Getting comfortable with Ciovita's bib shorts

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Road. Gravel. Mountain. No matter what you ride, great bib shorts matter.(Photo: Ciovita)
Road. Gravel. Mountain. No matter what you ride, great bib shorts matter.(Photo: Ciovita)
  • A ceramic shield on Ciovita’s new bib shorts protects in the event of a crash.
  • The free-floating chamois layer ensures proper protection placement.
  • Never underestimate the value of comfy bib shorts

Bib shorts are an essential part of your cycling attire, often making the difference between a comfortable ride and a horrible experience.

The number of seams, material choice, chamois placement and length of those shoulder straps all influence rider comfort and help to deliver a pleasant seating situation.

Italian inspired, South African cycling clothing manufacturer Ciovita offers a variety of bib shorts in their range with various features and price points.

bib shorts
When powering up a climb, you want to remain comfy in the saddle, instead of sliding about (Photo: Ciovita)

You don't need to up- or downsize

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so Ciovita sent us a pair of their top of the range Apex Scudo ceramic cycling bibs to try.

While the sizing of some of Ciovita’s upper body garments might be on the smaller size, the bib shorts are similarly sized to the majority of other brands - so a large sizes as a proper large.

The shorts are constructed from a four-way stretchable lycra designed for increased manoeuvrability.

gravel bike
Ciovita's bib shorts are comfy and tough, making them ideal for mountain biking (Photo: Ciovita)

A pad that works

Fit is crucial and the chamois can make or break the deal with bib shorts. Like many of the shorts in the Ciovita range, the Apex Scudo Ceramic Bib shorts feature a free-floating Argon C7 pad insert.

The insert incorporates a free-floating 3mm perforated foam layer that adapts to your saddle position. While this might sound like marketing mumbo jumbo, it truly works and ensures that chamois placement is spot on with no mid-ride readjustment needed, even after a couple of hours.

Beneath this insert is a 12mm high-density shock absorption foam layer, providing exceptional cushioning for those sensitive nether regions without feeling like you are wearing a nappy.

Ciovita
To get a great fit and stability for dynamic leg movement, these bib shorts use a four-way stretch fabric (Photo: Ciovita)

Keeping it together - when you crash

A great feature of the Apex Scudo Ceramic bib shorts is a ceramic shield print applied to contact points on the bib. This makes the fabric more durable and reduces friction in high-risk areas if you have the unfortunate experience of crashing.

The ceramic shield prevents tearing and considering the cost of good bib shorts, any improvement in durability is welcome.

Neat additional features include high-density silicone grippers and a dedicated sunglass hook on the Elastane Snapback straps.

For nearly two decades of riding, I have worn bib shorts from all the local and international clothing manufacturers on long gravel and mountain biking distances. Using this experience as a reference, I was truly impressed with the fit and comfort of Ciovita’s new bib shorts, straight out of the box
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