|The Right Kit: Milan San Remo Bib Shorts with matching jersey by Safety Smart Wear.|
Johan E. of Roanoke, TEXAS
|Johan won this SWEET 24oz LTD Ed. Thermal Polar Bottle!|
Why Bib Shorts?
If there is one thing you don't need it's a chamois that keeps shifting and chaffing during your ride. That's why getting the right fit is so important. Once you do, you can become one with the bike and forget the rest.
Most of us start out wearing cycling shorts, which are major step up from cut offs. One of my favorites would have to be Gore Bike Wear's pro oriented line for women cyclists. Very lightweight with effective padding right where you need it. However bib shorts are quite another thing all together. They are like having wide stretchy suspenders holding up your cycling shorts. The first set of bib shorts I tried were by Look of Italy and they were not women specific. They also did not give much attention to the fact that women are not flat chested like men so the straps were a bit annoying.
Little things like that can make it uncomfortable so you'll think twice about wearing bib shorts, but even with that minor annoyance, you will find them SO much more effective for long rides. What I've found is that with bib shorts, you no longer need to adjust or pull up your cycling bottoms. No more worrying about if your jersey is covering your backside when down in the drops. Everything stays neatly in place and comfortable no matter how hard you exert yourself.
SAFETY SMART WEAR
Safety Smart Wear is a Colombia, SA based athletic clothing company with international tastes. They specialize in beautiful, yet highly technical sports-wear for competitive triathletes, cyclists, runners, swimmers and skaters. The Milan San Remo Kit featured here is from their Espiritu Santo Safety Premium Collection and has an UPF of 30+ via Sun Smart. Both the jersey and bib shorts are made of new advanced Lycra Sport from Invista, (also see our review under "Cycling Jerseys: Buying & Care Guide").
However there are a few special additions to this kit that place it ahead of the curve. One thing that I really like are the smooth, non-binding arm and leg openings with flat stitched seams. They even out your leg and arm lines while working great with knee and leg warmers such as the new ones by Smartwool I am wearing in the lead photo. The fit is tight and very aerodynamic which is what you want on a road bike. Flapping, loose fabric will only slow you down. The cycling jerseys from their Espiritu Santo Safety Premium line have a zippered rear pouch with reflective accents and three rear open pockets.
Safety Smart Wear Women's Bib Shorts
|Italian made Espiritu Santo Microfibre Women's Chamois|
What really impressed me with the Espiritu Santo Milan San Remo Kit is the business end...the bib shorts. The chamois is delicately designed for the female form but amazingly effective in cushioning your bottom from road bumps. The Espiritu Santo Milan San Remo Chamois is made in Italy by la Fonte Sport Pads and is just the right thickness with no bulkiness. Made of four way stretch Microfibre, it is sheer and dries rapidly. Flanged edges and flexible stretch in the chamois makes it fit like a second skin.
The real difference are the comfortable straps on the the Safety Smart Wear that take into account us women have breasts. The airy straps converge into a "T" that links between your breasts. This is WAY more comfortable than having a strap on each side doing a bad push up bra impersonation. The "T" strap lays flat with no distractions. Safety Smart Wear's creed is "Tested in the real world by real athletes" and may account for their meticulous attention to detail in this high performance cycling kit. The fit is more Italian so you may need to order a size up but I ordered my kit to size. Tight but right the Milan San Remo has moved to the top of my favorite cycling kit list! See Safety Smart Wear's 2012 Online Catalog.
|Saftey Smart Wear's 2012 Catalog featuring their Men & Women's collections.|