RedWhite no longer only make bibshorts, no indeed. They’ve just released the Jersey, a lightweight, climbing suitable jersey for the warmer climes (or days), so they’re no longer a short only company. Look out for a review of that later, when it warms up. It may even be my go to Marmotte jersey, we will see.
But, for now, I’ve tasked my wife, Anna, with wearing and reviewing the women’s version of the RedWhite Bibs. You’ll remember just how comfy I’ve found them and, a year later, they’re still as good as new. Indeed, I’ve actually been using them for cyclocross too. Pretty impressive given my amazing Superman re-mounting techniques.
So, the Bibs. Well, it’s pretty much as per the male version, mostly, but ‘customised’ for the female form. So, in essence, they are cut for women, not for men. The chamois is, crucially, female specific and more of that a little later. The only other difference is that white mesh section. On the male version it’s red, on the female version, white. If you are a man, you can swap out that red or white mesh on the bib and Race versions by opting for the new black mesh on the Stealth Fondo and Race bibshorts. Anyhow, I digress.
The Bibs share the same design aesthetic, that is to say, minimal branding limited to that RedWhite logo on the leg, strong and luxurious lycra made by Italian lycra masters M.I.T.I and that one piece mesh bib section. Anna is about 5ft 5 inches, around 8st 10 and a size 10 and she required the size small. Yuva from RedWhite was particularly helpful in ensuring that she got the right size so, if there are doubts, drop them an email because they are a super helpful and friendly bunch.
The rear of the short is all plain but it’s good to see the addition of a few reflective inserts too.
In terms of that mesh section, there are, of course, a number of different methods of achieving comfort on women’s bibshorts ranging from the traditional (male type) approach here, the halterneck or even the clip on front. Then, of course, there is the traditional waist short. Anna has one of the latter and a few pairs of this traditional setup. In use, Anna finds the ‘over the chest’ strap setup comfortable and without problems. The mesh is very airy and lightweight. The stomach section is as per the rest of the range, that is to say, quite a high cut which provides that little bit more security. Naturally, it will make answering calls of nature slightly more problematic but that’s by no means a criticism of RedWhite specifically, just this sort of setup.
The leg grippers are deep elasticated sections, nicely breathable and, once again do a terrific job of holding everything in place. The seams are not flat-locked. On the initial ride Anna reported that she could feel the seam occasionally but once washed this too was a non issue.
The star of any show is that chamois, of course. it’s a similar pad found in the Bibs but, naturally, with the deletion of the ‘kuku penthouse’ type arrangement on the male version. So, the chamois is made up of 3 layers of foam and finished off with an anti-bacterial fabric layer. It’s produced in one with a process called thermic moulding which ensures that, unlike the pillow I sleep on every night, it doesn’t lose it’s shape. While it could be said to be a little early in testing to determine that for Anna’s shorts, mine are literally as good as new.
For the women’s version, RedWhite have shaped the chamois with the female anatomy in mind. So, they’ve “minimised contouring on the surface of the chamois to eliminate chafing & hotspots” and “widened the sit-bone support pads and narrowed the perineum support area specifically for women.” Does it work? Absolutely. Anna reports that these are a supremely comfortable pair of bibs for long distance riding. There’s no doubt at all that the chamois is good for many many hours in the saddle.
Too often women are overlooked and have to make do, but there appears to be a large number of manufacturers out there now offering female specific clothing which is actually designed for women. If you’re doing the large miles, if you want something premium that will last an age, and something that looks classy, then you really should be looking at these. RRP is £125 which is excellent for what is a premium brand. If you sign up then you get $10 off your next purchase and free shipping. If you want them a little quicker then head over to Always Riding where you can pick them up for £109.99. Chalk up yet another win for RedWhite. Superb.