Pactimo call the Summit Stratos bib shorts 'the 12-hour bibs' and while you might not find us embarking on a 12-hour epic any time soon, we'd happily pull these shorts from the kit drawer for just about any ride - from a one-hour spin to a summer century. They are supremely comfortable.
Pactimo say the Summit Stratos shorts, which were added to the range this year, are designed with ultra-endurance events like the Cape Epic and Dirty Kanza in mind - rides which cover 690km and 325km respectively - but you don't need to be doing those kind of distances to appreciate these.
The shorts are made from a 'Cerami-K' fabric said to contain ceramic particles. Pactimo say this aids temperature regulation and also offers additional protection in the event of a crash. We can't vouch for the effectiveness of the ceramic element specifically in improving heat dissipation, other than to say the Summits are particularly lightweight and wick away moisture very effectively. They're certainly an excellent option for warm weather riding. The low weight of the fabric in conjunction with the fit means that these shorts aren't going to give you any irritation is the temperature is rising. As for crash protection, we haven't tested that...
- Price: £175.00
- Sizes: S-XL (standard and long leg lengths available)
- Size tested: S
- Website: Pactimo
As well as being lightweight, the fabric is extremely soft - softer than most conventional lycra fabrics - and has plenty of stretch. Pull the shorts on and they have a luxurious quality which at least hints at the premium price tag. One potential downside of the Cerami-K fabric is the resulting pattern on the outside of the shorts. If you like you shorts to be nothing but black, it might bother you, but we didn't find it a problem. It's a relatively subtle design.
The cut of the shorts is also spot on, hugging the contours of the legs, with no bunching, misplaced seams or irritation. However, the fit is a little generous and, combined with the super-stretchy fabric, resulted in us moving down a size.
The quality continues at either end of the shorts, with wide, mesh bib straps which sit flat again the shoulders and provide fuss-free support. The leg grippers, meanwhile, are made from a sticky, silicone fabric in 7.5cm-deep bands. They're mildy compressive but don't feel restrictive, tug on the skin or dig in, instead locking the shorts in place while providing a smooth transition onto the leg.
So far, so good, but key to any long-distance shorts is the chamois. Pactimo developed the Endurance Anatomic 2 Carbon Flash pad with chamois specialists Cytech and it's central to the success of the Summit shorts. Pad preference can vary from rider to rider, but we've found this chamois to be exceptionally comfortable. It has a generous amount of cushioning without adding unwanted bulk and has gone about its business without causing any problems whatsoever.
In fact, that's the biggest compliment we can pay the Summit Stratos shorts. They deliver first-class comfort and sometimes you don't even know it - you hardly know you're wearing them.
If this sounds like a rave review, then it is. Pactimo's Summit Stratos bib shorts are among the very best we've tried, though they're in esteemed company at this price. However, if you've got £175 to spend on a set of bib shorts, be sure to consider these.
- Superb levels of comfort
- Excellent long-distance chamois
- Attention to detail with the fit, straps and grippers
- Sizing is a little generous