Some great products hail from Sweden. We’re talking Volvo cars, POC helmets and naturally, Craft apparel. With a wide variety of technical apparel for nordic, triathlon, running and cycling, Craft has a great reputation in the marketplace. With high expectations, I have put the new 2011 Craft Elite Bib Shorts to the test. Here’s how they have performed.

2011 Craft Elite Bib Short Features:

  • Antimicrobial Elite Gel Chamois
  • 10” Inseam
  • Body control fabric with 4-way stretch for total freedom of movement.
  • Flat, durable seams
  • Silicone leg grippers to keep bib in place
  • Colors: Black
  • MSRP: $180

Craft Elite Bib Short Review

With updates to the overall design for 2011, the Craft Elite Bibs have a lot to offer. Highlights of what’s new include: wider silicone cuffs, three different chamois sizes/designs, new COOL fabric uppers, revised panels and lower fabrics all at a lower price.

Slipping these on, the shorts stretch nicely and seem to cradle your legs well. I do really like the grippy leg openings. The stuff simply keeps the shorts put in place without feeling like its going to rip your skin off. Once situated, I went for miles and miles of adjustment-free riding all along the Wasatch.

I’ve used these bib shorts on two different bikes (Specialized Roubiax SL3 Expert and Felt Z5) as well as my indoor training bike now with several hundred miles in the saddle. Without question, the chamois on these shorts is super-comfortable. It is quite large, however, so I feel like it’s well-suited to longer rides in the saddle, but the extra comfort can be appreciated on shorter rides as well.

On a cold morning ride, I wore a pair of leggings with these and the grippy rubber kept the leggings in place just dandy. The combination of these shorts plus leggings was the perfect combo that kept the 40-degree cold at bay on my way up and down American Fork Canyon.

I felt like the uppers stretched and moved well with my body and the overall fit is great for my frame. However, the uppers are a little scratchier than I’d like. They do breathe well, but the softness could be improved. After repeated washing and wearing, these bibs still look as good as new. Looks like I’ll have hundreds of miles of use in the coming months.

Good Elite Bib

  • Elite chamois is comfy and custom-sized
  • Grippy rubberized legs keep things in place
  • Panel placement lends itself to excellent freedom of movement

Bad Elite Bib

  • Shoulder straps are a little scratchy

Bottom Line: Craft Elite Bib Bike Shorts

I’m really impressed with the new Craft Elite Bibs. The overall fit and performance is spot-on for long-distance riding in the saddle.

Buy Now: Search for Craft Bib Shorts at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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