Le Col HC Bib Shorts
Le Col's bib shorts have a steep price tag, but they boast a near-perfect blend of comfort and sharp aesthetics.
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Given the sky-high price tag on Le Col’s HC Bib Shorts, I find it hard to endorse them unless they’re absolutely perfect. As it turns out, they are — at least for me. I reach for these shorts more than any other in my closet.
It’s the combination of smart features and a comfortable cut that makes these shorts a winner. An attractive, clean aesthetic is a good place to start: the thigh panels sport a pattern, but it’s offset by the solid blue shorts. The look is unique without alienating the more conservative dressers among us.
But looks only get you so far. The HC Bibs are among the most comfortable I’ve worn, due in part to touches like laser-cut, perforated, lay-flat bib straps and sticky thigh panels that keep the shorts in place with no tugging. I was wary of the thigh panels at first — sticky material tends to pull, which can cause discomfort in the long haul — but after a year and a half of testing, I barely notice this material. The shorts just stay firmly in place, no discomfort.
A mesh back panel extends high to help keep the bib straps from creeping outward, and the gel chamois is supportive even after several hours in the saddle. After a couple thousand miles in these shorts, the chamois remains just as comfortable as it was on ride number one.
Of course, you pay a premium for these bibs, and there are certainly less-expensive options that are just as comfortable. But for the money, rest assured you’re getting a pair of bibs that will last. I’ve ridden these in all conditions, and they easily live up to the expectations a high price tag brings.