A price-conscious rebuttal to the premium players currently dominating the best cycling shorts space
- - Superb value and price point
- - Supportive and breathable chamois pad
- - Good ventilation
- - Minimalist yet stylish design language
- - Lightweight
- - Fit could be tighter around the inner thighs and crotch area
- - Lacks brand cachet of rivals
Invani is a relatively new player to the cycling clothing game but has, in a short space of time, crafted a reputation for its affordable range of quality reversible cycling jerseys. Unique and compelling, Invani offers enthusiasts of all abilities a cost-effective yet-fashionably-rounded cycling wardrobe. This ethos has been carried over into the British brand's latest creation - the Invani men's bib shorts, which attempt to capture a slice of a highly competitive space with a no-compromise stance on pricing, fit, comfort, and longevity.
We've been testing them for the past month and a half in a variety of conditions ranging from warm, 30-degree rides to a few indoor cycling sessions to see how they stack up against the best cycling shorts.
Aesthetics and specifications
The Invani men's bib shorts are minimalist in design and available in two colours: black or navy blue. We opted for the former given the neutrality afforded by the black colourway which makes jersey matching a far easier exercise. Unlike some of the bolder, textured design blueprints and fancy fabrics of some of its rivals, Invani has kept things fairly straightforward and simply opted for ordinary nylon material - it's simple and effective and it works.
While the design is dominated by black fabric, a white Invani wordmark logo takes up residence on either side of the bib short sleeves and provides a contrasting-yet-classy touch to distinguish it from the rabble. Often, when testing various bib shorts, the care label is awkwardly positioned within the shorts, and even when trimmed to size can cause irritation, but Invani has cleverly solved this by relocating and sewing it to the exterior of the elastic straps.
In terms of specifications, the Invani men's bib shorts have it all covered. The shorts were developed and refined over the past four years - both in terms of the fabrics used in its construction and the design blueprint. The shorts are constructed in the EU and manufactured from a meld of Italian-sourced UPF 50-rated nylon (78%) and elastane (22%). This material combination not only provides support but also stretches to conform to most body shapes. The straps too are made from elastane and possess enough stretch to nullify any irritation to the skin on the back, shoulders and torso.
The best cycling shorts will always be defined by the quality of the chamois pad, as this represents one of the fundamental touchpoint areas for comfort and outright performance. To ensure optimal support, Invani looked to Italian experts, Elastic Interface for advice. The result is an endurance, gender-specific option designed to support the sit bones while promoting blood flow through the use of a centralised channel. It's a quality chamois, no question. Not once during my many hours of testing - both outdoors and indoors - did I experience any kind of numbness or discomfort. In fact, the standout for me is the moisture-wicking properties of the multi-density chamois which has kept things dry and chafe-free.
As far as fit goes, the Invani bib shorts are impressive. The inclusion of silicone grippers at the base of bib short sleeves helps prevent leg creep and keeps the shorts in place at all times. Overall, the bib shorts provide a great deal of all-round support but are a little loose-fitting around the upper inner thighs and crotch area which perhaps has more to do with sizing than anything else - there is no XS option in this particular design That said, sizing spans four cuts: small, medium, large and extra large.
The cut of the shorts tends to sit a little lower than the industry standard but Invani says this has been done to promote better ventilation by keeping material to a minimum. This has also helped reduce weight to a certain extent and the bib shorts are subsequently feathery in their construction, fit and feel - I can vouch for the high levels of breathability both in terms of outdoor and indoor use. Unlike some bib short options that quickly become saturated in sweat, the Invani bib shorts seem to repel moisture thanks to the quick-drying nature of the nylon construction.
In a segment dominated by premium price points, Invani's bib shorts represent an affordable, anti-conformist take on the best cycling shorts concept. The design is minimalist but refined and the whole package is tailored to provide a premium experience without the premium price. Sure, the fit could be a little more supportive in places but these are user-specific quibbles rather than faults. While we've tested them in a variety of settings and temperatures, we'd like to see how they fare after a few more months of testing, mainly pertaining to how the nylon fabric holds up in terms of stretch and durability. What makes the Invani men's bib shorts such an attractive proposition is the price. At £95 / $135 / €113,95 they're one of the most affordable options on the market right now, and something we'd suggest looking at if you're on a tight budget.
Tech Specs: Invani men's bib shorts
- Price: £95 / $135 / €113,95
- Materials: 78% Nylon , 22% elastane
- Sizes: 4 ( S, M, L, XL)
- Weight: 180g (S), actual
- Colours: 2 (black, navy blue)
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