While bib shorts are standard fare on the road, some still scoff at them for trail duty. So, Bontrager designed the new Evoke MTB Bib Shorts to show the baggy crowd just what makes bibs so awesome.
Bontrager Evoke MTB Bib Shorts Features
- Textured nylon shell is lightweight and durable
- Detachable Drop-In Bib Liner with mesh construction and inForm Solstice chamois
- Mesh venting in shell for warm weather comfort
- Easy-adjust waist ensures a secure fit
- Two zippered hand pockets, one zippered thigh pocket
- 12″ (30cm) inseam
- Semi-fitted – Follows the curves of your body with room for movement
- MSRP: $129
Evoke Bibs offer the best of both baggies and bibs
By now, most roadies can agree that bibs are the only option. The comfort and integrated feel they provide is unmatched by a pair of shorts alone. But, as I mentioned, some staunch MTB riders wouldn’t be caught dead in full spandex. I go both ways on dirt, but do typically wear baggies. That being said, the Evoke Bibs really offer everything that’s good about both baggies and bibs.
The construction of the Evoke Bibs is fantastic. Stitching is tight and materials are of a very high quality. I’m definitely satisfied with the next-to-skin feel of both the bibs and the shorts. However, I will say that the old-school leg grippers are a bit of a disappointment. That disappointment is only noticed during pre-ride activities, but while on the bike I didn’t think about it them much (much ado about nothing?). I will say that a wider, not-so-grippy leg cuff would do the trick just fine — without the old-school, grippy openings used here.
Talking specifically about the bibs, the material has a soft feel and the straps are positioned just right so as not to cause chaffing. The bibs themselves breathe really well (the entire material is porous mesh) and the entire bib stays in place quite well throughout the course of a long ride. The InForm Solstice chamois in the bibs is fantastic. I wouldn’t call it an overstuffed chamois by any means, but it still maintains a high level of comfort on long or rough rides — my backside has remained happy in all my tests.
Sometimes baggies suffer from “shorts snag” when moving about in the saddle — not these. The shorts are baggy enough to not get in the way, but not so baggy that you feel like a freerider. The 12″ inseam is perfect so as not to inhibit movement as well.
I dig the two zippered hand pockets and single zippered leg pocket. In a pinch, the leg pocket can house an iPhone and not interfere with pedaling. Gels also also sit perfectly inside that pocket.
I’d recommend sizing down on these shorts. I typically ride size large bibs and shorts, but went with medium’s here and found them to fit perfectly. For reference, I’m 5 ft. 11 in., 170 lbs. and have a 33 in. inseam. The double-snap front closure and fly keep the shorts in place and make for easy access when nature calls. The bibs stretch nicely for this purpose as well. Also, inside, the adjustable waistband is a nice touch for further tweaking the fit.
The fabric has proven durable and breathable. And, while the bibs themselves are very breathable, any time you slap a pair of baggies on top, breathability will be reduced. The slight reduction in breathability is a worthy trade-off because these shorts fit fantastic and perform really well on the trail.
- Supreme freedom of movement on the bike
- Perfect length for trail riding
- The bib/short combo works well here
- Shorts are durable and functional with three zippered pockets
- Can carry iPhone or gels in leg pocket — nice in a pinch
- Chamois is very comfortable
- Easy fit adjustments
- Not everyone will appreciate the bib/baggy combo
- Get just a tad warmer than baggy shorts with liner
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Evoke Bib Shorts
The Evoke Bib Shorts are well-executed for those who want a pair of baggies, but still prefer the fit of bibs. You’ll appreciate the nice touches and the overall comfort of these shorts.