Altura Podium Elite bib shorts - review - Road Cycling UK

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Altura Podium Elite bib shorts – review

Lightweight bib shorts with a comfortable chamois and clever stash pockets

Altura’s new Podium Elite shorts combines good quality fabrics with an excellent chamois, subtle styling and clever stash pockets which offer an interesting point of difference from other shorts.

Initially I suspected the shorts to be a little fragile – they seemed too lightweight in material for regular or long-term use. That meant one thing – to ride them more than any other shorts in the kit draw and they’ve shown no signs of wear. During that time, the chamois has also revealed itself as a really comfortable pad, with a wide layer of perforated foam sandwiched between other layers to build-up a breathable and effective pad.

The Podium Elite are from Altura’s flagship collection
  • Specification

  • Price: £99.99
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Website: Altura
  • UK distributor: Zyro

The lycra used for the shorts has a tight weave which offers a degree of compression and a smooth feel next to the skin. It’s a breathable fabric and so does a good job of keeping you dry while riding hard. The upper mesh on the short has a wide, hexagon pattern which is lightweight and comfortable, while wicking sweat away effectively, and the bib straps are supportive and sit flush to the skin, ensuring they’re comfortable when worn with or without a base layer.

However, I did feel the cut to be a little odd. It’s described as ‘fitted’ and is tight, as you’d expect it to be, in places but a little looser elsewhere. The overall fit will depend on the rider’s shape and size, but based on our experience it could be improved a little to keep it consistently close across the shorts.

That aside, the shorts are kept in place with the fairly wide elastic hem which sits flush with the upper leg, with a secondary silicone trim on the inside. It’s a combination which offers a firm but comfortable level of grip and means the shorts hold firm with no trouble. On the hem you’ll also find dashes of reflective material to help in the visibility stakes, alongside reflective tabs on the back of the shorts.

On the small of the back there are two stash pockets for gels. It’s not a place to keep tools or keys, as it’d be uncomfortable and things can also get sweaty here, but they’re a useful addition if used wisely. They’re low enough on the shorts that most riders should be able to reach they under a jersey.

These gel ‘stash’ pockets are a clever addition

Conclusion

Out on the road, in the mix of summer weather we’ve had, the Altura Podium Elite bib shorts have provided all-day comfort on warm, dry rides, and the fabric also retains warmth well in wetter conditions. They’re well made and have an excellent chamois, while the option of having small but additional pockets on your bib shorts may come in handy on longer rides or sportives. The fit wasn’t perfect for me and the shorts face stiff competition at the £100 mark but, all things considered, these are lightweight, comfortable and a strong offering from Altura.

Pros

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Comfortable chamois
  • Storage pockets

Cons

  • Fit could be improved in places

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