Road Cycling Clothing

Reviewed: Sportful Women’s Total Comfort Bib Shorts

The bib shorts built for comfort

The Sportful Women’s Total Comfort Bib Shorts offer exactly what their name promises, and not at the expense of performance either. Instead Sportful have perfectly combined comfort and performance to maximise the benefits of both.

Sportful kit has always fit me well, so much so in fact that they have become somewhat of a go-to brand when it comes to new purchases. Thankfully, and going by the name, just as you might expect, the Sportful Women’s Total Comfort Bib Shorts are no exception.

Typically ‘snug’ on the first wear (to the point of rethinking the size guide) the first wash provides enough give to take the bibs to their actual size, and thankfully no more. Even with plenty of washing thereafter, and trust me, I pretty much live in these shorts these days, so by plenty, I mean plenty, I haven’t had any problem with the material becoming slack or baggy over time. They fit just as they did for that second outing – no doubt a reason why I opt for them time and time again.

Photo: Ryan Van Kesteren

The lay flat laser cut finish on the shoulder straps offers far more comfort than the stitched alternative and adds to the high-end feel of the Sportful Women’s Total Comfort Bib Shorts.

This finish extends to the front of the shorts, whilst the sides and rear are reinforced with a little stitching to protect these areas from the additional wear and tear they tend to receive.

The front area is not so high that it is noticeable or becomes a nuisance, but not so low that your tummy will sit over the top. The silicone dots on the underside of the straps keep the bibs in place; they can be susceptible twisting as you pull the straps over the shoulders, but of course, with a little adjustment this is no major flaw and well worth the additional comfort they provide.

The side of the legs are made of a quick wicking mesh material that extends around the top area at the back of the shorts also; this allows for extra ventilation on warmer days whilst still being quite discrete and maintaining the cyclist’s dignity. All other areas are blocked out with a solid material.

Photo: Ryan Van Kesteren

I’m not a fan of big bulky padding, so was a little sceptical about how I would get on with the bib shorts given that they boast such a high density chamois (up to 18mm). I was pleasantly surprised however, that whilst the padding appears to be rather thick on first glance, once the bib-shorts are on it wasn’t bulky at all, in fact, I didn’t even think about it, which is only ever a good thing. Perfect for rides of any distance, the comfort was noticeable, but subtle, just as a chamois should be.

The legs have more of a traditional stitched finish but the extension of a subtle reflective strip gives the impression of a laser-cut finish which offers a more comfortable, high-end feel. Similar to the shoulder straps, the legs are quite delicately lined with a silicone grip to keep the shorts in place, and of course, given that you pull them up into place when putting them on, there is no tendency for the legs to fold as mentioned previously in reference to the shoulder straps. The leg length is spot on; previously, Sportful have played with the leg length and sometimes shown a tendency to go too short or too long for some cyclists’ tastes but here they have hit the nail on the head. Perfectly suited to their name, the shorts offer total comfort, but with a racy, high-end feel.

Photo: Ryan Van Kesteren

I’m a huge fan of the colourway (or lack thereof, you may argue) – understated, and elegant, I wear the Sportful Women’s Total Comfort Bib Shorts with a mix of different tops, switching and swapping between coloured Sportful jerseys depending where my mood takes me.

I opt for these shorts time and time again, be that a short recovery ride or a 24hr race, and have every confidence in their performance and comfort.

Already a big hit with the men, we have had to wait a long time for the total comfort bibs to reach the women’s range but it was well worth that wait. Already proving to be super popular, stocks are running low, so snap them up quickly where you can.


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