Monday, January 9, 2017

Shebeest S-Pro Shorts and Petunia Bib Shorts: A Product Review

Today I am featuring a review of two Shebeest products that I have used regularly during the 2016 riding season, the Petunia Bib short and the S-Pro short.

When it comes to gear (I consider bike clothing "gear" as I look at it in a functional sense) I like to think ahead for the next dry season, especially as I'm planning more longer-mile rides early than before. Plus, cycling clothes are really the only time I can let my true colors shine- I work at a bike shop 6 days a week. I could literally live with one t-shirt!




What do I consider important for long mile rides?
The right short and chamois combination!

I wore both the Petunia Bibs and S-Pro shorts during most of my dry-season riding on mountain bike trails or gravel grinders. Please note, this is also my first time utilizing bib shorts, so I do not have multiple different styles to compare with. The nice thing about Shebeest is they came out with some pretty wild patterns and I decided that I needed to give them a shot. I have become a fan of the houndstooth collection, being that it can go with just about every jersey due to the neutral colors (black & white.) I was able to come to terms with the fact that I can wear a pattern, I just might not wear it every ride. The great thing is that Shebeest also makes less flamboyant designs for their shorts as well. You have the option of getting a black pair of shorts or tights with a faded design that let's you feel nifty without being a bomb of color, or you still have solid black options for leggings, shorts, and bibs. Classic black does go with everything, but I've found I'm enjoying the "sneaky" approach of having a couple faded print items to give a little pizazz to my wardrobe.


Petunia Bib
From Shebeest-
Innovative comfort and NO OUTER SEAM, make this bib fashion forward
Unique minimal, breathable bib construction stretches from the spine and finishes behind your neck allowing it to be lowered without removing your jersey
7" Inseam
Two-layered, wide waistband with easy access pocket

I wasn't entirely sure that I would like the concept of bibs, what they were about, and how it would feel to wear them. I will say that the construction and fabric of the shorts material felt beautiful and silky smooth. It was really nice to have a legitimate "seamless" feel to the shorts.
The chamois was one I was familiar with, similar to what I already had in my capri tights and shorts from a couple years prior.
They are not necessarily constructed for long, endurance-oriented rides, (think 40+ miles) but are suitable for most of my riding.
*Note- I wore the bibs for a race this fall that was about 20 miles and the bibs felt great. The chamois worked well for the distance, too! I have worn these on 40 mile rides without issue as well, but would rather have something that has more compression.

When it came to fit/size, I was befuddled by how the bibs were supposed to feel. I wasn't entirely sure I would like the halter-style strap behind my neck nor was I certain how the fishnet material that came up from the shorts band was supposed to fit. Did I want it snug or loose? How was I supposed to feel? I felt like I kept putting a left shoe on my right foot. Ultimately, based on everything else in my world shorts-wise is a small, I opted for size small bibs. After several rides I felt that I made the right decision.

The bibs are designed to have an over-easy approach to removing them, you move the halter strap down in front and unzip your jersey a little to pull it down so you can relieve yourself. It's simple enough, but I wouldn't say that it had me fall in love. I'm one of those folks that would rather be able to pull my shorts down quick and fast, go, and get going. This took more time and adjustment than I cared for. (Impatient?) If the main benefit of bibs was to not have a waist band, then I didn't really see a point- I will admit that I am low-maintenance but also I hadn't done as many long-mile rides during the beginning of the season to really get the concept of comfort with bibs vs. shorts.

They are comfortable when you get used to them and keep in mind it may take awhile before you do. I would say what you decide for shorts/bibs is going to be based off riding experiences and preferences. If you are doing a lot of miles on road or gravel, you may find bibs to be a more comfortable choice. Especially if you feel waistbands are too bunchy, etc.
I do a lot of off-road riding, so I'm on and off my seat a lot, but with more gravel rides in my future, these will likely make an appearance more often.

After getting used to them I would say they are very comfortable for fabric, fit, and feel- I'm just not sure I'm patient enough to wear them often when I'm riding with others and I need a quick pit stop.

