There's premium bib shorts then there's the next level up. That next level up is where the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 resides and it shouldn't be a surprise to hear that they are great. They also represent a new level of quality for MAAP and, even in this category, they manage to stand out for style and fit. You can get great bib shorts for less money but if you've got the money, these are worth spending it on.
Aero-optimised textured outer thigh
High lycra content compressive fabric
No grip material in the rear part of the leg
Minimal panels on the thigh
No seam through the lower abdomen
Narrow front panel
Fewer colour options than other MAAP bibs
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Our list of the best cycling shorts has more than a dozen different bib short options. It has more options than most of our buyer's guides but it would be easy to continue listing more. There are so many options out there and many of them are incredible to wear. It's a struggle to narrow down the list to the best but the flip side of that is it's easy to always have something new to assess.
Price: £235 / $355 / €290
Weight: 216g size small
Colour Options: Black, Shiitake, Navy
Main Fabric Content: 71% Polyamide / 29% Lycra
As I was getting ready for a big ride up through Central California, to test the FSA K-Force WE groupset, I tested a lot of different clothing options. I had a small selection of the bib shorts I knew I could count on for a couple of twelve-hour back-to-back days in the saddle. Then, right before I had to leave, the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 landed on my doorstep. Now that I've had a chance to use them on a number of rides, including one fourteen-hour day, I'm ready to talk about them. If you are curious to know all the details about one of the more expensive bib short options on the market, keep reading.
Design and aesthetics
The design of the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 isn't actually all that groundbreaking. I'm sure that's not quite how the brand would put it but as I sit here and write this, I have a number of years worth of MAAP bib shorts, as well as other brands, that I'm comparing. Instead of being a radical departure, the Pro Bib 2.0 builds on everything MAAP has learned over the years and adds new touches.
As you look at them, the most radical thing you might notice are the outer thighs. It starts with an almost completely unique fabric that previously made up the vast majority of Pro Bib 1.0. This time it's the same papery nylon/spandex mix but it's gone through a whole new shaping process.
I'd love to tell you some real details about this but MAAP was not forthcoming. Still, MAAP isn't the first to do something similar so we can draw some conclusions even without details. MAAP is using a unique fabric but what the brand does with it is less unique. Like Castelli before, there's a textured element to the whole outer thigh panel where this fabric is featured. The texture disrupts the airflow and helps the air stay attached for longer. To create the texture, the Pro Bib 2.0 uses a unique weave to create a series of diamond-shaped high spots paired with strips of low spots.
While it's likely the aero advantage isn't big, I do expect it exists. The difference between a 45mm and a 55mm wheel is only 1-2 watts. Even if you only gain a single watt at 45 km/h that's as much of an advantage as deeper wheels but without the added weight. Also, let's not discount the effect on the look of the Pro Bib 2.0 that the texture adds. They disrupt the airflow but they also add balance to the design as a contrasting textural element. The small reflective white logo on each thigh adds to that effect.
Moving out from the thighs, there are more comparisons to Castelli. This time though, it's the latest generation Castelli Aero RC bib shorts. Those bibs dropped the aero detailing but increased the weight of the fabric and removed the leg grippers. MAAP has done some of the same with the Pro Bib 2.0.
The previous MAAP Pro Bib used a strip of elastic to fully encircle the opening at the bottom of the leg. For this generation, that has switched to a new raw-cut fabric. It's the same fabric that makes an appearance in the Team Bib Evo and it ups the weight from 154g/m2 to 210g/m2. At the same time, the Lycra content jumps from 22% to 29%. It's very similar to the Aero RC although unlike Castelli, MAAP does keep some silicone leg grip on the front of the thigh.
Aside from the shared primary fabric, there are other shared features between the Pro Bib 2.0 and the Team Bib Evo. One of those is the use of a thick elastic band for the straps. The strap design diverges in a number of ways though. At the front is where the most similarities exist as both bibs tie the straps into the top of the lower section of the bibs and then continue lower. There's a second tie-in point where the straps meet the top of the thigh panels, though it's slightly different. The Pro Bibs 2.0 have fewer panels to minimise chafing opportunities so by necessity the lower tie-in point is different even though the concept is the same.
