With a comfortable and supportive cut and an even better chamois, the UYN Biking Racefast Man bib short provides a worthy alternative to the rabble of contenders dominating the market, but is ultimately let down by too high a price point
- Impressive comfort and support
- Supportive chamois
- Solid and conforming bib strap arrangement
- Excellent ventilation
- Bold colourway (while not for everyone) stands out
- Wild aesthetics (on certain products) not for everyone
- Lacks brand cachet despite partnership with ISN
Italian company, UYN, is a relatively new player in cycling clothing, having formed in 2018, but it's grown in prominence in a short space of time and even supplies undergarments to WorldTour outfit, Israel Start-Up Nation. For any brand, however, reputation and perception is going to be a decider in terms of market reception - and the one thing UYN has going for it is the distinct style, design and fabrics, which represent the complete antithesis to the current trends dominating the best cycling shorts segment.
We've been testing the Biking Racefast Man bib shorts for the past five months in a variety of temperatures and riding conditions. Read on for the verdict.
What is it?
As UYN's top-tier option, the Biking Racefast Man bib short is an out-and-out racing garment designed to improve performance across the board. There's a massive focus on comfort, ventilation and all-around support.
Who is it for?
UYN's Biking Racefast Man bib short is aimed at the serious cyclist or racer looking for improved comfort without any sacrifice on performance. The knitted fabric means ventilation is top-notch and sweat saturation non-existent - it can double up for use across myriad disciplines, mountain biking included.
£199.00 / €192,00
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Design and aesthetics
The UYN Biking Racefast Man bib shorts are available in the choice of two colourways: plain black or black/yellow, the latter of which is pictured here. While the black version is naturally more stealthy in appearance and better placed to complement existing kits and colours, the black/yellow does a good job of highlighting the structural hybrid fabric of the shorts. It also improves visibility when riding on the road or trail. I say road or trail, as these bibs are quite resilient from a fabric perspective and will hold well to the rigours of off-road riding as well as mild, autumnal temperatures.
The bold graphics on each outer leg panel are manufactured from knitted fabric and might not appeal to all - especially in the lumo-yellow guise pictured here. Constructed from Natex yarn, the knit fabric possesses many benefits - such as weight reduction, anti-odour properties, and organic fibres, not to mention drying faster than lycra equivalents. The knit fabric is high in elasticity and helps thwart restriction together with the lycra sections that make up the crotch, inner thighs and rear of the shorts. The knit fabric also radically improves ventilation, but more on that later.
The design is quite racy and the cut tight-fitting and conforming - but it's nothing too restrictive. The outer fabric on the legs does have a 'woolly' feel to it and the texture against the skin is a lot different to what we've come to expect from lycra options, but it's comfortable nonetheless. As has become de rigueur, the bib short cuff length is fairly long and rests just above the knee as opposed to low/mid-thigh like many of its rivals. I quite like the way it fits and the extra length feels cosseting and provides a sense of support around the thigh and quadriceps.
As previously mentioned, UYN speaks ad nauseum about the garment's ventilation properties and this holds true for much of its anatomy, including the cuffs which also use a series of vents called 'Dynamic Ventcuff', and this really does work, not just from a cooling perspective but from a moisture-wicking point of view, too. The chamois is also excellent but it's not often you find a poorly performing chamois pad these days. Dubbed 'HP110', the UYN-developed chamois is anatomically shaped to provide comfort and support - it's neither bulky nor too thin. Instead, it provides a good meld between the two extremes, and not once during my many rides (some as long as four hours) did I experience any discomfort or numbness.
And what of my now-famous indoor cycling test? The UYN Biking Racefast Man bib shorts are not the best option for any kind of indoor training or racing on Zwift but they don't profess to be for that matter - there's just too much material and the long cuff doesn't help the cause either. They work best outdoors where the ventilation properties of the entire garment in combination with natural moving air help keep things cool and temperate.
I've been using the UYN Biking Racefast Man bib shorts for quite a while now - around five months to be precise - so the temperature spread has been fairly significant. I'll admit they haven't been my go-to option but they've never let me down or underperformed in any way. For me, the reason behind not being my first choice lies more in the colour and bold graphics than anything else, and that's purely personal.
In terms of actual performance, the UYN Biking Racefast Man bib shorts are really good. Often when testing items of this nature, sizing will have a big part in how things play out. UYN has a super-handy and accurate size guide on its site which should ensure you get the perfect fit or at least come very close. The fit, particularly around the thighs and crotch area is spot on (helps prevent chafe and keeps comfort levels appreciably high), there's no bunching up, and the leg cuffs remain securely positioned at all times, even during out-and-out efforts.
At 181g (size small) the Racefast Man bib shorts are somewhere in the middle ground when it comes to weight - but because of the high levels of moisture management and ventilation of the knit fabric, they actually feel lighter than some of its sweat-saturated rivals after a high-intensity workout. The moisture-wicking properties of the bib shorts also help to stave off the onset of saddle sores and the like.
UYN's Biking Racefast Man bib shorts are a really good option for anyone looking for a comfortable, figure-hugging bib short. The chamois is great, the fit is racy-yet-supportive, and the fabric does a sterling job of managing moisture and keeping you cool. The item you see here however, might not suit everyone based purely on its bold design language and colour choice, but there's the option of speccing it entirely in black if you find it offensive - something I'd recommend.
Unfortunately, at £199 / $279 / €199, it's on the higher end of the price spectrum and this is something that some might find hard to swallow coming from a company lacking the brand cachet of its more established rivals. That said, there aren't many options in the best cycling shorts segment able to match it when it comes to comfort, fit and performance.
Tech Specs: UYN Biking Racefast Man bib shorts
- Price: £199 / $279 / €199
- Materials: Pad (83% polyester,17% elastane), Legs (56% polyamide, 25% polyester, 18% elastane, 1% polypropylene), Fibre Panel (82% polyamide, 11% elastane, 7% elastolefin)
- Sizes: 5 (S-XXL)
- Weight: 181g (S), actual
- Colours: 2 (black, black/yellow)
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Aaron is Cyclingnews' tech editor. Born and raised in South Africa he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former gear and digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's been writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 16 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic and completed the Haute Route Alps. When not riding, racing or testing bicycles in and around the UK's Surrey Hills where he now lives, he's writing about them for Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect.
Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB