He’s from Austria, but where he really feels at home is on a bike of any kind. You can read all about his tours and races on his blog 169k. Martin has tested the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts for us and written up an extended report on them.
The colour choice for the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts is plain and classic. Black shorts are an essential in every chest of drawers and, as all cyclists know, they’re a basic must-have piece of equipment. There’s no need to ask yourself if you’re allowed to wear white bike shorts - just buy black ones and save yourself the hassle.
These black shorts have a white pattern just above the cuffs, and the CRAFT logo appears on the left leg, below the pattern. Other colour models of the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts also have patterned cuffs in different colours.
Let me start by telling you that I’m 1.94 cm tall, and I wear a size L. The fit of the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts is outstanding. A snug fit, the sizes are true to those of other brands, maybe a little on the small side but they provide enough wiggle room where you need it most, like the crotch area.
The legs of the shorts wrap around the thighs comfortably without leaving room for creases or wrinkles. The cuffs are equipped with a silicone stripe on the inside that keeps the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts in place while you cycle. No matter how hard you pedal, the shorts won’t budge. The waistband on the CRAFT Route Bike Bib shorts reaches high enough at the back to provide perfect coverage on your bike. Only too often does the lower back start to feel cold, even in summer temperatures, and back problems are the last thing you need on a long tour. This certainly won’t happen with these shorts. The upper back and braces of the bib shorts are made of mesh, which encourages good temperature management.
Seat padding is a very personal thing. We all have different bodies, sit differently on our bike, have different bikes and saddles, etc., so a lot of variables determine whether a particular seat pad suits you or not. The Öko-Tex-certified Infinity C2 pad in the CRAFT Route shorts is a good all-rounder that’s ideal for mid-distance routes.
It’s not too soft and doesn’t have excess material. The manufacturer has clearly designed these shorts for performance cyclists or, at the very least, amateurs who cycle frequently. The CRAFT Route come with a compression function that has a positive effect on your muscles while you cycle. Basically, compression reduces the vibrations your muscles create naturally while they move. This, in turn, increases efficiency. Other benefits of compression include reduced risk of injury to the relevant muscles, as the snug fit will keep them warm.
The outer material of the shorts is equipped with innovative Coldblack technology. Dark cycling shorts can cause issues if you’re out in summer or simply in hot temperatures because dark materials absorb heat more readily than light ones. Thanks to Coldblack technology, though, this effect is minimised in these shorts.
Despite the black colour, the shorts won’t heat up that much, and your skin and the muscles beneath will thank you for it. Another positive side-effect is that the material delivers increased UV protection, a factor that you shouldn’t overlook if you’re on your bike for several hours.
During tests, the CRAFT Route Bib Bike shorts certainly made a good impression. Several hundred kilometres on my bike confirmed that the technologies integrated into the shorts really do work, especially the temperature management.
The fit couldn’t be better either. Performance cyclists will love the slim fit, as the cuffs stay in place no matter what. The seat pad was best for distances up to 80 k - but, again, padding is a very personal thing.
The CRAFT Route Bib Bike shorts’ most high-tech feature is the material craftsmanship. So-called Lycra Sport Energy material in the CRAFT shorts supports your muscles’ activities on a road bike, making the garment ideal for high-performance rides.
The material that makes up the CRAFT Route Bib shorts is also very stretchy, comfortable and durable, and it delivers optimum freedom of movement too. As mentioned earlier, Coldblack technology stops the shorts from absorbing too much heat from the sun and also provides reliable UV protection. Check out the CRAFT shorts, try them out for yourselves and tell us if you agree with Martin’s review.