I bought these bib shorts like I buy most of my bibs; on sale at the end of the season. I know little about the Nalini brand but what attracted me aside from the price is that they are all black which for some reason is difficult to find nowadays. Yes there’s a Nalini logo down the side but it’s charcoal-colored and very subtle. I’m tired of different colored panels and flashy logos. But aside from that, yes, the fact that they were 60% off was the draw. However, I can’t imagine anyone paying $279.95 for these bibs, or any bib shorts for that matter. $150 is typically the range I go for. While $279 seems crazy to me, I have to say that these Nalinis are top-shelf quality in every way. First of all, the leg grippers are fantastic. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the shaped grippers but they feel and work great. The bib material is also amazing. It’s called Hot Moa light and it’s compressive without being uncomfortable. It has an interesting honeycombed texture inside and out and I love it. I’ve never seen anything like it and it’s hard to explain it but just know that in addition to being compressive, it’s soft, lightweight, and breathes really well making it perfect for hot weather. But it’s not so light that you can’t wear it in cooler weather too. The panels of the bibs come together to form a great, aerodynamic, race fit.
The upper is a very light mesh material with straps that are like stretchy silk ribbons. You can’t even feel them. I’m 5’9” and 155 lbs. and got the large. In bib shorts, I typically wear medium in American sizing (Capo, Hincapie, Pearl Izumi, etc.) and large in Italian (Castelli, Giordana) due to my height. The inseam length is good although I’d appreciate about 3/4” more. However, I have longer legs and tend to like a longer inseam. They’re comparable in length to my Castelli bibs but not as long as Capos. My only complaint about these bibs, and unfortunately it’s in a crucial area, is that I’m not a fan of the unique chamois. Nalini calls it their Integra chamois which is “integrated into the center fabric panels”. Basically, the chamois looks like it was attached inside out. The ridges and channels are on the outside (and the inside). All my other bibs are smooth on the outside. On my first ride in these bibs I could feel the ridges and it was annoying and caused a bit of discomfort. The fact that the chamois is thin probably also exacerbates the problem. Also, I’m the type of rider who moves around a lot on the saddle and the Integra chamois is supposed to “provide stabilization and promote correct positioning over the saddle” so it’s probably designed to work best with someone who’s locked in place. On subsequent rides the chamois felt better. Maybe it softened up from use and the wash or maybe I just got used to it. Nonetheless, it still feels thin and I won’t be doing any centuries in these bibs. The outside-front portion of the chamois is shaped almost like a cod-piece which I like. Nalini also says that the chamois “boasts hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties” and that part is definitely true. This chamois stays dry. If I could get these shorts with a thicker/softer chamois they would easily be my favorite bibs but because the thinness I went with a lower rating. In spite of the less than 5-star rating (4 ½ stars would be my choice if possible), I still highly recommend them if you can get them for $150 or less.