(The following is an anonymous letter from an anonymous U51 Pro customer on Q36.5’s Salopette Bib Shorts)
Even when they are still in their box, one observes they are something special, a real quality product that goes way beyond, say a pair of Once cycling-team shorts. When you hold them in your hands, something about them just doesn’t add up; the feel is like no other culotte you have ever held. It personally reminds me of patent leather paper, the kind we used back in school during the old days, besides their sound is fairly similar. Even my mom (who has never heard of the champion cyclist Alberto Contador or knows what a culotte is) has ventured that the material is extraordinary and quite different from anything that she has ever seen in my closet.
After hearing about, reading and even talking about the Salopette Bib Shorts’ features: the threads used for the fabric undergoing water-repellence treatment; the Vectorial elasticity of the panels in the shorts’ rear to avoid unnecessary movement; the forms of the bib’s straps and so on, and so forth … I am itching to try them out to see if all the techie-talk was just hype or they are for real.
After selecting the right size, I try them on at home and the feelings I get right from the start are good ones but not as good as expected. Perhaps I have been influenced by my extremely high expectations. I observe that they are like tailor-made running tights, adapting perfectly to one’s muscles, the insert padding adheres to one’s buttocks as though you weren’t wearing a thing, but the straps…I get the sensation that they are tugging some, and are not as comfortable as I had thought. Don’t think that these bib shorts pull more than my usual ones. No, I would say they pull about the same, but from these Salopettes I expected more.
The following morning … 75 kilometers await, ahead some smooth 2:30s … just me, my Salopettes and the mountain valley where sometimes I will be pedaling hunched over, other times standing, the perfect test for this Q36.5 creation. Again, my vibes on this day are good, but not as good as expected. It’s as though I were wearing tailor-made tights that don’t move, don’t fit tight, keep you dry, damn, they are good … In fact, I don’t know to what extent you need the bib requires straps since the ergonomics on these bib shorts are so perfect.
As far as the discomfort of the straps goes (which I noticed for the first time at home), it completely disappeared once on the bike. Obviously, you are aware you are wearing straps but they neither feel tight nor bother you, not at all. The only negative point on this day was my disappointment with the insert padding. Although, it adapts perfectly to one’s buttocks (fitting around them like a glove), and the bib shorts do not move (almost as though they were made personally for you), they are different than others. You notice the seat a lot more, almost as though the bib shorts lacked insert padding. It is definitely not the same feeling you get with your average bib shorts where you feel like you are sitting on insert padding and not the seat itself. After a while, you begin asking yourself: Won’t I be feeling uncomfortable after pedaling for 3 hours? Sure enough, it was true, after 2 hours or so, I had to get up from the seat to alleviate my posterior area some, which was a real surprise considering I have my share of callouses in that region thanks to having pedaled countless kilometers over the years. So, yeah, the insert padding was a letdown, a disappointment ☹. I hold out with a shred of hope and try to convince myself that perhaps with the passing of additional kilometers, things will work themselves out.
The next day I do 2 – 3 hours through a mountain pass, followed by 45 minutes of hard pedaling. After 2 hours aboard a bike, I realize that I have thought of everything: cadences, food intake, number of kilometers left, wind factor, you name it. All of a sudden it hits me. I have been wearing the Salopettes and I wasn’t even aware of it and that, my friends, is the best feeling you can have when wearing a pair of bib shorts or any other sports apparel for that matter. That is the Salopette’s greatest virtue, a culotte which makes you feel like the essentials are much more than enough. They don’t feel tight anywhere. It is incredible how they adapt and the comfort which they affords your legs, the straps (what straps?) there was no sign of them, and the insert padding … I honestly believe that it improves with the passing of each kilometer. In fact, on this second day of wearing these bib shorts I had no trace of the feelings experienced the previous day. It was as though I were wearing nothing at all.
When I get off the bike and began my run, such was the grip and comfort that I was about to run with the bib shorts on. I honestly was not doing it to show off my running skills in bib shorts with the straps on display. I wished I could have removed the straps to see what would happen. I am certain that the bib shorts would have still held and not moved around.
Another point worth mentioning: When you remove the bib shorts there is not a single pressure mark, not on one’s legs, nor on one’s shoulders where the straps are, there is … NOTHING! Here is where you that epiphany comes in: Essentials are much more than enough. Why? Because the pressure on the legs is just right, there is no more no less; the straps grip you but do not leave unwanted traces; the insert padding is fine but it also adapts so well to your body that it is only a question of some time and adaptation before you get used to it.
Thus, after such high expectations, I must admit that the Salopette Bib Shorts passed the test with flying colors. I would recommend them to anyone seeking high-end culottes. The price is expensive; well, not really expensive, just high. I say it is not expensive because for people like myself, who spend endless hours aboard a bicycle seat, they are sure to get their money’s worth hand over fist since these bib shorts are a leap in quality in anyone’s cycling apparel.
Disponible en www.mikelkolino.com
san sebastian av de la libertadcp 20004
tel n1 943 44 16 05
las rozas cc europolis- soho
tel. 916 37 95 72
Mikel kolino , Rafab Moran
u51pro san sebastian- Madrid
Mister moon bikes
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pio xII TEL 868 944 092
av. industria 47
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