I’ve been spending the summer in the outdoor mecca known as Bozeman, Montana. As I’ve explored Hyalite Canyon, the back roads of the Bridgers and the Paradise Valley area, few days have seen me go without hopping on the road bike for some distance or another. My most faithful companion on these rides has been the Sugoi RS Pro Bibs that I’ve been testing. Bozeman’s roads, generously dotted with potholes, have been the perfect proving ground.
Sugoi RS Pro Bib Shorts Features:
- Re-engineered fabrics for better performance
- Ultra Aero fabric on outer thighs for maximum aero efficiency
- Engineered fabric on front panels for increased breathability
- Formula FX Chamois
- MSRP: $160.00
In case you were wondering, ‘shoop’ is onomatopoeia. It’s a multi-purpose word used to capture a number of different sounds, all of which may be experienced when using the Sugoi RS Pro bibs. It can the sound that your legs make as they slip into this high-compression short; or, it can be the sound that your opponents hear as you power past them in the peleton. This distinctive ‘shoop’ is a direct effect of the tremendous design and engineering that goes into the RS Pro bib shorts.
I say this often, but it’s especially true of cycling bibs. The heart of a piece of kit is its fabric, followed shortly by its design. The heart of the RS bibs, then, is the Ultra Aero dimpled fabric and ten-panel design. The Ultra Aero fabric is strategically placed on the outside of the thighs, where the golf ball-like surface has been shown to reduce drag in wind tunnel tests. There are also dense mesh vents on the front surface of the thighs and, happily, they’re actually effective. The 90 degree heat this summer pushed these to the limit with the front vents providing much-needed cooling.
Then ten-panel design is equally important. Cycling bibs need to maintain the fine balance between providing sufficient compression and motility while pedaling. All of those carefully placed panels certainly provide excellent stretch and recovery in the saddle. The compression, too, is good – I would call this a fairly high-compression bib short, which is important for those long rides when maintaining great circulation becomes increasingly important. The overall fit of the bib is quite racy; I tested an Extra Large and it certainly fit like a race bib on my body (5’11” / 180lbs).
The bibs hold on tight to the quads with silicone grippers which circle the outside of the leg but leave a gap on the inside of the thigh. The result is predictable – silicone isn’t the latest or greatest, but it holds well enough to provide a rock-solid tanline by the end of the summer. I’d prefer the newer style of a wide band of stretchy fabric, but silicone has its place too.
Sugoi included a single rear pocket whose primary purpose is to hold a phone or music player. It’s too small to accommodate a water bottle, but anything smaller than a phone will happily find its place.
Finally, the pad. I’ve ridden bibs from Pearl Izumi, Cannondale, Louis Garneau and now Sugoi. It’s not an extensive résumé, but my tush knows what it likes. The Sugoi Formula FX chamois is far and away the most comfortable I’ve ridden when it comes to distance, but it took a few rides before my backside was completely comfortable. That said, once we were mutually acquainted, it has proven to be a remarkably good long-distance partner, and I haven’t had any circulation issues riding up to around 40 miles. Time hasn’t allowed me to squeeze in longer rides than that, but after that point it often becomes partly a personal question than one strictly of the gear.
- Ventilation is nice, as is the Ultra-Aero paneling
- Good compression and adequate thigh grippers
- Technology pocket is a nice touch
- Highly supportive for long distance rides
- Fabric band-style grippers would be preferable to older-style silicone
Bottom Line: Sugoi RS Pro Bibs
The Sugoi RS Pro bib shorts are definitely ‘up there’ in terms of performance and cost. It’s seen me through plenty of miles around Bozeman where I was spending more time on the saddle than I’d like, but the excellent pad helped keeping everything flowing as it should. These are good race bibs due to their adequate compression, but they’re a great all-around performer, too.
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