Rather than a silly initialism, a wanna-be-tech fake model number, or yet another reference to S(uper) L(ight), "aero," or European cycling landmarks, Kitsbow named its opening salvo in the men's road bibs market the Coleman Valley Bib Shorts. While the move away from indecipherable or repetitive nonsense is itself appreciated, we can't imagine that Coleman Valley was chosen without careful consideration.
In a remarkably short distance, Coleman Valley Road traverses the kind of varied terrain most roadies dream about while trundling along their nondescript local loops. Wooded landscapes, rural farm land, coastal vistas, a testing climb — it's basically cycling's version of the idyllic fields of waving, golden grain in US political campaign ads. The Coleman Valley Bibs are just as versatile as their namesake. They incorporate details that recommend them for everything from crisp spring base miles to early summer mornings and the kind of scenic, fall riding that makes hanging the bike up for winter so damned hard.
While the folks at Kitsbow are well-versed in cycling culture and design, they did choose to (wisely) outsource the fabric construction to Polartec. The Coleman Valley's Power Stretch fabric yields to motion but exhibits compressive qualities, allowing it to stretch, flex, and return while still providing next-to-skin firmness and support that set the shorts apart from the standard, mass-produced fare. The material pulls moisture from the skin and diffuses it across the surface for rapid drying that maintains a comfortable internal microclimate in both cool and warm temperatures.
The shorts are finished with lightweight, low profile bib straps, wide (but not exaggerated to the point of caricature) leg grippers, and a race radio pocket. The included Elastic Interface 3D chamois targets ischial support while alleviating pressure where you don't want it, and the outer thighs incorporate slit pockets. This final touch is classic Kitsbow — completely unexpected but totally logical in retrospect. The slit pockets prevent the need to stash gels under the leg bands and provide a convenient receptacle for garbage, eliminating the risk of encrusting your jersey pocket-borne phone, spare tube, or petty cash with a layer of residual energy goop.