The Sugoi RS bib shorts are lightweight and have an excellent pad, making them well-suited to long summer rides – just watch out for the sizing.
We’ll deal with that first. The shorts are from Sugoi’s RS (Racing System) collection and so you’d expect them to have an aggressive cut. But while our medium RS jersey, reviewed here, offered a very accurate fit, we had to move up to a large in the shorts.
Pick the right size, however, and the shorts fit very well, thanks in part to a ten-panel construction which means they accurately follow the contours of your legs.
The majority of the shorts are made from what Sugoi call a Ultra Aero Fabric, which is a 3D knit with a dimpled surface, which gives the RS shorts a different texture to the brushed lycra used to make most shorts.
Sugoi say Ultra Aero Fabric is designed to create less friction, improve aerodynamics and provide a supportive fit. We certainly didn’t notice any friction during our test rides and while it’s nigh-on impossible to comment on the aerodynamic qualities of shorts without heading into the wind tunnel, the fabric is very supportive.
The 3D knit means the shorts let a little more air pass through than most other shorts, which makes these a good choice for hot days (as is the case with the RS jersey), and while the fabric is by no means see-through, if you have hairy legs that hair can poke through the weave.
Ultra Aero Fabric is swapped for a lighter material, dubbed Mobil Mesh by Sugoi, for the bib straps. As the name suggests, it’s a mesh fabric which works well to improve breathability on an area of the shorts which is not exposed to the wind, seeing as the straps are hidden beneath a jersey. The straps are supportive and the Mobil Mesh has plenty of stretch, but we’d like them to be just a little wider.
Sugoi’s Formula FX chamois is well padded and on fairly plush, particularly under the sit bones, and I found it comfortable on long rides. The pad is also perforated – Sugoi call it ‘micro ventilation’ – with small holes at the front of the chamois, and down the central channel, to improve ventilation – another feature which had made these shorts one of my first picks on the hottest days this summer.
Details include a race radio pocket on the back of the shorts, and while I didn’t use it, there’s a small elastic loop on the top of the right-hand bib strap for headphones so you could conceivably drop a phone or iPod into the pocket. Otherwise, all the seams are flatlocked and so sat next to the skin with no fuss. Styling is limited to three logos, one on either leg, and on the left-hand hip, which has begun to fade after perhaps a dozen washes.
Minor niggles aside, the Sugoi RS bib shorts get it right where it matters thanks to the supportive fit, lightweight fabric and excellent pad, and round off an impressive jersey and shorts combo from the Canadian firm.