This year, I’ve had the opportunity to review several styles of cycling bibs. I’ve grown to prefer wearing bibs to shorts due to the added comfort and consistent coverage they provide. There are trade-offs (mostly bathroom-related), but it’s worth it. The last pair of bib shorts in for review this year were the Sugoi RSE Bibs.
Sugoi RSE Bib Shorts Features:
- Mobil Mesh upper bib is highly breathable, lightweight and designed to stay in place
- No inseam to reduce under chamois bulk
- 10 panel body contour fit
- Flat seams for increased comfort
- Functional back pocket
- Compression leg band for secure and comfortable grip
- MSRP: $200
Sugoi RSE Bibs Review
I have a pair of older Sugoi bibs that I’ve worn for several years that I really like, so I had high expectations for the RSE Bibs. Having most recently reviewed the Pearl Izumi PRO Bibs, I had an apples-to-apples comparison across the two brands. Sugoi certainly knows how to make great cycling apparel and has been a strong force in the industry for quite some time.
As I’ve ridden the RSE’s, I’ve appreciated all that’s good about cycling bibs. I love how well they have stayed put in all conditions. Once you get them situated, you don’t have to worry one bit about any more fiddling — they certainly conform to your body. The 10-panel design is stitched and pieced together with just the right cut in every piece.
While some bib shorts feature super-grippy leg openings, the RSE bibs feature a unique combination of materials at the leg cuff. The outer fabric is ribbed longitudinally to stretch with your legs while the inner features a design with hundreds oval-shaped holes that keep things in place. On the bike, it always feels comfortable and never restrictive. Surprisingly, this unique leg cuff design (though out of the ordinary) really works. They also work well with leg warmers, as you can see in my photo.
Another nice feature of the RSE’s is the built-in iPod pocket with headphone wire guide to run them up the back and over your right shoulder. I’m not personally a fan of riding with tunes, but if you are, that’s a sweet feature. I suppose it helps the pros ride with radios as well, but I’ll leave that to the big guns.
Hopping aboard my Specialized Roubiax, the RSE’s FXE chamois works great with my Specialized Avatar saddle. The design provides extra comfort for long ascents and keeps the crew in place. I did notice that after walking around awhile, I did have to re-adjust things, but in the saddle, the man area was kept in check for numb-free performance.
Rounding out the comfort of the RSE’s, the shoulder straps offer miles of chafe-free comfort. They are very breathable and easy on the skin. Not once did I end up with uncomfortable rubbing. I could focus on riding and they always stayed put.
As I’ve ridden into the cool weather this Fall, the breathability of the RSE’s has been both appreciated and not appreciated. For Summer riding, I would call these perfect, but when riding downhill on a chilly 40-degree morning, the wind penetrates the front side and gets a bit chilly. During warmer days, that same cooling-effect has been appreciated.
One other noteworthy feature of the RSE’s is the checkerboard inner pattern that’s built to transfer moisture away. In my riding time, I’d certainly say it does just that as these shorts have stayed cool and dry in warmer weather.
Good RSE Bibs
- Breathes well on warm days
- FXE Chamois aids bloodflow, provides comfort
- Perfect inseam length
- Thigh cross-band panel provides extra muscle support
- Bib straps offer chafe-free comfort
- Unique leg cuffs stay in place without all the grippy rubber
Bad RSE Bibs
- Let a ton of cold air in on cold descents
- Raised lettering on left thigh catches on things and will likely get ripped off
Bottom Line: Sugoi RSE Bib Shorts
When you’re spending 200 clams for a pair of bib shorts, you don’t want to be disappointed. Sugoi’s RSE bibs will certainly deliver on comfort and rideability.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com