Personally, I've never really been bothered by waist bands of shorts- so it's not been something I've found to be an issue. I don't feel I have issues with waistbands on longer rides either, but I did like how the whole unit moved with me. It was nice to know that even if my jersey rode up,my backside would be covered; everything stays in place nicely.

I love the thigh bands of these shorts and I feel Shebeest really made a great move with them. They stay put and don't pull your skin. I like the length of the legs for the shorts as well, for me, I want as much coverage as possible to reduce sun exposure. I'm a farm kid, I grew up with tan lines!

I feel that the bibs are a great piece to add to your repertoire if you find that you are not satisfied with wearing regular cycling shorts. The seamless design is nice, the fabric is lightweight and breathable, and they are quite comfortable once you get over the whole "I have a halter band around my neck" feeling.

S-Pro
From Shebeest-
8-panel construction for the perfect fit
7-inch inseam is ideal for moderate to long rides
All-new body-contouring Lux™ chamois contains carbon fiber threads for bacteriostatic and heat dispersion.
Discrete slide-in rear pocket for stowing energy gels, keys, or credit cards
CompressTech™ fabric uses advanced microfiber technology to wick away moisture yet feels silky smooth
New sleek SheBand™ leg bands offer a comfortable, light grip to keep shorts in place

As a person who loves a great pair of cycling shorts, I would say that I'm usually always trying out a new pair or two of chamois shorts per season. One reason is I ride almost every single day and laundry day does not always coincide with my number of shorts. (Such a problem!)

Also, as I grow with cycling I'm experimenting with longer-distance gravel rides or trying to increase my time out on the mountain bike trails. I become intrigued with shorts that are designed to be supportive and made specifically for longer-distance rides. With this pair of shorts, I give them a resounding two-thumbs up.

I would say between my two designated long-distance shorts: Shebeest Century shorts and now the S-Pro, I feel the S-Pro works better for me for more miles. Shebeest may have changed up the Century short since my review of it, so keep that in mind.

At first I thought the thickest chamois would be best for my endurance rides, especially for Chequamegon. However, the more gravel miles I put on, the more I realized that sometimes the Century short simply felt like "too much" short. We'll say, even with using Chamois Butt'r I still experienced too much friction/chafing if I wore the shorts too long. It didn't matter if I reapplied cream or not, I knew I didn't want to deal with that during my race.

As I started riding more with the S-Pro shorts, I felt that they would be the best choice for me for Chequamegon 40. The pad is thick, but not too thick, and I felt it was more supportive as well. The length of the short is fantastic and I felt the band was comfortable for my riding posture. The leg bands are great as well- no annoying tugging or pulling of the skin.

If you find that you want a short that is supportive for long-distance but doesn't have the thickest chamois pad, these may be the ticket for you. I would highly recommend these shorts for folks that are looking to put some distance miles in, but still want a short they can use for shorter distances as well.

Also note, the S-Pro shorts are currently on sale at Shebeest, so if it is going to be a re-invented or discontinued product, now would be a great time to purchase them!

I recently purchased a pair of Kleo Bloom (fade) shorts and they have been updated with the
Shelastic 2.0 chamois, which I must say looks incredible! I have been a fan of the Shelastic chamois, but the 2.0 is definitely a step up. It looks/feels more sleek and supportive, which I feel many will appreciate.

I hope that you find this review helpful when it comes to buying a new pair of shorts or bibs this next riding season! Remember, every body is different and what works for one person may not be the ticket for others. Chamois are quite personal and it might take several pairs of shorts and experimenting with distances to find what works best for you.

2 comments:

  1. Any issues with holes in inner thigh? I wore their bibs for the first time and resulted in a hole after a 30 mile ride.

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  2. I can't say I've had an issue with them and they've been worn for a 30+ mile ride as well as an 18+ mile ride and a few others in-between. I would definitely contact Shebeest. Make sure to send photos of the garment!

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