As you look at the rear of the Pro Bibs 2.0 you'll spot even more upgrades from the slightly less expensive Team Bib Evo design. Overall, MAAP seems to have really leaned into adding support and structure to the Pro Bib 2.0 design. One noticeable feature of that concept is that while the Team Bib Evo ends the elastic straps at the shoulders and switches to a mesh fabric for the rear, the straps continue in the Pro Bib 2.0. You'll still find the mesh but only to tie in the two elastic straps which continue all the way down to the lower fabric.
One place where there's no difference between the Team Bib Evo and Pro Bib 2.0, plus the Alt Road cargo bib for that matter, is the chamois. It's a new design compared to the original Team Bib, however, the sharply 3D Thermo Moulded multi (three-layer) density chamois isn't new to MAAP bibs in general. This is a proprietary piece that Elastic Interface produces and, just as in other uses, it remains OEKO-TEX® Certified to fit with the larger MAAP sustainability goals.
In the lead up to testing the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 I'd been testing a number of options. I expected that as I tested the FSA K-Force WE 12s groupset, I would be on the bike for 12 hours a day for two days in a row. In case it's not clear, that's a torture test for bib shorts. I needed something I could count on but I also wanted something that looked as good as it performed. Go ahead and laugh, I have no qualms about my desire to arrive at my destination in style, even when I'm arriving well after dark.
Most people probably think that this whole process would start with looking for a quality chamois. The reality is that it's not quite that simple. The MAAP-designed Elastic Interface-produced chamois is one of the better options on the market. It's very targeted so that there's dense padding where it's needed while also minimising bulk. It's not always my favourite though.
When the rest of the design doesn't have the necessary support, the chamois doesn't perform as well. In the Team Bib Evo, I sometimes find myself feeling like the chamois isn't quite sitting where I want it to and I need to readjust. The support that the fabric and patterning of the Pro Bib 2.0 has is where the design really shines.
The way that the bib straps tie into the thigh panel pairs perfectly with the minimal seams. While the Team Bib Evo has a seam that runs from the centre of the chamois up through the front of the short, it's gone in the Pro Bib 2.0. Not only does it look substantially better but it provides better support. The chamois sits right where it should and never feels like it needs to be readjusted. When you bend over, it’s got the structure to hold its shape and keep looking great.
The other missing seam is on the inner thigh. The legs of the Pro Bib 2.0 use only two panels and all the seams use flatlock stitching. I can confidently tell you that no matter how many hours you spend pedalling, there's no chafing and there are no uncomfortable spots.
When it comes to bib shorts at this level, there isn't a lot of competition. The products that compete with the MAAP Pro Bib 2.0 are all very good and many of them feature similar concepts. One of those concepts is lots of structure and highly compressive fabrics. It costs more to produce but it looks great and feels amazing to wear. MAAP nails this detail.
There are also a few more details that have started to make the Pro Bib 2.0 my go-to choice. One of them is the aero detailing. I said it above but even if it's only one watt, why not take it? It's only a bonus that aero details make for a better-looking bib short.
The other big detail I love about these MAAP bibs is the sizing. I find size small perfect for me and unlike the Aero RC, which is also sized perfectly for me, MAAP didn't leave any seams with no flatlock.
If I'm honest, the Pro Bib 2.0 is so good that the only negatives I can point to aren't core details. For one thing, MAAP offers a ton of colours for their other bibs, why not these as well? The bigger problem though is that the price is so high. There are a few options that compete at this price but it's always a negative when there are such amazing options out there for less money. That said, if you can afford the price there's not much lacking on the performance side.
|Design and aesthetics||High structure fabric, visual balance, and just right length.||10/10|
|Chamois Quality||Castelli is still better but this is one of the best on the market.||9/10|
|Sizing||Consistent throughout the brand and compared to other brands.||10/10|
|Straps||Comfortable and they stay put while also adding structure to the whole design.||10/10|
|Value||These feel like a match for the Team Bib Evo pricing and those should be more affordable. There’s competition at this price so it’s not completely out of line but it’s still very expensive.||7/10|
|Overall||Row 5 - Cell 1||92%|
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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Weight: 140 lb.
Rides: Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx
By Will Jones