Gravel Think: Sportful Supergiara Bib Shorts

In the past year or so, I’ve reviewed a number of Sportful products, in part because they are so good, and honestly, in part because they aren’t that well known here in the States. I’ve been very impressed with their bibs, especially as some of my favorite bibs on the market have been discontinued or changed in ways that make them less to my liking. 

The Supergiara have become one of my favorite pairs of bibs on the market. At first look, they appear to be a reasonably normal pair of high quality bibs, which would justify the $180 price tag. But these are anything but normal. In fact, I’d go so far as to call them quite possibly the best bibs for gravel riding that I’ve encountered. 

First, there’s the fact that Sportful cuts the short from a knit that is unusually abrasion resistant. I can confirm (accidentally, not on purpose) that the fabric can take a licking. I landed on my thigh recently and after the bibs came out of the wash I couldn’t see any sign that I’d hit the deck. 

Sportful also chose to go with a gravel-specific pad, one that is thicker than their usual pads and features channels to aid flexibility so that it is form-fitting and doesn’t feel like a diaper. And I can confirm that this is a pair of bibs that is still comfortable after four hours. 

These bibs also feature pockets. There are two pockets on the back, just below where the bibs attach to the shorts and they are cut from a lightweight mesh so that they don’t hold perspiration. Because these pockets sit beneath a jersey, they are more for increased carrying capacity; the sort of pocket I’d keep baggies of drink mix in if I know I’m only going to encounter water. 

Pocket three is positioned on the left thigh and this is, honestly, one of my favorite features about this bibs. I’ve done so many gravel events, and mountain bike races, too, where eating was a core challenge of the event. I recall doing a mountain bike race with a tube of Gu chews squashed beneath my ring and pinky fingers. I had to hold them there because my opportunities to eat were so brief I really didn’t have time to reach into a jersey pocket and fish something out and then get it to my mouth; in the time required to do that my window to eat passed. Pulling one item from that thigh pocket is easier than grabbing a water bottle. 

Unlike some bibs, they have reflective hits on both legs, down low, so the movement will be obvious to anyone who passes you.

There are lots of $120 bibs out there. I’ve yet to wear a pair that are still comfortable after three hours. Considering their durability, comfort and added features, if ever I have worn a $180 pair of bibs that were worth every penny, these are they.

Final thought: I’m liking this age of the purpose-built bib short.

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  1. tcfrog says

    A number of the reviews on the Sportful site mention sizing issues. Have you noticed any problems with this pair of Supergiara?

    1. Padraig says

      I’ve found zero sizing issues with their clothing. I could see an inexperienced reviewer saying their stuff runs small. Their sizing conforms with other Euro brands like Castelli and Assos. In American brands, I’m a medium in bibs; in Euro brands I’m a large. I’ll add that I’ve found sizing to be consistent between the different bibs and I can’t say that for all American brands.

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