison, Ale’s PPR 2.0 Fusion HD men’s bib shorts for example offer a bit more support in this area.
If like me, you ride fairly aggressively (I’m not talking nose of the saddle here, just more racey on a normal race bike) then this pad won’t totally suit you.
I found on my long rides in Majorca that I often felt a bit more numb and uncomfortable down below when compared to my experience riding in a number of other pairs of shorts I used that week. In particular the Castelli Endurance X2 bib shorts (£115) and Assos T Equipe Evo (£150) both around the same price, performed better in this regard.
However, if a more relaxed position on the bike is more you then the Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts might be a good option.
The stretch woven fabric is very supportive and fit is excellent around the thighs, lower back and bum. It is supportive and not restrictive in any way – or irritating which can happen with seams against the skin in this area.
What does cause issue is the bibs that can dig in when stretched a little (I’m a little plump at the moment so the bibs had a little extra to go, which caused a small pinch) and the basic silicone grippers caused a little sausage leg that I didn’t get on the other shorts mentioned above.
They are a little long for my liking too but at the very least have a reflective pipe around the edge on both legs which is a nice touch.
The Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts don’t ride up and like I’ve found with other lycra based leg ends don’t fold and look used and misshaped after a few rides and washes.
Lastly a little concern on the durability front, I’ve only used these shorts for around 500km and I’m starting to see wear where I sit on the saddle and I’ve had some stitching come away by the hip area.
An ok pair of shorts but you can buy better.
Overall I think the Sportful Total Comfort bib shorts could offer you a decent ride, though during my expeierence I'd happily spend more to get better grippers to avoid sausage legs with slight better durability too.