The Contour Plus bib-short is another excellent addition to the De Marchi collection.
Our early observations highlighted braces made from a combination of lycra and carbon mesh, a pad from market-leaders, Elastic Interface, and a hem gripper band shallower than we would have preferred. How did they perform?
The combination of a high-quality, mildly compressive lycra and a close cut delivered an excellent fit in the leg. We were concerned that the relative shallowness of the hem gripper (30mm) might prove constricting, but happily this wasn’t the case, proving broad enough to distribute pressure evenly.
The braces exhibited an impressive degree of stretch, one that proved necessary given their shortness, which necessitated a degree of back-bending to pull them over the shoulders. Once in place, they provided a fit that was secure but not restrictive, and allowed us a full range of movement on the bike, whether hunched over the bars or stood up on the pedals.
We noted in our first look how the lycra in the braces gives way to a carbon fibre mesh at the shoulders, but the more notable use of his exotic material, deployed in a four-sided honeycomb, was in the back panel. Here it proved a decent companion to the C+ Undershirt, keeping us cool and comfortable.
Elastic Interface supply De Marchi’s inserts and we’re happy to report that the pad fitted here matched our previous experience of their offerings. Its breadth provided full coverage, extending beyond the sit bones and delicate areas between. Our test rides didn’t extend beyond 50 miles, but were conducted in perfect comfort, and given the depth of the padding (10mm at the sit bones) we’re confident they’d withstand longer hours in the saddle.
The De Marchi Contour PLUS bib-short is available in six sizes from S to XXL, in all-black, or black with red, white, or blue panels, and costs £119.99.