RedWhite's The Bib bib shorts are beautifully made and potentially supremely comfortable. For me, the fit was excellent everywhere bar the pad – I found it positioned too far forward. RedWhite made me a second pair, with the pad positioned where I wanted it, and these performed as well as any bibs I've tried, comfortable for 10-hour rides when paired with the right saddle. Unfortunately, RedWhite can't offer custom-pad placement. If the pad position suits you, they're an excellent option, but you might want to make certain before you remove the labels.
A couple of years ago, we ran a "People's Choice" feature for readers to vote for their favourite bib shorts. Any keen cyclist is guaranteed to have a view on this, the most important element in your riding comfort. The usual brands showed up, but there was a surprise at number one in the poll: a small company from Singapore called RedWhite, which only makes bib shorts. It sent in some bibs for us to test and here they are. The Bib, as they're called, are designed to offer plush comfort for extended days in the saddle, with a thicker than average pad and a number of comfort-orientated features.
RedWhite was founded by two guys from Singapore who felt that there was the potential to improve upon what was available, specifically in terms of all-day comfort. They say, "We sat down and started designing a bib short for riders like us. Riders who enjoy going the distance and those who want nothing short of the best technical bib short for that specific purpose." If you like to know the background to your cycling gear then RedWhite is your kind of brand; there is a lot of detail on the website about the development of these bibs. (Warning: contains the phrase "cupping men's genitalia".)
Going back to the original pair, I tested a large, which was what the sizing chart suggested, and co-founder Yuva was happy to offer advice on this too. That level of service isn't just restricted to journos – the site has a "Need a human to help with sizing?" section, which is a nice touch. Sure enough, when I clambered into The Bib for the first time, it fitted very nicely indeed, with wide mesh straps sitting lightly on the shoulders and a gentle compression on the thighs.
All of the fabrics used are from Miti in Italy and they feel expensively slinky to the touch. Wide silicone microdot grippers are used around the leg openings which stay glued in place without the slightest constriction.
As ever, the heart of any cycling shorts is the pad, and RedWhite developed its own here, working with an Italian supplier which manufactures in Croatia. It's notably plush and thick, second only in my experience to the crazy-thick Ortholite memory foam pad (used by Mavic in some of its shorts) in this respect. Again, there's a lot of detail about the pad on RedWhite's site. The pad uses varying density and thicknesses of foam, fused together in a "proprietary Thermic Moulding" process (whereas some manufacturers glue the layers of the pad together).
To the touch, the pad certainly feels plush and luxurious. For me, however, there's a question mark over its positioning in the shorts. Customarily, the thickest section of a pad is located directly between the sit bones and the saddle, and that was not the case here for me – it was further forwards. Different bodies are different shapes, and your position on the bike certainly comes into play here too, but my normal riding position is hardly an extreme one.
I found that my sit bones were instead perilously close to the back edge of the pad and the thickest part of the pad further forwards on the saddle, with the result that there was less comfort than I would have wanted under my sit bones and the pad felt quite bulky between the tops of my thighs.
I discussed this with RedWhite and it offered to send a pair of shorts with the pad located further towards the back. This certainly worked better for me, but unfortunately custom placement isn't something it can offer to market at the moment.
With the second pair, comfort ranged from good-for-four-hours-or-so to genuinely-all-day-plushness, depending primarily on which saddle I was on; I found they worked best for me with a saddle with a central cutout channel, such as the excellent Fabric Line. This combination saw me safely home on a 10-hour ride without any discomfort to speak of, which is as good a performance as any bibs I've tried. All well and good, but that's a custom pair of shorts that you can't actually buy, so is less than germane here.
I can think of two or three other bibs I've tested where I found the pad positioning to be out, always further to the front than I wanted, with the remaining vast majority being positioned to suit my body shape. That said, I know of plenty of folk who get on very well with these bibs and find the pad positioned where they'd like it.
Whereas initially the products were only available direct from Singapore, which would make returns an unappetising prospect, they are now available in the UK from Always Riding, so I'd argue it's definitely worth considering them, but I would try to gauge whether the pad positioning works for you before removing the tags and going for a ride.
Since launching The Bib, RedWhite has brought out another similar pair called The Race, where the pad is a little less thick but (as I understand it) positioned the same. Both models are also now available in different colourways – a rather garish KOM-themed polka-dot-trimmed version and a more muted 'Stealth' model which would be my choice. It's also brought out a women's version of the Bib with a female-specific pad.
All models are priced at £125, which is upper-mid in terms of bib short pricing. You can pay hugely more than that, but it's likely towards the upper limit of what the average cyclist would spend – on a par with mid-range Castelli, but cheaper than almost all the Rapha range. Those are prestige brands, and it's an ambitious upstart that takes aim thus, but RedWhite isn't coy about its aim to make the most comfortable bibs available on the market. The quality of the fabrics is certainly on a par with other high-end bibs, so if the pad positioning suits you then they are definitely worth a punt.
There's also a crash replacement programme – send in a photo of your crash-damaged shorts and RedWhite offers a discount on a new pair.
Well made and superbly comfortable... if the pad position works for you
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road.cc test report
Make and model: RedWhite Apparel The Bib
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
RedWhite is (to date) a company solely focused on making bib shorts. Here's its story:
'When we started RedWhite in April 2014, we wanted to create a no-compromise BibShort for everyone.
We had returned from a long tempo ride and our sit-bones were sore, and we couldn't get back onto the bike the following day. We thought to ourselves, 'we could do BibShorts better.'
Many months later after countless design iterations and chamois and lycra samplings, we had in our hands what would become our flagship long distance model – The BIB. Why The Bib? Because this is meant to be your Go-Tos from here on."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
These are discussed at huge length on the RedWhite website – take a look if you'd like more information.
The fabric feels high quality and the pad is very plush. For me there's a question mark over the positioning of the pad.
There's so much to like here, but if the pad positioning doesn't work for you then it's a bit of deal-breaker. It wasn't right for me but lots of others love them.
No issues at all in an extended test period.
A hard one to score. In every other respect, the fit is spot on. The pad positioning works for lots of people I know of, but not me, and I'm scoring based on my experience.
As per the information. The website even offers the email address of Yuva, the company founder, in case you need help getting the right size. How's that for customer service?
Based on my experience, with my saddle and my riding position. I'd score much higher with the repositioned pad.
These aren't cheap bibs but in terms of quality they are on a par with high-end shorts at higher prices than this.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I'd have to say it didn't perform as well as I'd like, and that was solely down to the pad positioning not suiting me. In all other respects, they are great – but that's a big stumbling block.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort of the bib straps and gripper strips.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found the pad placement didn't suit me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not in their stock form.
Would you consider buying the product? Not in their stock form.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I found these really hard to score. Others have reported finding these to offer unparalleled comfort, but for me the pad positioning meant this wasn't the case. They're nicely made, and with the custom pad position (something not available to consumers, sadly) they are among my most comfortable shorts on the right saddle; if it was those I was scoring I'd be tempted to give them a 9, but I have to score them on the basis of my own experience of the standard product, and for me that was a less stellar performance.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.