The fabric of the bibshort itself is highly compressive, almost to a fault. In the picture below you may be able to see the slight discomfort in the sitting position. The fabric didn’t quite flex to my full movements and pushed me around, like trying to sit in a super tight dress at prom. Not always attractive, not functional for a bike short. It is clearly a new fabric to bibshorts, because it was a matte black rarely seen and had more of a cotton-like touch compared to shiny black latex.
Rule XIV claims the fabric is moisture wicking but I found the sweat spots prevalent and lasting. Perhaps this bibshort fabric is better in cooler temps to keep heat in to your body. They did pay attention to details, however, and the seams were flat locked stitched for comfort and there were no scratchy labels inside or out.
The chamois was excellent quality, wide enough for my sitbones and comfortable for longer rides. It’s a female specific high density chamois pad from Cytech in Italy, with bacteriostatic, soft, ultra fast drying, carbon infused fabric covering – suitable for any length of ride.
The bibs are finished with a gripper featuring a creative branding for Rule #XIV. This left an indent in my skin for a few hours after every ride that, while it may be a nice touch, dug in a bit too much for my liking.
Overall, the excellence of the upper layer balances out the discomfort of the restrictive short. On sale, this could be a good short to have as Plan B, or for the trainer (join me on Zwift!) but this first release isn’t my go-to pair. I hope Rule #XIV takes the good parts back to the drawing board and continues pursing perfection. The company will be rolling out jerseys very, very soon so keep an eye out for that. I know I will.