Craft Glow Bib Shorts Review
Introduction of the Craft Glow Bib Shorts
Comfort and performance in the form of a simple piece of cloth put between one’s private parts, and a hard uncomfortable thin carbon saddle is a delicate dance. A dance that has been perfected by the creative and technical design team over at Craft. The Craft Glow Bib Shorts are jam packed full of technical features, but the most wonderful part I can see right off the bat is that the chamois is super soft and almost seem to mimic the shape of a cycling saddle. In the end (pun intended) being comfortable is oh-so key to be able to perform at your best and enjoy the beauty of riding your bike. I have put these to the test the past few months on a variety of training rides on the treadmill, in an intense pack, and exploring the ups and downs that Colorado’s Rocky Mountains have to offer.
Key Technical Features
- Body-control tights with excellent elasticity, moisture transport and ergonomic fit together with reflective details and prints
- Ergonomic and smooth bib construction with mesh superlight fabric
- Ergonomic design for a perfect riding-position fit
- Wide, soft and elastic leg ending with silicon print keeps the bib shorts in place
- Coldblack® fabric reduces the absorption of heat rays and protects against UV rays
- Bib construction for great support and fit with polyster hexachannel fabric for active cooling effect
Fit of the Craft Glow Bib Shorts
The Craft Glow Bib Shorts have a very nice and almost comfortable fit. We all know that bike clothing fits on the snug even tight side in many cases. This definitely feels like a performance piece, but I have no qualms wearing this for any of my rides. Sizing of cycling clothing can be tricky depending on the brand, and I have tried to fit my 6′-1″, 170 pound frame into a Large for an Italian brand and was still struggling for air, so to speak. I have the Medium from Craft, and they fit in a way I would expect a medium to fit. What I want you to take away from all this is that they fit “True to Size”.
The chamois lining is super comfortable, but not so thick that it bunches up when getting into an aggressive riding position. The over the shoulder bib straps were snug, but fit perfectly. This will of course depend on your size and physique, but I have no complaints. The length of the shorts was also right on for what I look for. I have slightly larger quads, and when the shorts are too short they will ride up. With the 2” thick gripper band it covers right up to the bottom of my quad which looks good, but more importantly, it feels right. The fabric composition allows for a completely movement free capability.
I have had my issues with finding the right shorts to help on some of my longer rides. I still own a pair of shorts from the early 1990’s just to sport with my classic old Bianchi. It’s really interesting to see how far we’ve come in the padding department
All the technical nitty gritty is spelled out right there on the pad. I am sure over time with washing, the specifics and writings will fade, but I will touch upon a few that stood out to me. Is thicker better? That’s a good question! The 2 main “exploded Foam” pads are 14mm thick. Now that is pretty soft and cushiony in my book. I think it’s a good thing because I either go pretty intense for 30-40 miles, and I am on the rivet, so to speak. Or I go long, and the need for endurance comfort is appreciated. It is surrounded by or imbedded into the Infinite Comfort Pad which is 3mm thick. It’s kind of your transition piece until you get to the rest of the shorts. Basically, if there’s any overhang or areas of friction, this area should pick that up.
Continuus variable thickness from the main butt part transitions or gradually lessens to 10mm then 8mm. The one cool part is at the tip… I know —- there is a small area where ones member ends, and it either is extra padding, extra wind protection, and/or breathability. In either case, nothing went untouched as far as the design goes for the chamois.
Glow of the Craft Glow Bib Shorts
The glow technology is imbedded in the reflective print and details which provides for a 360 degree visibility. The first few times out on my morning group rides, I had to layer up because of the chill in the air. Finally a warmer morning with only the need for arm and knee warmers to fight of the wind and cold provided a great opportunity to see how visible these short actually were. On plain sight, the reflectiveness is not quite obvious, but when bathed in direct light from either car lights or my riding compadres head lights, “glow in the dark” effect too on a whole new light (ah yes, pun definitely intended).
We haven’t hit the really hot summer days quite yet, but even so, the Craft Glow Bib Shorts have been a welcome addition when the high altitude Colorado sun has been beating down on me. The Bib portion ensures that the shorts stay on and move with the body as one, but with an almost mesh-like quality they have kept me cool and comfortable. Just the right amount of stretch and venting has made sure of that.
Performance of the Craft Glow Bib Shorts
With little ones and still some inclement weather these Craft Glow Bib Short saw a fair amount of time on the trainer. 1 to 2 hour sweat session are good for getting some saddle time in, providing a halfway decent base, but aren’t a true testament of performance. They couldn’t do anything about the boredom, but the shorts worked well without any complaints.
The real test came with my twice a week local group rides. These are take no prisoner throw-downs! You better get ready for some heart thumping and leg burning pain or you will be dropped. At that point, you will not be thinking about your apparel unless it’s holding you back. My main concern when it comes to my shorts is the padding, and even though it’s early in the season, I was able to comfortably finish my ride and hang on…. until I got dropped….. I will fight to live an other day. These Craft Glow Bib Shorts were up to the task, and as soon as my fitness catches up, I will be as well.
At this point in time, I have now gotten a couple longer rides in to test the Craft Glow Bib Shorts while being in the saddle for 4 or more hours. This is when any inconsistencies in gear or apparel will come to the forefront. I won’t say I wasn’t tired or sore, and the fact that I was on a very thin saddle was definitely evident. That said, you can surely go with more padding for a Lazy-Boy ride, but then you’ll lose any connection to the bike in my humble opinion. These rides also took place in the mountains, so my thoughts were more on my lungs as I was climbing, and trying to keep my adrenaline in place on the super fast descents.
I would have no problems sporting these for my longer century rides, or a day exploring the trails on my Mountain bike.
On the bib strap part, I would have liked to see front belly part to be slightly lower. Simply put, if I can pull that part down, I can quickly execute a roadside natural break. These aren’t quite as low as desired, so that shortcut is not quite an option. I suppose hydrating smartly will have to be a fine balance to ensure I can make it to the bathroom.
An often overlooked ‘feature’ for quality athletic apparel is how we take care of it, so it will last. That annoying little tag (that I usually cut out) is in fine print, and has a bunch of what look like Ancient Greek symbols. Generally speaking, I wash all my athletic wear on a gentle cycle, and never ever put them in the dryer. That is a safe bet. The first time around, I actually hand washed these Craft Glow Bib Shorts to ensure all its features would get a gentle washing the first time out. Let it be known that I am generally a clean person, but I do try to get 2 or 3 uses out of a piece in between washes (depending on intensity and sweat level of course).
Final thoughts on the Craft Glow Bib Shorts
Smooth, comfortable, good looking, breathable, and a host of fabric technologies will help your performance on the bike for hours. The Craft Glow Bib Shorts are a super welcome addition to my cycling apparel wardrobe. I am impressed most of all with the comfort of the Chamois. It is thick enough to provide comfort for hours, but not so thick that they create this big bubble butt look to create excess bunching. A close second is that the glow bib shorts have compression on the legs, but not to the point of squeezing your legs in like a sausage. The gripper hem works well to stay in place. This is a great all around cycling short that will perform and provide comfort as you go about doing your thing on a bike. Try some for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
For more information on the Glow Bib Shorts and other Craft products visit: www.craftsports.com