The Etxeondo Bira bib-short far exceeded our expectations by performing as well as more expensive offerings from rival brands.
Its comfort, freedom of movement, and high-quality materials make it excellent value for money.
We made a detailed inspection of the Bira’s construction, and that of three other pieces from Etxeondo’s 2013 spring-summer collection, in our ‘first look’. Here, we’ll focus on how the Bira performed.
The Bira’s fine lycra, a weave Etxeondo call Lycra Sport, proved to be its stand out feature. It gave a firm, rather than compressive fit and allowed complete freedom of movement when seated or pedaling out of the saddle. The fabric felt soft against the skin and contributed to the appearance of a more expensive short.
The Elastic Interface Arma insert absorbed pressure well and offered a stable base for seated pedaling. The deep padding, billed by Elastic Interface as ‘double density’ and made from their Cube fabric, made a significant contribution to the Bira’s comfort.
Lycra braces are superior to a polyester equivalent in our experience and those on the Bira were excellent. At 5cm broad, they spread pressure evenly across each shoulder. The braces stretched well enough to allow them to be put on and taken off easily, but were sufficiently firm to hold the short in place.
Etxeondo have delivered the Bira at a penny under £80 by using a simple construction. Few panels can offer a poor fit, but that wasn’t the case here. Some of the more expensive shorts we’ve tested with a higher panel count have offered a better fit, but the Bira’s simple but effective construction was perfectly adequate.
The 30mm hem grippers held the shorts firmly in place without constricting the leg by spreading pressure evenly. They were the major contributor to the Bira’s stylish appearance and, with the pad and the braces, one of many features typically found on more expensive shorts.
We’d recommend the Etxeondo Bira bib-short without hesitation to riders seeking a simple, but high quality short with the performance and appearance of more expensive offerings. The very fine lycra, wide braces, and deep Elastic Interface pad make the Bira excellent value for money.
The Etxeondo Bira short is available in black and from sizes S to XXXL. It costs £79.99.