- Gore Bike Wear Contest 3/4 Bibs
Obviously at first glance garments like this have more than a hint of the leotard about them, but don't let that put you off - the top bit will be hidden under other layers, and there's nothing stopping you wearing a pair of baggies over the top if you're Lycra-averse.
Gore Bike Wear's Contest 3/4 bibs are a fairly straightforward interpretation of the concept. They're an eight-panel cut and well-shaped for that slightly leaning-forward position that you tend to adopt while riding a bicycle - no unpleasant bunching or pulling. Obviously the bit over the knee is a particular issue, and Gore has handled it well with pre-shaped knees that are cut with a slight bend in them. It's all held together with the usual flat, non-rubbing seams.
The shoulder straps are mesh to keep things cool, gripper elastic at the bottom of the legs keeps them in place and the seat pad is a one-piece moulded item. It's not a state-of-the-art pad, but it's comfy enough for sub-epic rides. The only other feature is a reflective logo on the leg, although that's mostly fallen off the test pair.
Positives: Good cut, well made, sensible price, versatile, big range of sizes
Negatives: Not the most sophisticated pad, you might want slightly thicker fabric at some times of year, disappearing logo
Three-quarters are one of those product categories in which there's not much to choose between the products. The Contest bibs tick all the right boxes, although if you want something for really long rides or somewhat colder weather then they might not be ideal for you.