La Classica are an Italian cycle clothing company based in the riding hotbed of Lake Como. They aim to bring together fashion and cycling, while maintaining a high attention to detail. We’ve already reviewed their Vintage Winter Jersey, now we take a look at their Pro Team DOC90 Winter Bib-Shorts.
Coming in a standard black colour, with plain grey seams, these bib-shorts have two small reflective lunettes at chamois level on the rear. The only detail from a style perspective is the glossy “ss” logo on each thigh. The bibs are predominately made using Super Roubaix cloth, is designed to be comfortable, breathable and resistant. There’s also “fast-dry technology” to keep comfort levels up. The leg gripper is made from a seven centimetre elasticated band. This doesn’t seem to “grip” your leg as such, but does still serve its purpose of keeping the shorts fixed on your thighs.
One addition I do like is the Colorado textile material on the panel immediately surrounding the chamois. This is intended to offer abrasion protection and should also help protect your posterior from any road spray your mudguards or ass-saver miss. The chamois itself is a nice, thick gel pad (varying from 2mm to 15mm) somewhat similar to Santini’s gel offering. La Classica say this is designed for long, eight hour days in the saddle, ideal if you’re one for long winter miles. One thing I am interested is how these shorts interact with my current leg-warmers.
Since previewing these bib-shorts I’ve been on rides in all conditions from cold winter snow to hot Mallorcan spring days. I’ve used my Rapha winter bib shorts as a comparison and feel La Classica have more than gone toe to toe with them. They are a similar thickness and offer a good level of insulation, which has been great for the Baltic end of the British winter scale. The bibs sit well on my leg, with the wide leg gripper giving no friction or rubbing and combining surprisingly well with my leg warmers.
In Mallorca, after finally getting a chance to get my summer legs out, the bibs handled the riding well. The insulation understandably made things slightly hotter and stickier than normal but this never became uncomfortable. The quick-dry technology seems to do the business both in warm and cold conditions.
What really impressed me about these shorts was the chamois. Most riders will agree that a good chamois pad can be priceless. I think La Classica have struck gold with the Dr Pad technology they’ve used in these bibs. Before riding, I was worried that the thick pad would translate to an uncomfortable ride compared to the thinner chamois I’ve used previously. Quite simply, I needn’t have been concerned. Without getting too x-rated, from day one the pad and my nether regions got on like a match made in heaven.
The Dr Pad system use a special patented technology to inject the anti-shock gel directly into the foam of the chamois. I was told by my contact at La Classica that this was “unique and revolutionary” and certainly wouldn’t disagree. While doing some 700km+ weeks ride leading in the Balaeric cycling Mecca, these bibs were my first choice for comfort.
With La Classica’s bib-shorts, you’re buying well thought out design. Combined with genuine Italian style from a company who pay attention to the small details. Priced at the upper end of the scale – €185.99 for the shorts – this kit goes toe to toe with the big manufacturers. La Classica are offering some refreshing exclusivity to the buyer without sacrificing performance.
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