TICCC’s Race Bib Shorts performed well for intense efforts and over longer distances, with a chamois that did a good job at sounding out the road buzz while also supporting the right areas when tucked up in an aerodynamic position. However, the leg grippers felt disproportionality tight compared to the rest of the fabric. If you’re after a quality pair of shorts with environmental credentials, these are a good choice, but just make sure to try them on first.
Sustainable and responsible production,
Quick wicking fabrics
Leg grippers felt disproportionality tight
By Stefan Abram
The Race Bib Shorts are TICCC’s performance option, designed to be comfortable over long distances and for hard efforts. As a band, TICCC places a large emphasis on sustainability and responsible production, using recycled materials where possible and keeping manufacturing within Europe.
But the ethos is more holistic than just focusing on the production. You can find on TICCC’s website advice on more sustainable practises, such as passing on kit wherever possible to reduce demand for new items, using washing bags to help prevent micro fibre waste and just generally laundering less.
Starting at the top, the bib straps are made from a wide and stretchy mesh, with a large rear panel that includes a pocket for either a race radio or simply any valuables you don’t want in your jersey pockets. The main body of the shorts is designed to be breathable and compressive, for a comfortable and secure fit. In total, 90 percent of the fabrics used in these shorts are made from recycled fibres.
Coming now to the chamois, which TICCC says has been “fine tuned” to be lighter than previously – but while still offering the same level of comfort. And the level of comfort that’s promised is quite high, with the chamois having been rated for riders of over eight hours in duration.
The leg grippers are reassuringly wide and feature silicone grippers on the inside to keep them in place. The left leg is treated to reflective detailing for added visibility, which is also present at the rear of the shorts.
First trying on these shorts, I thought I must have gotten them in the wrong size. The leg grippers were so tight that I was about at the limit of their stretch to pull them onto my legs. Nevertheless, I still persevered, and it turned out to be good that I did, the fit around my hips and the position of the chamois were both spot on – any larger would have been a recipe for bagginess and chafing.
But although the leg grippers made it such a struggle to get the shorts on, once they were on there was actually no feeling of constriction – which was quite a surprise, but a welcome one, as the other aspects of these shorts were really quite good.
The material felt quite lightweight and breathable. Although I didn’t ride in temperatures exceeding about the mid-twenties centigrade, I never felt sticky or clammy in those temperatures, which bodes well for hotter days.
A real surprise performer was the chamois – although it looked quite nondescript and basic, it proved to be incredibly comfortable. The dense foam provided a good isolation from the road buzz, while the placement of the padding itself felt a good match in supporting the areas that need supporting and reducing bulk elsewhere.
I haven’t used these shorts for a ride of over eight hours, but from my experience of the chamois, I would be confident using it for that duration. Now, of course, that is only half the battle – but there are a great many shorts I wouldn’t even contemplate using for that duration, so that does at least speak some volume.
Value and conclusions
At £165, TICCC’s Race Bib Shorts are quite an expensive proposition. Endura’s Pro SL Bib Shorts provided excellent comfort for just £129.99.
In terms of comfort, the chamois rivals that of the Endura and Le Col shorts – the Assos one is just on another level. However, none of these other shorts had any issue with the leg grippers being so tight.
But if the fit of the TICCC Race Shorts turns out to be fine for you, then the value of the shorts is pretty reasonable, especially considering the environmental and ethical elements.
Weight: 162g (size small)
Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20. Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually, to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
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