The Domestique Critique: Primal Obsidian Prisma Bibshort


Primal offers their kit options in a wide range of sizes, with a comfortable fit and a flattering matte sheen to the Lycra, the Obsidian Prisma bibshorts definitely look like a good value. And for the most part they really are, but with a few tweaks they could be even better.


The first thing you notice is the unique sheen to the bibshort material. It’s a PriFlex polyester and lycra blend that has a unique sheen to it, but still maintains it’s breathability and elasticity. Although Primal points out the material’s ability to hold a print, they kindly offer little branding except for one leg band, so these bibshorts make an excellent plain black pair to match any jersey. Everyone needs a ‘Little Black Bibshort’ in their cycling wardrobe.


I am continually impressed with the size ranges Primal makes available and these bibshorts range from Small to 2XL. And this sizing range is standard! I tested the Large, and although it was perfect for my legs it was a bit loose in the straps and mid-section. The material boasts compressive qualities but perhaps my size was too large to feel that. I recommend trying two sizes before making a final decision to buy. I imagine the fine line between compression and constriction is hard to find as a manufacturer, but in this case, if I didn’t have straps I would have felt the need to keep pulling them up.


At first the bibshorts seemed, to me, to have too many seams and I was worried it would squeeze me in places I didn’t want, but upon wearing it I was proven wrong, and they were comfortable on the first ride to the last. I didn’t feel the flatlock seams when riding or sitting. I appreciate how high the material comes up in the stomach and back area to prevent any unwanted exposure.


The bibshorts feature one strip of silicone on the leg band and it stayed in place perfectly without irritating my skin. The chamois is an APX foam pad that is perfect for shorter distance rides, thinner and soft to the touch. This pad is excellent for recreational riders, but those that demand  higher performance for distance may find it comes up short. I would have loved if it was a wider pad for my sit bones, but we are all built differently. The pad is stitched in (rather than seam-free bonding) so the longer the ride the more uncomfortably the edges rubbed against my skin. I find these bibshorts to be my go-to Zwift indoor trainer short – it’s the perfect match.

Full disclosure: I received the kit reviewed in the Primal posts free of charge. The decision to write this review and all opinions expressed are 100% my own. This is not a sponsored post. Thanks as always for reading!


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