Santini BCool Bib Shorts $279.95
Even die-hard bib shorts devotees need a little less material up top when the mercury rises. And not surprisingly, the maestros at Santini have crafted the BCool Bib Shorts with this very situation in mind. These are definitely one pair of bib shorts that you'll want to have on hand for the hottest periods of your riding season.
Santini constructed the Bcool bib shorts from the Lycra Newport material -- a fabric with enhanced shape retention and a UPF 50 rating. This fabric was selected for its superior breathability and rapid moisture management. Furthering this design principle, Santini placed carbon fiber fabric inserts throughout the bib shorts in order to enhance thermo-regulation at key locations. According to Santini testing, athletes wearing carbon fabric experienced temperature variation three-times lower than with wearing fabrics made only of polyester. By sheltering you from temperature spikes, carbon fabric inserts allow you to save a few precious heart beats per minute, thus reducing your oxygen need. To put it more simply, you're a machine, and this fabric increases your efficiency. 'Efficiency' in this sense means increasing your body's ability to turn metabolic energy into mechanical energy over longer periods of time. It also equates to having some gas left in the tank for long climbs in the last 20 miles of a mid-Summer century.
The BCool bib shorts provide the same compressive support found in other Santini shorts with a 78% polyester/22% elastane blend, however, what sets them apart are the braces themselves. About the width of a typical pair of suspenders, the elasticized-mesh braces bisect the pectoral muscles before securely nestling between the depression of your trapezius muscles and clavicle. Around back, they're met at the mid-lower back by a mesh insert that draws them together slightly in order to accentuate their stay-put grip at the shoulder. The leg cuffs consist of thin, elasticized Lycra that lays flat against the skin and resists slipping under hard efforts.
Santini put its new five-layer MIG3 chamois into the BCool. Layer one is a soft antibacterial microfiber with a raised channel that creates a pressure relieving channel for the perineal area. Layers two and four consist of variable density foam, which sandwich the third layer, a central core of anti-shock silicone gel. These layers rest atop a final layer of microfiber which extends to provide comfort against the saddle. Each different layer is selected, not only for its ability to do its particular job, but to be flexible and breathable as well -- as opposed to the chamois that force a single material to perform many tasks. The result is an insert that protects against road vibration without creating a hot, un-ventilated zone between yourself and the saddle.
The Santini BCool Bib Shorts are available in seven sizes from X-Small to XXX-Large and in the colors Black/white, Black/red and Black/yellow.
- How to Measure:
- For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
- Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
- Measure around your natural waistline, keeping the tape a bit loose.
- Measure around the fullest part of your body at the top of your legs.
What community has to say
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
These are great bib shorts. For comparison purposes, I have extensive experience with Assos, Castelli, and Giordana bibs. To me, the pad on Castelli Inferno bibs is uncomfortable for anything over 1 hour and Assos and Giordana do not make hot weather bibs which help tame Texas heat. The Competitive Cyclist write up sounded good and the few reviews of Santini bibs were positive so I decided to give the BCool bibs a try.
These bibs are awesome. The fit is standard European race so go one size up if you are not sure. I read one review that indicated the bib straps were too long. These fit me perfectly so unless you are very short waisted or are height challenged and need to size up due to weight way outside of the bell curve, these should fit fine.
Starting with the pad, it is perfect. Of course, pad opinions are very personal. The pad on the BCool shorts is a little thicker than Castelli's Progetto X2 pad and has a central channel so there was no rubbing as happens for me with Castelli. The Santini pad is not as thick and wide as the Assos Mille, which tends to bunch up on me and cause discomfort, but more in line with the Assos FI 13, which is good except the free floating FI 13 pad internals seem to always float the wrong way when I am on the bike. Importantly, the Santini pad stays put, it has the right cushioning in exactly the right place, and there is just the right size. I would put the BCool pad on a par with Giordana's Cirro OF pad which is high praise.
The BCool fabrics are very well thought out and executed. The Newport Lycra is very light weight but still compressive over muscles. The fabrics where compression is not needed are airy but not embarrassingly so. The lower back/kidney support is a nice touch but I can not tell if the carbon does anything except keep everything light. The shorts seem to breath and wick about as well as the Castelli Inferno but the compression is better and the BCool shorts seem much better made.